Bishop Dress

The sweet daughter of a friend needed a baby gift.  She requested a newborn/3 month smocked dress.  My go to pattern for this is Chery Williams Basic Bishop dress.  For fun, I thought I would try smocking with floche instead of the usual DMC six stranded floss.  I always use floche for shadow work but have not tried it for smocking.  The “Pretty in Pink” dress was the same style I thought would work for this dress but decided to add another smocking row to make the design stand out more.

I went with a timeless classic look with ecru floche on white satin batiste.  To add a little color, I added bullion roses and french knot forget-me-nots.


As with the “Pretty in Pink” dress, I did lace insertion with a slightly gathered lace edging on the sleeves.  However, this time for the bottom, I decided to match the sleeves.  Instead of doing a flat lace edge, I did a gathered edge.  Gathering the lace edging has always been difficult for me because it seems like miles of the lace to gather and then you have to distribute the gathers evenly, which I never did correctly.




Following the advice of the nice ladies at the Sewing Room, I divided the bottom of the dress into fourths and using my water soluble marker, marked each section.  Then I did the same for the lace before gathering.  These two extra steps made all the difference.  It was easy to see how to evenly space the gathers.

Another new tip I learned from the book A-Z of Heirloom Sewing, was how to attach the entredeux to the fabric.  It looks much better than the way I was doing it that I learned 20 years ago.

Here are the steps:

  1.  Place the entredeux on fabric, right sides together, matching raw edges.  Stitch in the ditch of the entredeux using a small straight stitch.
  2. Trim the seam allowance to 1/8″
  3. Ensuring the left needle swing goes into the ditch of the entredeux, and the right needle swing goes past the edge of the seam allowance, zigzag the trimmed seam allowances together with a fine rolled seam, covering the previous stitchline.  The zigzag will encase the fabric edge and cause a tight roll.
  4. Gently press the rolled seam away from the entredeux on the wrong side, using the side of the iron.
  5. Turn to the right side and press again to set the seam away from the entredeux holes.

Again, these instructions are from A-Z of Heirloom Embroidery.  The book is a great resource for anyone doing heirloom projects.

Here is the finished product.


Since the batiste is sheer, I added this little slip to go with the dress.



If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know.

Happy Sewing!




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