It's been awhile since I last posted anything. My poor blog has been neglected and I can't even say I have an excuse. So What have I been up to? Sewing of course!
After reading an article on smocking, I couldn't resist trying it for myself. The technique is simple, and no, you don't need a special sewing machine to do it.
When my best friends birthday was just around the corner, and a baby girl on the way, I thought surely she needed something cute and comfortable to wear. Needless to say this is were this dress got it's name, the Ashley dress. This style is very versatile as a cool and comfortable summer dress. Pair it with a bright color cardigan and some fun jewelry for a fresh summer look.
All you need is about a 1 1/2 yards of light weight cotton fabric, elastic thread, and contrasting all-purpose thread.
1. Make sure to pre-wash all fabrics to avoid shrinkage.
2. Wind a bobbin with elastic thread.
3. Thread machine using contrasting all-purpose thread.
4. With right side up, sew along salvage (the long side) in a straight line. Use the edge of the foot as your guide.
5. Repeat step 4 until you have 15 lines.
6. Lay fabric out and press smocking with a hot iron. Fabric will gather and shrink.
7. With right sides together, fold in half.
8. Pin along the edges allowing a 3/8th seam allowance.
9. Try on dress and adjust as needed, cutting off excess as necessary.
10. Measure for length. Cut to desired length allowing for 3/8 seam allowance. (For a longer dress, you may need to add fabric, like a ruffle. See the 'Abigail' dress)
11. Hem bottom of dress.
12. With right sides together, sew up the dress.
13. Finish seam with a zig-zag stitch and cut off excess.
14. Turn right side out and it's ready to wear!