The smocked dresses Princess Charlotte wears make my heart go pitter-pat. They’ve inspired me to pull my smocking pleater out from the storage room. It’s been languishing, unused, for at least 10 years. But with a nearly 3 year old granddaughter, and Princess Charlotte for inspiration, I’m planning to do some smocking. Here’s Princess Charlotte in one of the dresses that has given me smocking fever.
I checked in with an heirloom sewing and smocking group on Facebook, looking for a similar sewing pattern and came up with Creations by Michie 146-L.
Not wanting to spend too much time on a dress that might not fit, I made a fit-muslin in the non-smocked view, using some mystery voile from my stash. It’s a poly/cotton, no-iron blend that I picked up some time ago at Fabric Outlet in San Francisco. Rather than making it absolutely plain, I used this as an opportunity to learn to use a pintuck foot. It was surprisingly easy. I’m still not quite sure what I think of the pattern – it was a pricey pattern, and to my disappointment, the sleeves and armscyes were identical, front and back. The sewing techniques were also more of the “down and dirty” type, and not the heirloom techniques I’d have expected to find in this sort of pattern. I changed up the order and methods of construction, but stuck to the basic pattern pieces. I lined the whole thing with Imperial poly/cotton batiste. If it doesn’t have to be ironed, I know it’ll get worn a whole lot more than if it’s all cotton.
AND IT FIT!!!!! My dear granddaughter was a bit damp, fresh from her bath when she tried it on. Is she cute or what???
Of course, I had to sew something for her brother, too. This is a Minikrea Pattern (I love their patterns) – Number 30211 – Raglan Sweatshirt. Because I wanted to showcase the border print panel fabric, I added a couple inches to the sweatshirt pattern and eliminated the bottom ribbing band of the pattern. Fabric is from Finch Fabrics, a Belgian company.