After the last smocked dress I made for my daughter, I wasn't sure there would be another. Christmas 2011, we/I decided that I'd make her one. When it came time to pick out the fabrics, though, it was a bit more my choice. When it was finished, she decided she really didn't like it, at all! It wasn't worn very many times, despite it taking about 40 hours to make. When she told me she wanted a fancy birthday dress for her 7th birthday, I wasn't at all sure I would make it. But little girls only wear fancy clothes like this for a few years, so off we went a shopping for purple fabric. This is about the brightest fuscia I have seen, but it was her choice. When dresses are smocked, it is best to not have large prints, so I let her use this (all other choices were busier or bolder!).
I did most of the smocking on flights to and from Paducah. Remember the air traffic control furloughs in April?...translation: lots of time in airports. When school got out last month, she started giving me the "when you going to finish my dress" comments. I hadn't made this style of dress with the ruffles since she was 3, and the dress had 4 much shorter ruffles on it then! She's still only 46" tall, but this took over 3 yards, not counting the lining.
...and ruffles (especially full ruffles) really swirl out in big circles when toothless girls spin!...We avoid things like pretty bows in the back, since she can't retie them and they are not really comfortable to lean against when sitting. I have used this decorative "belt" on other dresses before, it meets at the zipper with a couple buttons. Basically it is a permanent fixture of the dress.
Dress done. Now onto finishing some of my quilting projects!
I'm a semi-stay-at-home mom, full-time quilter (I wish!), with 3 little wildthings, ages 9-11-13. I love to garden, sew, craft, quilt, scrapbook when they give me the chance. Needless to say, that leaves little time for housework & cooking. I am a longarm quilter. Won't you let me turn one of your flimsies into a fabulous finished quilt??!