The “Smocked”Dress

I’ve been sewing on and off though more off then on since I was a little girl but it wasn’t until Emily came along that I got serious about it.  You see once I had a little girl I wanted her to have beautiful smocked dresses but I did not have the resources to buy them at the fancy boutique close to our house plus I knew that if I spent that much on a baby dress I’d be terrified the whole time she had it on.  Instead I took a geometric smocking class at my local sewing store and fell in love.  My first dress was not put together particularly well but I’ve gotten better and thankfully Emily will still wear smocked dresses.  Hopefully, that will last for a while still even though I have to admit that my baby is growing up with every set of new pictures.

I started this dress in the spring and finished it a few weeks ago.  The pattern did not call for smocking but I added a few rows at the top of the skirt.  I really like to add just a bit of smocking to a pattern.  We are both pleased with this one and I made the straps super long so hopefully it will fit for at least another year.

I also wanted to say that thankfully I’m feeling much better this week but my primary computer still does not have a functioning keyboard so while I read all of your posts this week I’m sorry that I haven’t commented.  You all do great work though so big cyber hugs and cheers for everyone.


Fabric:  2 yards quilters cotton

Pattern: Olabethe Emily’s Camisole

Notions: Embroidery floss, buttons

First worn: To a friend’s party

Wear again: Already at least twice

Time to complete:  Smocking takes a long time.  The sewing probably took around 2 hours.




Stephanie mother tried to teach her how to sew growing up but she didn't really get serious about it until her 4 year old daughter was born and she wanted to put her in fancy smocked dresses. Since then, she has learned to smock and sew. Her blog and screen name come from the initials of her two children Elijah who is 8 and Emily who is 4.


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  1. At least the sewing machine is holding up. Nice fabric choice. My mom smocked lots of dresses for me and my sisters, though when I do not know with 4 kids. I never got to it with just one daughter. Yeah Emily, here is to her remaining a joyful model.

  2. Adorable dress.. Love the smocking on the skirt, I had never seen that done before. Great idea.
    Love the fabric.

  3. Hi Stepahnie, sorry to hear about your computer. Smoking is beautiful, can it only be done by hand? Or is there a technique on the machine?

  4. I haVe a machine that puts in the pleats but all the stitching is done by hand. I’ve seen pieces where the pleated fabric was put in a hoop and an embroidery machine was used ta add pictures or pattern but it does not look the same. Smocking I’d pretty easy though if you get the chance to take a class or check out some tutorials.

  5. Wow, I’m glad Emily likes to wear smocked dresses this is gorgeous. I would love to have a go at smocking sometime, looks great.

  6. Me too! It’s so darn pretty. I’m going to have to try it some time. You have one lucky daughter. I bet she loves modeling too. Hope your computer feels better soon.

  7. What a lovely dress! I think the fancy, detailed smocking is especially cool when combined with that adorable children’s print. (Is that a giraffe I see?) It’s great.