Well, I had hoped to have both flower girl dresses done by now, but it just hasn't happened. I am really close, though! I did complete the dress for the other little girl today, just in time to take it to the bridal shower where I then handed it over to the mother. Everybody in attendance at the shower had to oooh and aaah over it, which in turn made me feel like all the hard work was definitely worth it. The smocking didn't take as long as most people might think--maybe about 4 hours per dress? The entire dress is fully lined, and a tulle ruffle is added to the underskirt. That was my least favorite part. I love working with natural fibers, but tulle? It seemed like it took forever to gather up what felt like miles and miles of the sheer stuff. However, now that it's all said and done, I love the effect. So dainty and feminine.
A close up of the smocking and embroidery. I used a basic, sleeveless dress pattern for the bodice, and then cut the front bodice in half horizontally about 2 1/2" down from the neckline. The upper skirt portion, which is smocked, is attached to this smaller bodice piece, creating the complete dress front. I taught myself to smock about 15 years ago, when I had my first daughter. There's a wonderful publication, called AUSTRALIAN SMOCKING & EMBROIDERY, which was invaluable in teaching me how to smock. It comes out quarterly, and each issue contains many beautiful patterns. Unfortunately, this magazine is about to put out it's final issue, but you can still buy many back issues on Ebay, or from smocking stores online. Definitely look into it if you are intersted in smocking! SEW BEAUTIFUL is another great magazine that is full of heirloom sewing projects and smocking ideas.
The back view. I toyed with the idea of making the sash out of tulle, also, but after fussing with the skirt ruffle, I'd had enough! So I opted for the cotton sash instead.
I should have Sophie's dress finished tomorrow. And then I will take pictures of her modeling it. A dress hanging on a hanger is cute, but on a real live child? Scrumptious. I can hardly wait for her to wear it at the wedding.