Fall has finally arrived in the south. We went from record high temperatures in October (mostly 80’s and even 90’s) to an arctic blast in November. Baby, it’s cold outside!
Just in time for the cold weather, I finished up a couple smocked shirt dresses for the girls. I am quite happy with how the pattern and the dresses turned out and the girls are as well! Eva especially likes the pockets!
The girls stayed with us for a weekend, so I had some willing models available!!! Aren’t they adorable! When did they get so big?
The dresses are just as cute from the back view as they are from the front.
In order to keep smocking for older girls (they are 9 and almost 7 now), it takes a bit of creative thinking. I had seen a picture of a similar dress on Etsy, but was unable to find a similar pattern, so I went to work creating my own.
This pattern is my slightly contemporary version of the shirt dress with a more open neckline, which is also more comfortable, and a touch of smocking on the front and back of the dress at the yoke. It smocks up very quickly and the dress is easy to sew as well!
The dress features a casing in the back and self belt to pull in the fullness, though a purchased belt or ribbon would be equally cute.
I designed the dress to be made from slightly heavier fabrics because I know that the girls aren’t fans of wearing slips. However, if someone wanted to make the dress up of lighter fabrics, there are instructions for that as well. My first test dress, a wearable sample, was made of Imperial broadcloth.
In this fabric, I chose to smoosh all the pleats to the center of the dress – I like how that looks as well.
To make the dress a pattern for all seasons, instructions for making the dress sleeveless are also included. The sleeveless version is made of piqué fabric.
The last dress that I made is probably my favorite – I’m not sure if it is the color combination, the fabric or what, but I do love this one! Sadly, I don’t think this will fit anyone except my mannequins. That’s probably OK because the girls love the wild prints!
I’ve offered 3 slightly different smocking designs in the pattern as well. All are very simple and smock up quickly.
Of course, you could always leave off the pockets & belt and shorten the top and it would make an equally adorable top to wear over dress pants or jeans!!! After sewing up 6 different dresses, I didn’t have it in me to make up a blouse length version as well, though I definitely will do that for the girls for when the weather warms up. Wouldn’t it be cute in flannel for the cold weather though!!!
It goes without saying that the pattern could be made without smocking for an even quicker project. The dress could have gathers where the smocking is.
As always, there are lots of instructions with plenty of pictures and extra tips and techniques included in the pattern. You can pop over to my Etsy shop (https://www.etsy.com/shop/kathysheirloomshop) and buy the pattern – it’s the perfect dress for an older girl. 😊 It is available in sizes 5 – 10.
I’m ready to smock something different now. What will you be smocking?