Saturday, March 1, 2008

Smocked dresses for lil mama's

UPDATED 06-27-09 See videos at bottom of post!

I love smocking. I do. I love watching the fabric ruffle up under the presser foot...I love making something that people think I purchased premade hehehe. I have made a few smocked dresses for adults but lately I been making them for babies and kids. These are just so darned cute. I really like them, and I dress Maylee in these lil smocked dresses a lot.

Here is a short tutorial for doing smocking yourself:

First you have to locate some elastic thread. I buy mine at Hancocks fabric store and its located with the elastic not the thread! This is important to remember so you arent wondering all over the store like I did LOL. I have also seen this at Wal-mart if you can live with yourself for going in there...I have heavy guilt upon stepping in the place LOL

Once you locate the elastic thread (which is about 1.19 for a spool) you wind up a buncha bobbins with it, you dont want to be running out and having to wind a new bobbin every time so wind up a bunch. I find I can get about 4 bobbins out of a spool, and one bobbin seems to be enough to smock 2 45 inch wide pieces of fabric for baby dresses.

When you wind the bobbins kinda pull on the elastic a bit to make it stretch out some, this is important!

OK now your ready!

Take your fabric and cut it along the length to the length you want for a dress...for Maylee I cut it about 17 inches long...about half a yard does the trick. For an adult dress I use a full yard...actually two full yards. You sew together the sides of the fabric so that you have a piece thats 90 inches wide and 1 yard long.

now you roll over the top part along the width of the fabric and "hem" it....just give it a couple of turns to hide the raw edge and stitch it down.

Pop in an elastic wound bobbin and use plain thread in the top of your machine, you can match the color of the fabric, use white, use glittery thread even! get creative! Set your machine to make the longest straight stitch it will make.

Make your first row of stitches along the very edge of your "hem" in the fabric. You will see it start to pucker up just with this first row.

Make your second row just under the first and what I do is I measure the width between rows with my presser foot. I make sure the edge of the presser foot is just under the last row I made, that way all the rows are evenly spaced, and you can use the last row as a guide to make the next one so all the rows are straight!

Once you have smocked enough so that the "bodice" is the width you want it them you can stop and sew both sides of the fabric together...make sure you take that elastic bobbin out once your done smocking LOL.

Then you can hem the bottom of the dress, and add some lace, or pearls, ruffles, fringe...anything you like! Then you can add straps to the top. I use bias tape sometimes to make straps, and sometimes I just make them out of plain white fabric. It seems to be easier as far as placement to make the kind of straps that tie behind the neck rather than at the shoulders...if you have a baby handy to measure then making the shoulder ties is easier.Sometimes friendly neighbors will let you borrow their baby to take measurements, just dont forget to return it when your done!

Hope this helps someone out there to learn the joys of smocking! I hope I havent confused you farther LOL If you have questions feel free to email me at

UPDATE 06-27-09
I decided to do some videos to demonstrate how to do this smocking thing, I hope I didnt leave out TOO much info. these videos were uploaded to my youtube account so they do contain referances to this blog post but your already here so no worries! Thanks so much to for making this post so popular over a year later

Rag Quilt Skirt

I am so proud of my skirt!

Its so fuzzy and frayed and raggedy. I just love it.

I did something different with the ruffle on this. I used
Kelly's idea of using dental floss and zig-zagging over it and then kind of drawing the whole ruffle up so its ruffley...It works! I like the effect and I dont have to spend ages makeing ruffles.

This skirt was made out of that homespun cotton I like so much. It frays so nice, much nicer than regular quilters cotton. I only straight stitched the patches and I made almost a full inch seam allowance to get the most fray. I think this skirt would hold up a long time cause I used a tight, tiny stitch to make it.

the waist is 58 inches I think, so this will fit almost everyone. I am so proud of this skirt. I wish I had better pictures. If this skirt sells pretty quick I will make another one most definitly! It was super fun to make and I would love to make another one.

Well I hear my little sweetheart talking to herself in the bedroom and squealing and screaming...she's my little screamer LOL She isnt hurting, just excercising her voice, and my goodness that little baby has a big voice! Gotta go get my lil screamer!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

That Squidoo page

I know I get just a little too excited about this stuff but that page is now number 54 in the DIY category and 938 out of all one time it was number 3 thousand something. I am so happy its doing so good! This means all of our shops get exposure!

There is a place on Squidoo where I can check the stats of the page. this is where I can see what shops have been clicked on and how many times a unique person clicked on it...the top 3 shops are Earth and sun creations, Dirty Hippie Designs, and Blessed Moon Creations

Silver Begonia is a close number 4 ( I love her hemp!) and Phunkybrewster has had the same amount of clicks as Silver Begonia.

So thats the top 5 most clicked on shops in that list. if you are curious as to how your shop is doing just holler at me and I will check it out for you . My own shop has had 16 clicks so far!YAY!! I havent made any sales from this but I think maybe some of the other girls have..i am HOPING they have made sales from it. I am so excited!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Newest the making!

I am working with some more of those Homespun cottons again.I really like those a lot.The texture of the fabric makes me think of old-timey stuff.
i like the way this fabric frays so nice and easy soooo...
i found some of this in a pink gingham and a green favorite color combo ever! I cut a buncha 5 and 1/2 inch squares and i am well on my way to making an all patchwork skirt that looks like a rag quilt!!I am sewing all the seams so that they are on the outside like a rag quilt

I wish I had a picture of my work in progress but my laptop is still gone being repaired and i dont have any photo editing software on this desktop computer I am using.The pic here is the rag quilt I made for Maylee while I was pregnant.I made a diaper bag to match too!

As soon as I get my laptop back I will have pictures of this new skirt...hell it may be done by then LOL.

I plan on putting this in my Etsy shop too as soon as its all done.I am really excited about this piece.I have never seen a rag quilt skirt, so this is unique and unusual!

I am also gonna be making some more lil mama smocked dresses to sell too. I found this fabric today that has ice cream cones on it...I like ice cream cones *smiles* I found another fabric that has lollipops on it CUTE! I cant wait to make these lil' dresses. I get so excited over new fabrics LOL.