Since I wanted this dress smaller than the last one, I started with Made by Rae's free Little Geranium Dress and made a few alterations to get the look I wanted.
I cut the bodice pieces in half horizontally and added seam allowances at the cut. I added the height of the lower half to the height of the skirt, plus 2 extra inches so it would be closer to gown length. I decided to make the width of the skirt pieces 3 times as wide as the bodice pieces, plus 3/4" in the back for overlap, and cut rectangles that matched my measurements.
I used the lower half of the bodice pieces to mark the armscyes, but didn't cut them until after I'd finished smocking. I looked for a smocking plate that featured heart shapes for a while before finally coming up with my own, and I love how it turned out!
The cable row at the top is pretty uneven, partly due to the texture of this lovely Swiss dot that Karen sent me a while back, but mostly because I need more practice with cable rows! I did much better with my vertical spacing this time though. After smocking the skirt pieces I French-seamed the front and back pieces together.
Then I cut the armscyes out and finished them with a narrow bias strip.
I assembled the bodice but left it open at the bottom, and sewed the skirt pieces in after basting. I didn't like how the front came out even with the basting, and ended up un-picking and re-sewing parts of it a few times to get a better line above the cable row. I used wash-away wonder-tape to stick the back pieces on before sewing and they turned out a bit better.
I slip-stitched the bodice lining down by hand before turning my attention to the hem.
I wanted to do a blind hem on this dress, but I knew the stitches would show up on this delicate fabric no matter how careful I was, so I just did my best to keep them tiny and even.
I'm pretty pleased with the results!
I could barely wait to put this dress on Foof... here she is in it at three days old!
She wasn't particularly happy about not being held:
But she calmed down after a while and let me take a few happier photos.
I considered adding sleeves to this dress, but I'm glad I kept it sleeveless so I can layer it for cooler weather.
It fits decently right now, but there is room for her to grow too... she might be able to wear it for another 2 months!
I really love how this one turned out... I'm hoping I get a chance to do more smocking soon! =)
Thanks for stopping by,