Friday, October 22, 2010

Sweet Arabella from Australian Smocking and Embroidery, Issue 73

This is a great fall dress.

The dress form pushes this little dress to its limit.  But the back view lets you see the collar well.

This close-up gives you a good look at the different colors in the smocking.  

Pattern Description: A square yoke dress with a smocked front. The collar has gathered ruffles and piping. The sleeves are puffed and there is smocking to hold the sleeve up.

Pattern Sizing:Sizes - 3, 4, and 5 years. These are Australian sizes, so they run very large. I made a size 5 and most normal 6 year olds could wear it.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it is a lovely dress. I used a totally different color scheme than the original pattern and smocking, but I was very pleased with the results.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. Australian Smocking and Embroidery have easy directions for any intermediate sewer. This issue had a page of illustrations on how to put on the ruffled collar. That is a great help, since it is a lot of fabric in a very small space.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I really like the smocking design with the gap in smocked sections. It hangs on my daughter so well. The collar also looks great. I almost cut it out because I knew it would be difficult to make this look good.

Fabric Used:
I fell in love with this purple quilting cotton and finally found the great fall project for it.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I usually don't sew two smocked garments alike, but this is a favorite.

Conclusion: Great directions help make great garments. This is a great example. 


  1. Lovely! I enjoy smocking for my girls, too. So nice to see other people enjoy embroidery and working with tiny little pleats of fabric to make interesting designs! Welcome to sewing blog-land!

  2. Beautiful dress! I made the same pattern for my daughter several years ago. She's long since outgrown it. I love your colors and your smocking looks great. I think the empty "puffed area" really makes this little dress special. Please share some more smocked pretties!

  3. Thanks so much! My daughter has plenty of smocked goodies to share. I just have to have enough time to upload them.