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Friday, September 26, 2014

Birthday Dress

I have just taken a bit of a plunge and made a dress that isn't smocked for a granddaughter's seventh birthday. I have had a kit for a smocked dress, size 7, for several years, chosen for Veronica because of her colouring. I had, however, no kit in hand for her twin sister.

I've been looking for a few years (well, just over 30 years) for a dress to make with a piece of vivid blue cotton. The fabric was given to me when my own daughters were about the same age as the twins are now, by a cousin in England. She gave me several pieces. I used the others, but this piece remained.

It has an unusual weave. The warp has an openwork stripe that creates a tiny pleat effect, which is reinforced by a fine elastic thread running in stripes across the warp.  It is in remarkably good condition, given its age, with the elasticity still fully functional.

I've always had a notion to see if I could smock it. However, I decided to finally use it, and to find a very simple pattern that would give full effect to the texture of the fabric.

I came up with Simplicity 2377. It is an easy pattern, and I had some braid I thought might enhance it.

The pattern proved to be very straightforward. I went for sleeves. It has elastic around the sleeves and neck. I decided to add elastic under the bodice as well.

It will be very simple to put on and off.

The braid proved a little tricky - do you put it on the stretched fabric or the unstretched? I went for stretched around the bottom, using the machine. It produced a slightly flaired effect - not bad, but I rejected a second row of braid around the bottom (photo is washed out - the blue below is true).

I added braid under the bodice, but did it by hand.

I like the simplicity and colour of this dress. There is enough fabric left over to make a skirt - watch this space.

Penny, I do hope you are as pleased as I am that I finally got around to using your last piece of fabric! Niamh was certainly happy.


Monica said...

What a great pattern, and a very pretty dress, too! Love that fabric, with the gorgeous clear blue and the interesting texture. No wonder she's pleased!

Jillian said...

Thanks Monica. Yes, I've always loved the particular blue of this fabric, and been enticed by its weave.

Katherine said...

Gorgeous dress! Love the fabric too. I sewed my girls lots of dresses etc that was from leftover fabric from when Mum used to sew for me lol. Its hard to believe how quick those gorgeous grandies have grown up over the years since I have been following your blog.

margaret said...

Love a bit of smocking and this is such a pretty dress