I was supposed to get this dress done so my good friends could take it with them as they headed south for a vacation with their son, daughter-in-law and new grand daughter Adelyn. The good news is that the dress is done. The bad news is that I am going to have to ship it!
The pattern is Gail Doane's bishop dress from her book, Cute as a Button. Any basic bishop pattern will do. Although it takes quite a bit of extras fabric, I do love the hem pleat in this pattern; it gives weight to the bottom of the dress, and provides that A-line effect. The hem takes 8 inches of fabic. Fold up a 4 inch hem, fold up again by 4 inches and stitch 1 inch from the second fold. The one inch tuck can be let down to get extra growth for a extra year of wear.
The smocking plate is "Ruth" by Little Memories - also the name of Adelyn's grandmother and the reason I had to smock this design. The fabric is Red Rosie and it pleats up like a dream. It is smocked with blue gray and navy flosses. You can't tell from the picture, but the stem of the roses in the fabric is blue gray. Originally I planned to smock this design in red, but the design just didn't show up. Color can be such a challenge! With a more densley smocked design the red may have showed up, but I had my heart set on smocking "Ruth" in honor of Adelyn's grandmother! This was my first time folding and threading a ribbon through smocking and it was rather easy. Pinning the bishop to a smocking board made all the difference. I folded the ribbon, and held the fold with my left finger. I threaded the ribbon under the next stitches, and pulled until the ribbon straightened out - not difficult at all!