A few of my past doll dresses with Smocking…

Yesterday, I showed you the basics of using an Amanda Jane Pleater when starting to smock something. If you missed that post, you can see it HERE.

Instead of showing you a few rows of smocking on the doll dress I’m working on, I thought this might be a little more interesting… how about a few dresses I dug out of the archives that were smocked? If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, I’m sure you’ll recognize them, but I’ve added a few pictures of each dress, so you can see the details on them…

The first doll dress I smocked was this one for Molly back in 2007. I had been doing smocking on little girls dresses and decided after a while why not try it on doll dresses. It was a big accomplishment for me and I was thrilled when the dress, slip and hair ribbons sold for $36.99. I probably worked on it 8 or 10 hours, so I’m guessing I made about $3.25 an hour… WooHoo!!

[If you click on any picture, it will enlarge.]





I liked smocking for the Little Darlings and made these few dresses. First up is Isabelle in a Golden Delicious colored Spring dress with white smocking…





Lian got to model my next smocked dress… it was a pretty little white with lavender flowers dress…





…and Lian once again got to model my next smocked dress…a sweet pink confection, that actually turned out to be my most expensive dress I ever sold… can I hear another WooHoo???





So there you go… that was MUCH more of a treat to the eyes than just showing you what I have done on the bodice… I hope you enjoyed seeing them….anyone have a favorite?

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. such beautiful work! Smocking is one of the only types of sewing I’ve never tried but after seeing all this eye-candy I may take the plunge! oh my….LOL!

    • Hi Ellen,
      Oh I hope you give it a try. We need some place where you can rent a pleater so you can try it out and see if you like doing it.
      Thanks so much for your kind compliments on my work.
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • Linda Fletcher says:

        Smocking shops (do they have those anymore?) used to pleat fabric for a fee. And I have seen kits for smocking on either Etsy or EBay for those who might like to try smocking before buying a pleater.

        • I forgot about the fabric that comes already pleated…I saw a few on EBay for the Effner dolls. That might be a good way to start out…
          Thanks Linda

  2. Linda Doyle says:

    Hi Jeanne! Oh, how I absolutely LOVE smocking! I remember my daughter’s first Christmas dress, a red, smocked Polly Flinders dress that she wore at 10 months! I really don’t see those anymore, but absolutely loved them!

    My favorite? Molly’s, because the smocking stands out and you can see the pattern so well, but that doesn’t mean the others aren’t my favorites too! But Molly’s really shows off the craftsmanship of the smocking pattern.

    • Hi Linda,
      Oh thanks for picking Molly’s dress as your favorite. I thought it might not get any votes because I was just learning and it wasn’t perfect…
      I remember Polly Flinders dresses too. They were always adorable!
      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. You’ll hear a woo hoo from me, Jeanne…these dresses are all quite lovely and so well made. I like all of your dresses but the Golden Delicious one is probably my favorite…but all are beautifully made and put together.

    Take care.

    • Thank you Becky,
      I thought Isabelle looked so sweet the day I took those pictures of her. Thank you for liking it…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    I had a smocked dress in pale butter yellow. I think my mother and my aunt/godmother made it for me. The memory is hazy, so I must have been quite young — maybe 4 or 5 — but I remember liking it and ever after thinking of that color as my favorite, though it’s not one I look good in.

    I bid on the pink dress but was wiped out in less than a second as the price went higher and higher as fast as Ebay could go. That was a great auction.

    Details I love — the pearls on pink combine so well with the delicate ribbons and the smocking, the graceful neckline on Lian’s lavender and white, the pink and white trim against the green on the green dress, and, Linda is right again, the way we can see the detail on Molly’s dress.

    • Hi Marilyn,
      I’m guessing you don’t have any pictures of you in that dress? Too bad if you don’t.
      Thank you so much for all your swdey comments about my dresses…I appreciate that you take time to tell me what things you lime on each dress.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    I forgot — is it as cold there as the weather report shows? If so, try to stay home and make something hot in your crock pot.

    • Yes…its pretty cold here…yesterday was brutal… I am actually at the hospital right now with my mom. She had a procedure done on her leg and has to lay flat for the next 4 hours. I brought my smocking with me and have smocked another 2 rows..
      Being home with a bowl of soup sounds wonderful…
      Thanks Marilyn

  6. Once again I second everything Marilyn said about the dresses. The way the shoulders fit on Lian’s lavender flowered dress is just beautiful, following the shoulder line perfectly. I, too, wish there was a place to rent or try out one of the pleating machines. I did love a spring green smocked dress I found for my granddaughter and, of course, wore them as a child.

    It’s amazing how the choice of material and trim using a classic pattern turn out to be the top sellers. Your dresses are wonderful.

    • Hi Susette,
      Like Linda said, you can buy fabric already pleated and all you have to do is smock it…
      Maybe that’s a good way to start…I must plunged in head first but that doesn’t mean its the right way for everyone.
      Thank you so much for your thoughts Susette…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Think I smocked my brain yesterday. Looked at I think every kind of pleating machine. Found that there is a place in Lake County, CA, that carries new models and also does pleating for you. Not too far from here. Anyway, there are a lot of models on Ebay, but some so old that they no longer make the proper size needles. I think I’ll keep my eyes open for a Read, since they are still being made. Thanks so much for your great and interesting post. And the smocked dresses are all lovely.

    • Thank you Joy,
      You sound like you had a fun day looking for pleaters…even if it “smocked” your brain. It sounds like you were quite the investigator…I hope you find the right thing for yourself.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. I love all these dresses, looking forward to getting one someday! I love that little lavender one!! Beautiful work!

    • Hi Robin,
      Thank you so much for your compliments on my doll dresses. Lian does look pretty cute in her lavender dress… I agree with you!
      I hope you enjoy smocking if you get a pleater…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Kathie Welsh says:

    The placement of your smocking is one I haven’t seen…usually t is higher ..but I really like the way it defines the waist! Such good choices for fabric and colors ….like that is no surprise :0) !
    Looking forward to seeing the one you are working on!

    • HI Kathie,
      Thank you so much for your compliments on my smocked dresses. I’m certainly no expert, but I like the dresses smocked just a bit lower than starting at the yoke line. I think they look a little bit more grown up and not quite so “toddler-ish.”
      I was at the hospital with my mom today and only got 3 rows smocked but that’s more than I had yesterday…
      Thank you Katie,
      P.S. I had asked you the last time if you wanted to let everyone know of your doll hospital repair work… you could post it in your comments. That’s fine to do…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. I will join the vote for Molly. As with any machine, it certainly ishelpful to newbies to check on service and parts available. I have never brolen a needle but use mine rarely. I am glad I still have it.

    • HI Jan,
      Well, we have another smocker in the group… Maybe you should get yours out and smock something… Thanks for liking Molly’s dress.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. I love the lavender dress that Lian is wearing although they are all very pretty!

    • Thank you Regina,
      I appreciate your kind words about Lian’s dress. It’s so sweet looking on her isn’t it? There isn’t anything she can’t wear…
      Blessings, Jeanne

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