Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Well, I'm still plugging along with my soft sculpture, the plans have changed so much that I decided to just go for it and start her face. I got impatient waiting for the eyes to arrive in the mail and maybe that wasn't a bad thing since the eyes wouldn't work anyway, they are too big. Anyhow, I'm sort of sticking to the pattern except the attire is not part of the deal, the author fancied her doll in a pretty smocked dress she'd made for her granddaughter and causally stated a vintage dress can be located at a local thrift store. Nah, least I can't locate a cute little girly gown. So with that in mind...I decided to make my own custom smocked dress. It sound much more difficult than it is but it's really kind of simple. Using a straight edge you mark a series of dots on the back of your fabric, be careful to measure spacing, both vertical and horizontal.

Using the same color thread as the garment, you do a running stitch with long and shorts, the short will be under the dots.

Usually you will need a even amount of rows but it doesn't really matter, the only time it would be a problem is if you smock with a certain amount of rows on your pattern. I've used six rows here.

When all your rows are evenly stitched you will have to grasp the ending threads in one hand and using the same amount of tension on each thread, pull, gathering each row at the same time.
I actually ironed my pleats because for me, it makes the last step easier. The smocking.

I picked the outline stitch because it's the most simplest to sew. Basically it's looping over 2 pleats, reversing on the backside to stitch up thru one pleat, coming out under your loop, repeat. It's really easy and although all your fingers need to be doing something all at one time, it's worth it but a bit cumbersome.

My fabric is a rust color although on my monitor it looks orange. C&G Design

Words and photos by Dawn,

C&G Design.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Simple you say? Hmmm, that wouldn't be how I would describe it:)

My Mom used to do stuff like that all the time. She loved making clothes. I guess it might be easy for someone who sews a lot but for me, very difficult. Anyway, it looks nice when you get it all gathered up.

Lola said...

That looks great. Back when I made all my clothes & the kiddies that is the one thing I never attempted. It looked pretty hard but you make it sound easy.

Debbie said...

Hi Dawn....I agree with Roses and Lilacs! NOT simple for most of us but for you I would say probably YES! You lost me after the first segment! I ran into an old friend yesterday who was all dressed up in St. Paddy's matching clothes. She made the four leaf clover skirt and matching headband that morning before work! She had matching green tights and a blouse that went with the outfit she made too. I couldn't believe it! I thought of you and how quickly you throw things together! I just want to learn how to run my new sewing machine (well new to me). I wondered why I couldn't sew on it and I figured out it had a bobbin on top and bottom! The girl that gave it to me was filling a bobbin? I didn't know and tried to sew with it on top still! Uggg Nice job so far on the dress my friend.

tina said...

Very ingenius! I couldn't do it that's for sure.

Jean said...

It does not look simple to me and the instructions sure sound very impossible to me. I am always wondering where my kids got their brains from!!!!

Skeeter said...

Dont you just hate that. You sit around and wait on something to arrive in the mail only to discover it is the wrong size and will not work? Oh, that is frustrating to say the least. While at the Goodwill store yesterday, I spotted a baggie full of doll house furniture and of course, I thought of you Dawn! Your doll house takes me back to my childhood every time I see it! I can so see a little boy body slamming a bear, boys will be boys ya know…

Nancy said...

Beautiful technique! I think you will have used them all at some point. Love how you just go for it! Why not!!!

CC said...

It's been a long time since I've done any smocking...and then,it was on gingham. Yours is looking beautiful..I love the color.