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Andrea Dress by Sally Robertson
Gold Broadcloth, Purple Flowers

Andrea Dress in gold broadcloth, purple flowers
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Pattern is available to download on Etsy: Andrea Smocked Doll Dress Pattern by Sally Robertson

dress with English smocking

The skirt has been shortened in this smocked dress.

English smocking has a long history:

Actually this delicate doll dress is so gorgeous that it gives the impression the technique of English smocking had always been used to create beautiful, feminine dresses for the most elaborate parties, balls or church services. However, that is not true. English smocking has humble beginnings.

English smocking actually started out as a technique used for undergarments for both men and women back in the medieval times. Without the modern conveniences of washers and dryers, or even running water in homes, very few pieces of clothing were washed on a regular basis. The undergarments, called shifts or chemises, would protect outer clothes from sweat and skin oil.

Without the convenience of elastic back in the olden days, English smocking was an effective technique for gathering the fabric so it would fit well. Not only did English smocking make it easy to put the clothing on, it also gave the undergarments the ability to stretch for comfort with body movements all during the day.

As time moved on, the shift and chemise gradually evolved into outer clothing that served other purposes. In England, men wore "smocks" that were designed to stand up under the heavy labor that was part of their lifestyle. These smocks were made by the women in the households and gave the women a chance to show off their needlework skills. Over time, the technique of English smocking evolved to include elaborate designs that reflected the type of labor being done by the men. For example, a man working in the fields with wheat might have a smock that was decorated with shafts of wheat. Smocks were often very full and had row after row of smocking.

Actually, the technique of English smocking gives the impression it is very hard to learn and people are impressed with anyone who can master it. But this is not true. It is so easy to learn and so easy to sew! Check out our instructional video on English smocking if you have never smocked and would like to give it a try.

Fabrics required:

  • Dress 7/8 yd. of batiste, broadcloth or calico.

Next picture Andrea Dress made from peach broadcloth

Smocked dress

The model wearing the Andrea dress is a "Dress Me Doll"© from The Martha Pullen Company.

This dress adorned with English smocking fits 18" dolls (those with vinyl head, arms and legs and a cloth stuffed body) such as The American Girls Collection® by the Pleasant Company, Götz Dolls® (non-designer) and many others. The dress pattern is actually designed to fit The American Girls Collection®, Götz Dolls® (non-designer) and Dress Me Dolls© from The Martha Pullen Company (these dolls are the same size). The pattern will also fit the following dolls quite well: Faithful Friends Collection®, Tolly Girl®, Liberty Landing®, Girls on the Go®, Savannah of Storybook Heirlooms™, Laura Ashley®, Collector's Lane®, Creative Doll Company®, Springfield Collection®, Sophia's Heritage Collection®, Autumn Harvest™, Our Generation™ and miscellaneous composition and porcelain dolls. Since some dolls, such as Liberty Landing®, Autumn Harvest™ and Our Generation™, are a little thinner, you may want to check the size of your doll and adjust the dress pattern slightly for a better fit.

Infinite Freedom and Sally Robertson are not associated with any of the above named dolls or companies in any way.

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where all have the resources they need to sew...
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