So…I made another Tinny Dress! I just had to do it, I had this idea in my head and I just had to get it made! I present to you, a smocked, colour-block bodice Tinny Dress:
I used the Tinny Dress pattern, I have made two of these previously – one for Mathilda and one for Veronica. This one is another for Mathilda. Last time, I made a size 7, it was a little bit too big, so this time I made a size 6. As we are heading into summer, I opted for a sleeveless, collar-less version.
And, I opted for the colour-blocked bodice option. But instead of cutting a separate bodice and skirt piece, I cut them as one and hand-smocked the bodice!
I love the texture of smocking and find the repeated geometry aesthetically pleasing, and my idea was that the bodice would sort of blend into the skirt.
I have a smocking pleater, I actually have two, but I wanted the smocked portion to be longer than I could do with the pleater, so for the very first time, I used iron-on dots.
I purchased them a while ago, for those just-in-case situations where the pleater wasn’t going to work. This was one of those situations.
Next time, I’ll make sure to trim off the writing at the top of the sheet – because I didn’t know that it would also transfer – luckily it is within the seam allowance and was later trimmed away.
I added a second set of rows beneath the first sheet, this was only a portion of a sheet – I trimmed it to get the right amount of rows, which I matched up to the Tinny colour block front bodice piece.
And then I stitched it all by hand to create the pleats – it took a very, very long time, I am now eternally grateful to the man who invented the smocking pleater (and yes, it was a man, if you google it you can read all about it).
And then commenced the peaceful task of doing the smocking. I just did a simple geometric pattern all-over with a basic combination of cables and waves. The lower edge is finished with three rows of trestle stitches, I wanted this to be able to allow the skirt gathers to flare out a little.
About half way through I realised that I was going to run out of embroidery thread, and because it is an all-over design, I couldn’t just change colours. Unfortunately, my local Spotlight didn’t have the right colour – they had the ones either side, but not the one I wanted. So I took the kids on a 3-hour return car trip to buy 3 skeins of embroidery thread, which cost me a total of $3.60 (at Lincraft).
The things we do for our craft!
The smocked portion of the dress is made from plain white poplin, which is nice and lightweight for summer, and unfortunately the smocking dots do show through a little. I’ve never used them before, so I’m not sure if they’ll come off through washing or not. I hope they do (fingers crossed).
The main fabric is also poplin, but printed in a funky modern print, which also features the same sort of geometric shapes as the smocking, which is why I liked them together.
I got to use my new favourite sewing accessory again – the invisible zipper foot. I am madly in love with putting in invisible zippers, this is definitely one skill that I wish I’d learnt a lot earlier, I can’t believe that I was so scared of them before!
In these pictures it looks like the lower bodice seams are not quite matched up – but it was so windy when I took these photos, it was hard to get anything to sit straight.
But one thing that I did get straight was the centre where the front bodice panels meet, I’m really pleased with how well that turned out.
I added piping to the angled edges of the smocked bodice section. This should give it stability and help it hold its shape – so far its working great. The piping is my regular homemade-using-an-old-voile-cot-sheet.
Because the front-centre-bodice and front skirt are one piece, I needed to modify the construction method slightly. I attached the front skirt prior to sewing up the side seams. This was easy enough to do, no problems.
Mathilda loves this dress already, and it fits her better than the previous one. She was a good sport, letting me take photos of her in some very strong wind.
Tinny Blog Tour
The pattern for this dress, the Tinny dress, has recently been relaunched by the designer, An of Straightgrain. To celebrate the relaunch of the Tinny Pattern, An is hosting an Open Blog Tour. Which means that I get to share it with all of you! If you click on the blue box below, it will take you to the link party, with all the different Tinny’s that are being made by sewists all around the world.
Thanks for reading.