Originally, I wanted to do this design plate on a powder blue pique. Since I have never done picture smocking on pique and in case it wouldn't turn out, I opted for an insert using batiste.
I've done this plate before, on white broadcloth and included the ribbon sash. I found that my girls managed to wiggle and twirl so much, that the ribbon always seemed to sit uneven on their dress. This time around, I left off the ribbon and being an insert, it wouldn't work anyway.
I used the hem tuck trick again. It sure makes a dress work up quickly and saves hand work time.
I heard once that it takes 7 years to develop your 'hand' at smocking. Because I keep wandering away from smocking for years at a time, I doubt I'll even spend a full 7 years to perfect even stitching. Regardless, I do enjoy smocking, perfect or not!
I really like the whipped stitching technique using Tiger Tape for a guide. It's so easy! Why didn't I do this before?
Now that the dress is finished I can seen multiple errors.
I used Floche to backsmock. It seems too thick and the lines show through.
During the blocking process, I should have taken more care to make sure everything lined up. The top garland row does not line up with the bottom garland row. Doh!
With an insert, I cannot seem to reduce the bulk between the insert and the dress skirt. Next time around I'll try stitching the two together prior to pleating and see how that works out.
If I use Bluebirds again, I'll space the birds closer together. Maybe I'll make then Robins instead of Bluebirds as suggested on the design plate.
The blue pique is sitting on the cutting table, waiting for the next project.