I think it’s been over a year since I started this. Finally it’s starting to take shape. Fortunately, it’s looking like it might still fit Mabel, especially if I find a way to add a little length to the skirt.
The smocking is a form of honeycomb smocking, where you use the checks to place the stitches, and don’t pre-pleat the fabric.
This is the same fabric I used to make my very first smocked dress for my niece way back in 2001. Not that I have made so very many smocked dresses since then–I am slow, and I have a hard time making time to sew. But as slow as I am, that first dress made me love smocking; I love the texture, the process of stitching, and the traditional look of the hand stitches. I pleated that first dress by hand, which took forever. (Now I own a pleater.) And I smocked the back of that dress, too. So the whole undertaking was a little crazy. At least the dress was big enough to fit my lovely niece for a couple of years, and then got passed to her sister.
(I think that thing on the bodice is a flower someone pinned on her.)
I think the above photo was from before Dean and I owned a digital camera, but he figured out a way to capture images from our video camera.
While looking for a photo of that dress, I found this photo of Mabel when she was almost exactly the age Hazel is now. I made the shirt she’s wearing by cutting down a t-shirt, adding a little smocking to the front, gathering the tops of the sleeves, and binding the sleeves and neckline. I remember thinking at the time that I had spent too much time on such a simple project, but now that two more daughters of mine have worn the shirt, I’m glad I spent that time.
It just doesn’t seem like that was nine years ago. Where does the time go?
I just tried to find a photo of Rose in the pink tee, and I didn’t, but here’s her wearing something else I made when she was three (pictured below). I used a tablecloth for the fabric. Goodness, this means Hazel will have grown into that jumper; I’d better find it and get it out for her.