For the past few weeks, I had the pleasure of participating in the Ellie Inspired June Smocking event. As part of the event, Ellie Inspired hosted a smock along, provided a free smocked dress pattern to all of their Facebook fans, and ended the month with a celebration smocking featuring examples modern smocked garments. I was asked to create a couple of sample garments which showed shirring as an alternative to smocking, as I am not a smocker (yet!)
The first piece I created was Ellie Inspired's Poppy Field Romper. I had made this romper before, as it was one of the three patterns I chose to purchase at the beginning of summer for Anne's summer wardrobe.
Laura from Ellie Inspired provided me with both the awesome fabric from Riley Blake's Star Spangled collection as well as this fabulous picture smocked insert with ladybugs (no I did not make that!)
This romper has a lot of options, but I did find it difficult to navigate the instructions the first time I made it. There are so many different options as far as straps, length, pockets, ruffles, etc. that I had to read and re-read the instructions a lot the first time I made this romper in order to make sure I had not missed anything. Fortunately, this time went a lot smoother, as I had made it before recently and knew what I wanted to do option wise.
Another problem I had was making sure that the lining of the bodice was in correctly. I had difficulty with the instructions both times making sure that the bodice front, bodice front lining, and the shirred back piece were going to come out correctly when I turned it. It did go better this time around, but I still needed the seam ripper at one point.
The back can be shirred, which is what I prefer, or there is an option to use elastic casings in you do not prefer shirring.
I was also able to have fun with my embroidery machine and put a cute little ladybug on her pocket!
Overall, this is still a great pattern, It has the classic romper look that I wanted, which is why I purchased it in the first place. It does have lots of options to make it as fancy as you could want, or even a simple plain version for a boy. I will be keeping this one on hand for next summer's sewing for sure!
The second piece I sewed was Ellie Inspired's Nantucket Baby. This cute dress has a very classic sailor look, which I love for babies in the summer.
This one went together much easier for me than the romper. I followed the instructions in regards to how many row of shirring to put in the bodice, but after the dress was finished, I feel like I should have added about three or four more rows--all my shirring is hidden under the collar.
The fabric is a grey seersucker with embroidered crabs from Hancock Fabrics. I thought it matched the nautical feel of the pattern well. I use the leftover Riley Blake fabric from my romper for the trim.
I made this dress in a 3T, even though Anne is only in a 2T. She has so many things to wear at the moment, I wanted to make something that will carry her into the fall. In order to take up the length, I put in a couple of growth tucks in the bottom of the skirt. I think this really added a cute touch!
At the end of the month, Ellie Inspired put together a look book of all the creations we worked on during the month of June. You can download this pdf from their Facebook page. There is some amazing work in there from some very accomplished women!
This was an amazing and fun experience for me. I ended up with two amazing garments and inspiration from some very accomplished seamstresses. And I am learning how to smock.