Adapting pattern and smocking help
5 years agoSherry @mim22
My granddaughter needs some new nighties and has requested a “princess” and a “ballet” nightie. I thought I could use the birthday party pattern and instead of pleats in the front section I could smock this and do something similar on the back and not have the buttons. Does the centre piece need to be 2 or 3 times the finished size and do you think this would be stretchy enough to be a pull on nightie.
If anyone has any other pattern suggestions or alterations I would love to hear them.
Her other suggestion of a mermaid nightie with tail and bra top has been discouraged and is now going to be a dress-up. Don’t you love 5year olds imagination.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Sherry5 years agolosabia @losabia
I can’t answer your smocking question, but the flounce on the under-dress of the pinwheel pattern keeps reminding me of a mermaid’s tail. I think it’d make a cute nightie.5 years ago
Hi Sherry, i haven’t actually made this pattern but the bottom line is you can basically adapt the majority of patterns to accommodate smocking. What you would need to do is fold the centre pattern piece to the way it would look as a finished piece as if you were doing it the original way and trace the piece to those measurements including the seam allowances for only as long as you wish to have the smocking.this will become your blocking guide so that you know that once you have pleated and smocked your piece it can be stretched to fit that width and hence not look out of place when the dress is sewn.
In answer to your question regarding the width of the fabric to be smocked, yes, at least three times the width in order to get nice pleats that are close together but not squashed together. This will also allow you to have enough for the pleats and the seam allowance. You see the pleats need to sit straight together and not look as though they are distorted in anyway after you have done the smocking.
Using the Birthday party dress reminds me of this pattern here: http://webstore.quiltropolis.net/stores_app/Browse_Item_Details.asp?Shopper_id=15253211821111525&Store_id=198&page_id=23&Item_ID=13732 this would be a lovely alternative should you decide not to use the Birthday party dress.
It might give you an idea as to wht to do with the back.
I hope this helps. I have done lots of smocking and hae adapted patterns to accommodate smocking and I have always thought this particular pattern would look lovely with a bit of smockng.5 years agoMama_Knowles @Mama_Knowles
I have seen one on the flicker group that is gorgeous. Here’s the link5 years ago
Oh! I totally forgot about that dress! Yes a perfect example of it actually working and perfect if you happen to be a beginner smocker.5 years agoSherry @mim22
Thank you everyone for your help. Love the link of the birthday party dress, if I put puffy sleeves ( as requested) and a nice deep flounce, it must twirl, it will be my princess nightie.
Justsewit (Tamara?) love that pattern and have just ordered it, you must be able to read minds, Miss 5 had asked if we could make a zig zag hem and there it is in that pattern. So thank you so much, now to wait for the pattern.
Sherry5 years ago
Glad I could be of service Sherry (my mum’s name) i am sure you will have many hours of enjoyment and it fits the ballet description you are after. Do try the Birthday party dress also though as that would be really fun to do smocking on.
There is a dvd around that shows you how to adapt patterns for smocking. I think it is put out by the ladies who make the Children’s corner patterns – I should know I have a copy! Lizette Thomson or Thomason? The name rings a bell.
Oh I should point out too, if you are not already aware, that different stitches in smocking can either increase or decrease the amount of “give” the panel has. For example cable is what I would call a stabilising stitching – often used to hold the holding row together and hence doesn’t give as much stretch as a trellis stitch would. So if you wanted it stretchy, I would recommend a design using trellis and just a few cable rows.
Sorry to gab on, but I thought I would share this, just in case you were a beginner smocker.
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