Smocked dresses for kids can be breezy, fun additions to both school and play wardrobes. Smocking creates a stretchy portion of fabric with an intriguing rumpled texture, making it a durable, attractive option that resists wrinkles. The smocked portion of the dress is normally on the bodice and can be a small portion or can wrap around the entire top half of the garment. Because smocking creates elasticity, it can expand, often avoiding the need for closures such as zippers and buttons.
Hand smocking is a traditional sewer's craft that entails making tucks in the fabric using a needle and thread. The art of smocking is not difficult, but it can be labor-intensive. Hand-smocked garments can be expensive, owing to the time and care that the seamstress must take to ensure even, quality results. However, the price can be well worth it when you are buying a hand-smocked dress for a very special occasion such as a holiday or celebration.
Material is available with smocking already completed, done in the factory by a machine as part of the preparation process. This material can be inexpensive. It does not allow the sewer much flexibility when it comes to the placement of the effect, but it can be convenient for making simple sundresses with a top portion of smocking and a bottom that is un-smocked. It is handy for sewers who do not want to bother with hand-smocking, and can often be found as part of inexpensive children's dresses that are mass-produced.
Smocking in children's dresses is often seen on garments made from lightweight materials such as pima cotton. This material is easy to smock, thin enough to create a pleasing rippled effect, and appropriate for warm weather.
Sundresses with smocking might feature spaghetti straps, thicker straps, or cap sleeves. The smocking may be a banded portion at the neckline of the garment, a rectangle or square shape on the bodice front, or wrap around the top half of the garment. Some sundresses add elasticity to the straps to echo the smocked effect. A casual but girly look might also feature ruffles around the hem. You can find smocked dresses for kids in every possible color and pattern, from bold sunflowers to solid green to sassy checks and plaids.
Smocked fancy dresses for kids include garments created for occasions such as christenings, weddings and other celebrations. Often these dresses feature other elaborate details, such as poofy sleeves, layers of fabric to create volume in the skirt, sweet Peter Pan collars, lace, beading and ribbon work. Some little girls might feel like princesses wearing an especially detailed garment; taking your child shopping with you to try on a number of styles can extend the fun of choosing one special smocked dress for your special occasion.
Making your own smocked dress can be easy if you have a sewing machine or are handy with a needle and thread. With a water-soluble fabric-marking pen or tailor's chalk, mark straight lines parallel to what will be the garment's edge on your fabric about 1/2-inch apart in the area where you want to create the smocked effect. Loosely wind elastic thread around your sewing machine's bobbin. This replaces the standard thread. Select a coordinating thread for the top of the stitch. Beginning at the top line, sew using a standard straight stitch straight along the line. Begin and end the row with backstitches to secure the threads, or simply tie them together at each end. Continue to sew smocked rows on each line you have drawn. You will notice the smocking effect after you have sewn several rows. When you have completed the smocked area, steam the area with an iron so that it puckers up even more, and secures the stitching. Spray the area with water first for a more intense effect. Allow the smocking to dry completely, then proceed to sew the dress in the style you desire.
Finding smocked dresses for kids is easy during warm weather months. Simple, inexpensive styles in bold colors and cute patterns are available at most children's clothing outlets. Fancier versions are available at fine department store, small boutiques and online retailers. Peruse the styles available on several locations before deciding which garments to purchase, or let them inspire you to sew your own creation. Investigate the look of smocking on other sections of the garment, such as sleeve cuffs and waistbands. Inspect the smocking for quality if you are purchasing an expensive item; make sure it is durable enough for the activity level of your child.