This is my latest version of the smock dress.
The pattern: "White Magic" from Twinkle Sews. This pattern has lots of little details which made for an interesting sewing project. The centre front panel has knife pleats. The neckline has a series of narrow pleats. There are ginormous, slouchy pockets. There are exposed seams on the sleeves. The back has a shirred panel, extension thingys and ties across the upper back. Instead of shirring, I did what my sewing machine manual calls "smocking". I'm sure anybody who really smocks would be appalled, but I sewed rows of gathering stitches, pulled up the threads and then sewed over the top with a straight stitch. I did this because shirring elastic does not last very long in my climate.
The fabric: This is a Cornwall linen from Tessuti in the most gogeous shade of red. I don't know much about how fabric is made, but some of the threads seem almost iridescent, which show up the dress details beautifully. I have noticed that the on-line store is out of red but they still have this fabric in other shades. The pocket lining and bias binding were made from remnants of liberty print. They show a little, but I don't mind this. It coordinates well with the selvedge that I left exposed on the front side panels. I did have some red bias binding but it seemed a shame to use a polycotton binding on such a lovely linen (btw have you seen Gwen's bias maker? I hope I never come across this maker as I would not be able to resist buying it. I do find making bias tape to be one of those strangely satisfying sewing tasks).
Today I am wearing this dress over leggings. I ducked into a funky little dress shop with a friend and the store owner asked me where I got the dress, which is most flattering, but I do find it embarrassing to admit that I made something when I am in a shop...sort of exposes me as not being a real customer.
Yesterday I wore the dress over jeans to go and eat fish and chips down on the Strand. The weather here is just glorious here at the moment and we just sat and watched all the people out boating.
I have tried wearing the dress without leggings or jeans but it is probably a smidge short at the back for such a wide dress. I was wearing wedges and felt a passing resemblance to Big Bird. I think it is the pockets. I wouldn't make this pattern up in yellow!