The "B" "B" Dress

I have started with the BB dress for Sophie. I was  paranoid to the point of insomnia over whether I had enough fabric to work out the design of this dress like I wanted to. I did, whew! I am using two coordinating fabrics, one an allover print, the other a large stripe. To get what I needed out of the allover print for the bodice and sleeves required some finagling but I think it ended up better for it. First I laid everything out in a trial layout for the allover print. It was not enough to do the design as I had envisioned. So I did two things.

  • First, instead of cutting the back bodice opening edge on the fold and doubling it to make a lining, as is traditionally done in heirloom sewing, I cut one layer and will do a separate lining. This will give me a seam at the edge of the placket but that's ok. Bodice taken care of!
  • Second, I had to squeeze these very wide (major puffy) sleeves into what remained. Not gonna happen. With a bit of move and shove I realized I could cut the sleeves on the true bias and have the fabric needed. Who doesn't love a sleeve cut on the bias, particularly one with a lot of fabric like this little puffy number? So bias sleeves it is and challenge number two met. Sometimes you just have to think out of the box. 
In the end there was enough fabric. I have more than enough of the stripe and that is somewhat cut out. I have to make a mockup of the skirt, maybe a half size, in some muslin before I cut that out.  The plan is to do only the smocking at the moment while I get going on another window treatment for Audrey. More on that to come.

You can see in the pic above the insert is all pleated and now blocked to size. It will  be dry by morning and I can start stitching. I spent most of yesterday searching through my AS&Es for smocking plates and have been inspired enough to figure out what I want on my own. It will really be quite simple. The pleats, unlike the norm, will run horizontally as in the pic. I have never used this technique before so should be fun. I chose one of the stripes in the skirt print to center along the pleating. Hope it looks good when done. Has anyone out there ( know Kathy D has) ever done any sideways smocking? ...Bunny


  1. Should be beautiful. I am trying to imagine the fabric as it looked before pleating. I think that I might have mentioned before, but I always block after smocking. I find that if the pleating threads get wet (and dry) they don't want to let go of the fabric when time to remove them. Do you have this problem?
    Beckie in Brentwood, TN

  2. I've never seen horizontal smocking/pleating. I'm thinking--will the design then be liniar? We'll find out soon.


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