Oh, how I love to look through the pages of old Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazines. They have gems on every page. "Poppy" is a dress I have admired many times. I loved the simple smocking and the look of backsmocking at the top of the dress. This dress is great because the large floral print looks wonderful where it is backsmocked and the smocking only brings out the colors of the dress more vividly. I search my stash for a large floral. I found this Amy Butler Gypsy Caravan print from years ago. (Even better, Amy Butler is rereleasing this print.) Below is the original "Poppy" and above is my version.
I followed the pattern construction in AS&E exactly. My smocking is a tad different due to making it match my print a little better and not compete with the floral fabric. This pattern is very similar to "Mary De" from Children's Corner, except it ties on the sides instead of buttoning. It also has a full width of fabric on each side of the back of the dress. (Making 3 widths of 45" fabric going around the dress.)
Above is my happy daughter wearing her new dress on Mother's Day.
Have a happy Mother's Day!