Monday, July 23, 2012

Layered Smocked Dress

 So I wanted to give smocking another try and came up with an idea for a dress that had two layers as well as some smocking on the top. This fabric is from my sponsor Raspberry Creek Fabrics and is the Riley Blake fabric which can be found here. Check out their Etsy shop to see what other great products they offer.

To begin I cut out four pieces of material.
  • Two pieces that are 7 inches by 21 inches
  • Two pieces that are 22 inches by 11 inches
 The other materials you'll need are:
  • Elastic Thread
  • Regular thread
  • Scissors
  • Your sewing machine
 The pieces that are 7 x 21 are going to be the top pieces, the pieces that are smocked. I began by folding over the top by about 1/2 an inch and sewing it, to finish the edge. You should also do this to the bottom of each piece. You'll do this with regular thread in your bobbin and when you're done you need to take the regular thread out and hand feed the elastic thread into your bobbin. Because you'll need both bobbin threads throughout this project, I suggest just having two bobbins at all times so that you can simply switch your bobbin rather than continuously threading and un-threading.

I started the smocking process by having the right side of my foot line up with the hem that I had just stitched at the top. I made sure my sewing machine was set to the longest stitch and I went slowly. It's very important to hold the material as taught as you can during this. When you get to the end of a row begin another one. Each time, keep the right side of your foot lined up with the previous stitch that you just did so that each row is similarly spaced and even. I made eight rows on each of the two pieces of fabric, 16 rows total. Here is a finished 8-row piece.

Here's a tip I learned: If you run out of elastic thread while sewing one of the rows you should overlap it well when you start back up (After re-threading your bobbin). You don't want a gap anywhere in your rows. I learned that a full bobbin of elastic thread could get me about 4-5 rows.

When I was done with my rows I realized that I had used more fabric than I needed to. Because I wasn't sure how much I would need once I had smocked it I estimated and wound up not needing as much. I simply cut off the edges that I didn't need and then flipped the two pieces inside out and sewed them together.

For the bottom two pieces (the 22x11 pieces) I flipped them inside out, sewed them together, and hemmed the bottom until I had a tube (22 inches wide and 11 inches long) I then attached it to the inside of the smocked piece by attaching the sides first and then pleating and pinning every few inches on the inside. I attached it right under where the smocking ended. Then I sewed the two together. (Other than the 16 lines of smocking, you'll be using regular thread for the rest of this project) Below is what the inside of the dress should look like after sewing the two sections together.

Finally I attached the ribbon (four pieces) and I was done!

Remember, once the dress is washed (really, just once it gets wet) you'll be able to really see how great the smocking comes out. I hope this helps and inspires you to make some of your own projects!

Also, Farm Fresh is still doing triple coupons until Tuesday so don't pass up the opportunity for some great savings! See the Coupons.Com link at the bottom of the page to find some great coupons.

And Have a Great Monday!


  1. Cute dress! I love the layered look!

  2. Such a super cute summer dress! Love that Seaside print!

  3. That is so cute! Sundresses are perfect for the summer!

  4. Such a cute little dress! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing with Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party. Both the dress and the baby are adorable