Selena's Bishop Completed

Another Bishop style dress is completed! This was made for my BFF's new grandaughter, Selena. It is a size one and is a Trudy Horne's Shoulder Button Bishop design. I chose to do the center back opening view of this dress. I have lost count of all the bishops I have made from this pattern. The directions are VERY clear and I highly recommend it for a beginner. I love making these for gifts as they are the gift that keeps on giving. Bishops can often be worn by the child for two to three years because design really has no fit other than the neckline and cuffs. I did cut back the sleeve length one inch but that is because I put on a cuff instead of smocking them. I like cuffs on those sweet little chubby arms. 

I began the smocking with a plate but by the end of the first row I decided to do my own thing. I like the little bullion accents. I should have paid attention to my smocking friend Lexie's instructions about smocking colors. Lexie, an amazing stitcher, always picks a much darker or much lighter thread than the shade of the color found in the fabric. This dress is a perfect example of why you should do that. Why I did otherwise this time who knows but I will listen to my expert friend from Oz next time and ever more. It's still pretty and we will call the smocking softly colored.

The fabric is a pastel batik with the outline of butterflies here and there on it. It is 100% cotton. I probably got this at Joanns. That is usually the only place I buy such prints but it was a looong time ago. Selena's sister, not quite a year old, has a bishop I made her in a similar lavender colorway and bff Grandma is going to have their portraits taken together in their bishops. I am honored.


I will leave early tomorrow AM for our weekend in New England and can't wait to see family and the beautiful trees driving down. I will bring the camera. We had a killer frost last night, 22º degrees, but it promises to be a glorious weekend. DD says it will be too warm for the half marathon. She and hubby were hoping to run in 50 degree weather. Grandma Bunbun prefers to cheer them on in the predicted 80 degree weather! I'll be back next week to get started on the D&G jacket muslin and a new clutch. Till then I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend. Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian neighbors.......Bunny


  1. So sweet! Have a great weekend - we're supposed to have fabulous weather this weekend.

  2. Bunny, from one smocker to another, you have done a truly beautiful job. May I ask a question? As you look at the dress from front to back, there seems to be something hand stitched in the placket/button area. Is this something you have devised to improve the closing? Thanks.

  3. I have always felt the facings on this pattern to be very skimpy. So I stitch on a wider placket by adding a strip to the tiny placket area with a one 1/8th inch seam This way I have a lot more placket with no fear of skin showing. I think I just sew too many adult clothes where plackets are wider and I am more comfortable with them that way. Great question! Thanks.

  4. I remember doing one hand smocking project waaaaaay back in High School Home Ec (only some of you may remember that class lol!) I enjoyed the fruits of my labor, but that was enough for me.

    Now I'm happy to gaze on gorgeous work like yours! How very lucky your young recipients are!

  5. As always, beautiful work. What a precious gift. Have a safe trip.

  6. What a beautiful, beautiful dress! I do so enjoy seeing your smocking projects. Smocking is one of those things that I never got around to trying my hand at, but I do love to admire the work of others, and yours is just gorgeous.

  7. Another sweet dress. As you mentioned, the beauty of a bishop is that it can be worn for years. I sometimes add 2 growth tucks to the bottom and extend the wear even longer.

    Have a safe, beautiful trip.

  8. Bunny this is so beautiful - I am sure it will be treasured for a long time.

    My mother knitted a lace shawl for my babies when they were born - when my son and his wife had their first baby last year I gave him the shawl - the first photograph they took of my DGG was in the shawl my mother made - she would have been so proud to know that her hard work was still appreciated nearly 30 years after she made it --- I am sure the same will be for you smocked gifts

  9. Just beautiful! I especially like the modern fabric combined with smocking. After reading your post, I realize you want the smocking to stand out, but I sort of like the way my eye was attracted to the colors in the fabric, discovered the butterflies and then saw the lovely smocking details, One delightful surprise after another.


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