the dress we used 100 % cotton dust blue Spechler Voguel nelona and for
the liner 100 % cotton light blue Spechler Voguel Pima. This smocked
dress consists of a front skirt, one (1) back skirt for the dress and
one (1) back skirt for the liner, one (1) front yoke and one (1) for
the liner. Two (2) back bodice pieces have been cut on fold so that
half of each is the back bodice and half is the liner. A placket, bias
strips for piping and a hem band were also cut. To prepare for pleating
we use a piece of white French fuse (the length of the skirt)
approximately 17 3/4" wide (for this example). The width of this
interface will change according to the smocking pattern selected. Place
the interface to the wrong side of the front skirt of the dress.
Interface the front skirt by matching the side and upper raw edges of
the French fuse interface and the front skirt. Fuse the interface. You
may want to use a piece of self-fabric instead of the French interface.
pleater guides by sewing seams the same length as the pleated. In this
case 17 3/4". Using a contrasting color thread sew in the center of the
front skirt, make another seam at the fourths, and eights of the width,
as shown. In this picture the fabric is folded in half. The seams will
be used as guides so that the pleating is done straight. As each
section of the front skirt goes through the pleater watch for the
guides and correct as needed.
thread the pleater, we used hand sewing quilting thread in two (2)
contrasting thread colors, orange and blue. We cut these threads the
same length as the fabric to be pleated. In this example the threads
are cut at a length of 55". We threaded the pleater so that the two (2)
thread colors alternated. We used the half needles also. In this
example we used a total of 30 needles, 26 of these are used in the
smocking. Two (2) needles, at the top and two (2) needles at the bottom
are used as holding rows.
picture is taken from the output side of the pleater. Most of the
fabric is rolled up on the input side. Place the upper raw edge of the
front skirt to the left of the pleater, as seen from the input side, so
that most of the skirt is out of the pleater. Place the wrong side of
the skirt up as shown. Have your helper start turning the rollers
slowly as you feed in the fabric. Feed the raw edge at exactly the same
pleater groove. Keep the same tension all across the cloth being fed to
the rollers. This helps keep straight pleats. Correct the tension using
the basted guides.
When the front skirt has been pleated remove the threads from the
needles to release the pleated fabric.
the threads to use for the smocking. In this example we used Anchor
Marlit stranded rayon in color 1212 ecru for the background. We used
Anchor Marlit stranded rayon colors 1019 baby pink, 1213 light baby
pink, and DMC stranded rayon color 30504 light blue-green for the roses
and vine at the bottom of the yoke. Execute the background pattern.
In this example we back-smocked the last two (2) full rows following
the outline of the peaks smocked at the front of the skirt.
smocking the background rows, block the front skirt. Remove the holding
threads at the bottom of the smocked area and the threads in the last
two (2) smocked rows separate the interface from the fabric by pulling
up the interface layer. Cut the excess interface very close to the
back-smock making sure not to trim the back-smock thread. Double check
the blocking size and remove the remaining pleating threads except for
the two (2) at the upper side of the skirt to prepare for the
embroidery of the roses at the bottom of the yoke.
back bodice is to be reinforced using French fuse (or any other light
weight interface). Place the wrong sides of each of the back bodice
pieces together and matching the raw edges, fold and press each of the
back bodice pieces to determine the folding lines. Fuse the interface
(French fuse) to the wrong and opposite sides of the back bodice. Make
sure to cut two (2) back bodice pieces, one (1) for each back side and
interface them on opposite sides. The interfaced area is to be used as
back bodice is to be reinforced using French fuse. Place the wrong
sides of each back bodice piece together and matching the raw edges,
fold and press each of the back bodice pieces to determine the folding
lines. Fuse the French fuse to the wrong and opposite sides of the back
piping for the front bodice, the neckline, the back bodices (2), and
armholes (2). When making piping, we cut the fabric on the bias.
Interface the bias band and use 100% white cord that has been washed to
prevent shrinkage. Stitch the shoulder seams both for the dress and the
liner. Measure the neckline and cut a piece of piping that is one (1)
inch longer than the neckline. The extra inch in length is for seam
allowance (half inch on each end). Pin the piping around the neckline
of the dress on the right side of the fabric, curving the ends up into
the seam allowance at the back opening edges. Place the front bodice of
the dress and front bodice of the liner together matching the right
sides and the necklines so that the piping is sandwiched between the
dress and the liner. Stitch along the piping stitch line. Clip the
neckline at about 3/8" intervals.
stitch around the armhole pattern of the smocked front skirt and cut
the corresponding armholes. Pipe the front smocked skirt and attach it
to the front bodice. Pin the piping to the dress armhole and stitch.
