Heirloom Sewing | Smocked Dress Tutorial

Heirloom Sewing | Smocked Dress Tutorial

I am sewing in the middle of the night. I
just hopped out of bed. You can see I’m not fixed by any means, but I couldn’t sleep so
Charley — I didn’t really hop out of bed. That’s a lie. Charley kicked me out of bed since I couldn’t
sleep and he was trying to sleep. So he kicked me out of bed and I am going
to be sewing until I am too tired to stay awake. That’s the solution to not being able to sleep,
in my book. So I going to be sewing this little smocked
thing. I think I’ll have the pattern on my website for free download. I hope you enjoy the tutorial. I am tired
but I can’t sleep. You know why I can’t sleep?? Because somebody
on the instagrams posted a picture of the smocked bishop that she made using my tutorial
and I was just like “oh my goodness, somebody used — like it was helpful to somebody. I
got so excited that somebody found that helpful and I just kept talking Charley’s ear off.
He was like, go sew.” Alright, so if you make anything using my
tutorials, I would love it if you sent me a photo. I’ve gotten a couple pictures from
other people and it has just made my day. So getting back to the tutorial, once you
cut out all your pattern pieces, then you’ll want to go over to your pleater and put your
needles in line. I didn’t use any half spaces for the front
of the garment. I only used half spaces for the sleeves. So here I’m aligning 12 needles, which will
give me two holding rows. Then I’m rolling up one of the rectangles so I can put it through
the pleater. And then I’m pulling two inches out from one
of the sides. And then once you have the two inches pulled out, count 32 pleats over and
then pull out those pleats. And then I tied the threads in groups of two.
Once that was done, I gave it a good ironing. So then you’re going to align that front template
on this rectangle. And you notice how I have the pleated section
on that shoulder? You just align it some flavor of that. And then use the template to cut out that
shape. So then you’re going to use french seams at
those shoulders. And I have a tutorial on how to do french seams. So once that is done, I took the button band
and ironed them in half. And then I ironed one of the sides to that
half line. So you can see I have about a 1/4 and then
a 1/2 and the rest of the button band. On the half that hasn’t been ironed, just
stitch your lace there about 1/2″ over from the raw edge using a straight stitch to secure
the lace. And then you’re going to create a little sandwich
with this button band and the front of your garment. So you’ll fold that lace over to
complete the sandwich. And then just straight stitch that right along
the lace header. And I’m using 80 weight thread so it’ll barely
show. And I ironed that down and did the same thing
to the other side. So it is now 2am and I am sufficiently tired.
I’ve made this much progress. I need to do the sleeves and then the hem and the buttons
and then it’s done minus the neckline and smocking. I am going to hit the hay because it’s 2am
so I will finish this another time. Alright so it is a couple days later. I am
wide awake and I finished up the smocking and embroidering work on here. I’ve also rearranged
my sewing room a little bit. So I am ready to get going and finish up this
gown. Alright and to continue on, I am pleating
up the sleeves using 6 half spaces. So once the sleeves are pleated up, I pull
enough thread out so I can lay the sleeves flat again. Then I join the lace with the raw edge of
the sleeves using a zigzag. And then I put two gather rows on the top
of the sleeve. One gather row on each side of where that
permanent seam is going to go. Then I pulled out the threads from about an
inch and a quarter on each side from those raw edges. And then tie them in groups of twos. I repeated
the same thing to the other side. And then I just gathered the pleats up to my liking. And once you gather the top of the sleeves,
this is what you’ll have. Then I pinned the top of the sleeve right
sides together onto the garment. And I start by pinning the outside edges together
and the middle of the sleeves to that shoulder seam. And then I sorta fill in the gaps and
adjust the gathers as needed. And I straight stitched the sleeve onto the
armhole. And then I pulled out that top gather thread.
And once I trimmed up the edges, this is what it looked like. Then I took it back to my machine to do a
zigzag to enclose those raw edges. You’re going to want to press the seam of
that sleeve towards the sleeve that way it’ll support the sleeve. If you press it the other
way, the poofy sleeve will sorta fall flat. Then I did french seams on the sides and I
have a tutorial for that. You want to make sure when you do the french
seams on the sides that you keep the sleeve seam facing toward the sleeve. And you just do your french seam. Now I do
start the second row of the french seam on the end of the garment. Whenever I start at
the sleeve, it doesn’t look at nice. And then I take the neck band and fold it
in half to iron it. So I have those raw edges together. I’m taking
the raw edges and leaving those towards the raw edges of that neckband. Then I’m leaving
about a half inch overhang and pinning that in place. Then I take that to my machine and stitch
it down. And then I’m trimming up that seam to the
point that when the neck band folds over, it’ll be flush with those stitches. I’m ironing that over. And then the last thing
to do is the hem. And at this point I’d handled the garment
so much that I had a whole bunch of little stray threads on the bottom of the hem. So I just gave that a little bit of a haircut. And then I’m putting the lace down at the
bottom with a little bit of overhang that way I can take that raw edge and hand stitch
it in place later. And to join the lace with the raw edge of
the hem, I’m just using a zigzag. I folded the overhang of the lace over twice
that way the raw edge of the lace is enclosed. And then I’m hand stitching that in place
using some whip stitches. I’m also whip stitching the top of the neck
binding in place. You can see I’m going from the machine stitches
to the neck binding. I’m bypassing the folded part of the neck band, though. Once you get all down with that, this is what
your finished garment will look like. I think this garment could be a dress for a newborn
or 3 mo old. But I also think it could be a diaper shirt for an older child. And I finished the center of the garment with
hand sewn buttonholes, but you could have done machine buttonholes if you wanted to,
or snaps, whatever floats your boat. I also have videos on all those methods. So I hope this tutorial was helpful. If you
have any questions, put them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them. As always, we appreciate y’all for watching
and we’ll catch y’all next time.

17 thoughts on “Heirloom Sewing | Smocked Dress Tutorial

  1. Bernina!!! I used to have a husqvarna. Made my son some pj's with it and that's as much as it got used. lol

  2. I realize you were talking in the middle of the night but I had trouble understanding you. Too low and fast. You do excellent work.

  3. Estou muito feliz desde que achei seu canal. Tenho podido aprender muito com seus tutoriais, é uma tristeza não falar inglês, mas assim mesmo aprendo muito. Obrigada. Você é uma grande professora.

  4. I stumbled upon you channel. I'm so thrilled I did. I'm a beginner sewer and just learning to smock. Wished you had a video on hand stitching. Do you? Thank you so much. I love you videos

  5. because of your great tutorial on putting the needles in a smocking pleater I had NO problems when my eBay used pleater came. And because you encourage finishing the garment as much as possible before doing the smocking, I have a doll dress waiting for that part before I start the smocking. See, I am not too old (62) to start smocking again!

  6. I am from Kerala, India. I am doing garment business. I started the business with smocking dresses. I want to buy a smocking mechine. Any chance to get? Plz.

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