Smocked Polka Dot Gown~My Attempt at “Contemporary”

As I began planning Vivian Rose’s layette,  I pulled out my favorite baby patterns, including this Baby’s Smocked Layette.    Making it was just a pleasure.

I love this pattern.   Because of the simple design an excellent directions, the gown practically falls together.  I especially like the illustration of the drawn up neckline in preparation for binding.  It includes precise measurements for the width of the front and sleeves at the neckline.  The back opening buttons all the way down to the hem, making it easy to dress Baby.

My incentive to make this came from a photo of a precious pink daygown shown in a post on one of my favorite blogs, Mommy’s Apron Strings.  According to Lisa (Mommy of said apron strings), it took only 3 hours to make. In that post, Lisa included  this link to Jeannie B.’s blog which showed a precious baby wearing the same gown in white.

UPDATE:  Another beautiful interpretation of this pattern was made by Karen and shown on her Butterflies and Fairies blog.  Check it out.

Only the front and sleeves are smocked, making it a very quick project.

Both finished dresses by Jeannie and Lisa are very classic.   In an effort to include a contemporary garment in the layette for Vivian Rose, I used a lime and pink polka dot flannel, adding rick rack and bright buttons for embellishment.

The back facings were machine stitched in a serpentine scallop pattern with a 2.5/80 twin needle threaded in green and pink.   It was many times faster than hand whipping it would have been.  As usual, I was in a hurry.

The back button colors alternate between pink and lime green because I didn’t have 5  of either color on hand.  Recalling my effort at a contemporary look, I okayed this make-do decision.

Normally, I would have hand stitched the hem.  But for this gown, the hem was machine stitched then covered with pink rick rack.  In my hurry up mode, this time saver seemed like a good idea.

And by  the way, I really dislike  rick rack that has curled after washing.  So I always attach it free motion, in a zig zag pattern stitching from upper to lower point on the rick rack.  It remains flat for all eternity, regardless of how many times it is laundered.

Rick rack is secured using free motion technique stitching from point to point. It covers the machine stitched hem.

Another time saver was serging the seams instead of stitching French seams.  The flannel would make a bulky seam and I had no remorse for serging on domestic flannel.

The attempt at contemporary, apparently, was futile, as my daughter laughed out loud when she saw the gown.  She said this is NOT contemporary and that there is no way a smocked bishop style baby garment is anything but classic.  Hmmmm…okay.  But she loves it.

If our Florida winter temperatures stay at the unseasonably high  80’s, Vivian Rose may never wear this gown, contemporary or not.  ~~~~~~~

P.S.  Today, we spent some time on the back porch so she could get more sun.  She loves being outdoors.



11 responses to “Smocked Polka Dot Gown~My Attempt at “Contemporary”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.