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Smocked Liberty Dress & Matching Sun Hat

Kathy from the studio has been sewing again and has made this stunning dress and matching hat for her friends little girl Olivia.  She’s made it using a favourite Liberty print called Nancy Ann (Organic A).  

Smocked Liberty Dress

I asked Kathy about the project:

Why did you choose the fabric?  “I actually let the mums choose the fabric from a selection I had used for my sewing case.  They both chose the same fabric – it’s a classic print for a gorgeous dress for a little girl. Nancy Ann A is lovely and pink and is a really cute print with strawberries, cherries and hedgerow inspired ditsy flowers scattered around delicious fruit.  Their choice was just perfect for my planned project.”

Smocked Liberty Dress

Did you use a pattern?  “I didn’t use a pattern for the dress.  I made it up using a rectangle of fabric (with lining fabric inside) using the measurements taken.  I took their measurement from under the arm to where I wanted the dress to finish, around the body under the arm and the head circumference for the hat.  The fabric width was 1.75 times the measurement (most places recommend 1.5 – 2 times the amount for smocking so I decided to go in the middle).  For the smocked top half, I increased the tension on my sewing machine to attach the shearing elastic and hand wound it onto the bobbin fairly loosely.  I used normal thread on the top and started to sew.  I sewed 7 rows on this dress but you can do more or less depending on how big the child is.  You stretch the fabric as you go to stop it from feeding into the machine.  I then added a gorgeous pink (light pink Tana Lawn®) border onto the bottom of the dress.  The straps are 4cm width of fabric x by the desired length of the strap, sewn with a 1/4″ seam allowance and then turned through.”

Smocked Liberty Dress

Smocked Liberty Dress

Smocked Liberty Dress

“I did use a pattern for the hat – it’s called the Ultimate Bucket Hat by Flosstyle bought from Etsy.  It’s fine to make – I had made it before so was fairly simple.  I added some flowers onto the hat to tie it into the dress a little more.  To make these, I cut a circle, folded it into quarters, then stitched along the wider edge and gathered in to make the petals.  I made 6 and sewed together for one flower and added a cute button in the middle.”

Smocked Liberty Dress  

Are the dresses and hat really loved?  “Olivia’s mum was delighted with the dress and hat.  It was Olivia’s first birthday so I wanted to make something really special.  It did take Olivia a while to like the hat though…  I haven’t given Elsie her present yet but I’m sure she’s going to love it too!”

Kathy has actually made two of these gorgeous dresses.  She’s just finishing the detail on the second and is almost ready to give it to baby Elsie.  Thank you to Kathyrn Bull for taking the photographs of Olivia – they are gorgeous!  Check her out on Insta @kathrynrovey

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