Place the liner over the dress fabric so that the armhole piping is
sandwiched between the dress fabric and the liner. On the wrong side of
the fabric, clip the armholes at about 3/8" intervals. Gather the front
liner skirt and attach it to the front liner bodice. At the center of
the back skirts (dress and liner) construct the placket. Place the
piping to the lower edge of each of the back bodice pieces, curving the
piping up into the seam allowance at the fold line (back center line).
Gather the back-dress-skirt and the back-liner-skirt and attach them to
the back bodices, dress and liner respectively. The liner back skirt is
not to be piped.
the wrong side of the fabric together pin and stitch the front to the
back at the sides of the dress and liner separately making sure that
the piping around the armhole of the dress matches. Press the side
seams. We use the un-threaded serger to trim the seam to 3/16 inch (use
the scissors if preferred). Pin the side seams with the right sides of
the fabric together, on the seamline, (keeping the dress fabric and the
liner separately), straight stitch again enclosing the raw edges in the
seams, press towards the back.
two (2) lengths of entredeux and one (1) length of lace. The entredeux
is to be attached to each side of the lace. Trim the batiste heading
away from one side of the entredeux, making sure not to cut the
stitching. With the entredeux and lace right sides up place the trimmed
edge of the entredeux edge just touching the edge of the lace. Adjust
the width of the zigzag stitch so that one side of zigzag goes over the
lace heading and the other side going into the holes of the entredeux.
Adjust the length of the zigzag stitch so that each zigzag stitch goes
into each hole of the entredeux. Make adjustments as necessary as the
stitching progresses. Press the zigzag seam. This finished lace
entredeux band will have the lace between two (2) bands of entredeux.
The entredeux still has one side of the batiste on the outer edge of
attach the lace-entredeux-lace band to the lower edge of the skirt do
the following: With right sides together, match the raw edges, pin and
stitch the two (2) short ends of the entredeux-lace-entredeux band
together to form a circle. This circle should be the same length as the
length of the lower edge of the dress skirt. With the right side of the
entredeux-lace-entredeux band batiste over the right side of the lower
edge skirt fabric, match the raw edges and stitch the band to the skirt
using a short stitch. Trim the seam to approximately 1/8 inch using an
un-threaded serger or scissors. Roll and whip the fabric edge using a
zigzag stitch such that the stitch just zigs into the entredeux and
zags completely over the fabric edge to roll this edge. Press the seam
toward the fabric.
hem band in this example is made by cutting two (2) pieces of dust blue
nelona fabric 8 inch wide. The lengths of the pieces match the length
of the skirt. To do the French side seams, put wrong sides together and
match the raw edges. Pin and stitch the short ends of the two (2) hem
band pieces at the sides and press. Trim the side seam to approximately
3/16 inch using an un-threaded serger (or use scissors if preferred).
Stitch again using a short straight stitch to finish the French side
seam and press the side seams. With the wrong sides together, press the
hem band so that the raw edges match. To attach the skirt to the hem
band do the following: With the right side of the remaining entredeux
batiste over the right side of the lower edge skirt fabric and matching
the raw edges, stitch the band to the skirt using a short stitch. Trim
the seam to approximately 1/8 inch using an un-threaded serger or
scissors. Roll and whip the fabric edge using a zigzag stitch of
appropriate width. Press the seam toward the fabric.
liner is one (1) inch shorter than the length of the dress. This
example shows two (2) optional tacks in the lower part of the liner
skirt. Each of the tacks is one (1) inch wide. The hem of the liner is
one (1) inch wide with 1/4 inch folded under on the lower edge of the
skirt using straight stitch and pressed.
stitch four (4) horizontal buttonholes on the right back bodice spaced
equal distance apart place one (1) buttonhole close the neckline, and
another close to the back bodice piping. Measure the distance between
these two (2) buttonholes and divide the distance by three (3). Mark
the position of the remaining buttonholes and stitch them. The button
holes should be approximately 1/4 inch from the edge of the back
bodice. Attach buttons on the left back side to correspond to the
positions of the button holes.