Christmas Sewing – A Bishop Dress

With only a few weeks until Christmas, and fewer weeks until the little ones can start wearingChristmas outfits, I had to get busy with sewing!  I had already made an outfit for Liam, prior to his birth – and I’m still hoping that this one will fit at the right time.  He’s growing like a weed.

I used the same fabric to make a bishop dress for his big sister, Livvy.  I just love this tiny micro-check fabric!  I knew that I wanted to picture smock for her dress as well, and I love to have the smocking dip down in the front.

Won’t they look cute together!

For her smocking design, I chose several different smocking plates and then did my own “thing”.  :)

The center ornament is taken from Cherished Stitches “Joy” smocking plate.   I thought it needed a bow on top and tried out a ribbon bow, but wasn’t happy with the way it looked.  Perhaps it’s because I tie a pitiful bow!  LOL!  So, I used the bow from Ellen McCarn‘s “Classic Bow”.

With the center design finished, and my outside smocking completed (I did my own thing to create the geometric design that dips), there was the problem of all that blank space around the ornament and in the back.  What to do…..

I solved the problem of the blank area by using some of the holly designs from Ellen McCarn’s“Victorian Bow and Flowerettes”.   The holly designs extend around the back of the dress and stop at the button placket.  I always make my bishop dresses with button backs.  My experience has been that the snap options that most patterns suggest  have never stayed fastened on any moving children.

Finally, the neckline border is one that I designed and used in my first published design for Sew Beautiful magazine.  It is rather labor intensive, but I love the results.

So, I have one dress finished and one more to go!  I can do this!!!  The next dress will be one with the new smocking design from Janet Gilbert – I loved her new Elf design and knew that I had to use it for Ella’s Christmas dress.  I feel sure that you’re going to need this design as well!!!

Hopefully you’ll see a cute rendition of this smocking design in next week’s post!  How’s your Christmas smocking coming along???

Keep on stitching!


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