Friday, 24 June 2011

What I Made This Week-How to make a smocked sundress

This week my allergies have taken OVER! I have had no energy to do any sewing until today, and so I thought I would share how to make a smocked sundress. I have been wanting to share for a while, but I always am so eager to start sewing I forget to bring my camera with me. 

What you need:
*Elastic thread
*Regular thread
*Sewing machine

The elastic thread needs to be wound onto the bobbin by hand.

This is a scarf I found in with my fabric. I have decided to make this into a sundress. I cut the measurement I needed. Which would be the chest measurement plus 2-4 inches then the length you would like the dress to be.

I used one piece of fabric, and folded it in half. You can also use two pieces of fabric.

Sew up the seam

and iron down the top hem

pin it to keep it in place

and sew as close to the finished edge as possible

Now change the bobbin thread to elastic thread, and sew right side up, so the elastic is on the inside, sew straight lines. You can use matching thread or contrasting thread for the outside. Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of the row. Also, to conserve thread and save time, I don't cut the thread after each row. I just move to the next row. You can see the elastic thread starts to gather right away.

I use the foot to measure the distance between each row.

This is what it looks like without cutting the thread after each row.

This is what the elastic thread should look like on the inside.

Once you are finished your rows you can go through and cut all the adjoining threads on the inside and outside of the dress.

This particular elastic thread doesn't gather much after sewing

so I steam iron it

and it scrunches up nicely.

For the straps cut 4 strips. I used 1.5 inch by 15 inch, but you may want a wider strap.

I used the instructions from Lil Blue Boo in her new tutorial today, because I also do not love making bias tape. Check out her tutorial too. It's a good one. Iron the strip in half

Jude wanted me to take a picture of the cool cup he found:) Please ignore the mess in the background.

then sew as close to the edge as possible

Then flatten out with the seam in the middle. Iron.

fold in half and iron again. I had to use plenty of pins, because this fabric just didn't want to stay flat.

and again sew as close to the edge as possible.

Then pin the straps to the dress

and sew them into place. I make sure to go over them several times for extra security.

And voila. Finished!

This is my first tutorial, so it is likely that I haven't been completely clear. If you have any questions please do ask. I would love to see what you make, so please share.


  1. I love this tutorial!! I think I might actually be able to do that. haha! my sewing skills are way limited, but I thought you made it very clear. :)

  2. I love how easy it is to follow your tutorial. Thank you for the abundance of photos, I will be taking advantage of your hard work :))

  3. oh wow! i never knew it was so easy! i have a phobia of sewing with elastic thread, but i guess i will give it a go! great tutorial btw! i can foresee making many sundresses for the summer this year! whee!!! thank you!


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