Saturday, January 16, 2016

My Smocked Tunic, StyleArc Michelle

Smocked Front Bodice

You know you are addicted to sewing and creating when you find a cute top and decide that, "I could make that!"  I said that a year ago about this tunic I saw in the Soft Surroundings catalog pictured below.  I bought the fabric and pleated it, using my Amanda Jane pleater.  Put it in my "to go" bag and worked on it half heartedly for the last year.  Over Christmas I got tired of the same project being in my bag and finally finished it.  Since I had just completed the StyleArc Michelle tunic, I knew it would work as a base pattern for this top.

Garment I was copying.

Double gauze from Cotton and Steel

StyleArc Michelle Tunic with redrafted and lowered neckline and notch.

Smocking Plate:
Overlapping waves with two rows left empty between wave sections.  I made up this design to mimic the original.

1.  Pleated front and back sections of double gauze.
2.  Smocked those sections very loosely with four threads of DMC floss.
3.  The width of the fabric is not wide enough to cover an adult, so there is a small panel sandwiched into the sides.  The width of that section was amended when I tried it on.  I felt the smocked fabric should fit snugly around the bodice, so I pinched out the side panels until I was happy.
4.  To get the smocked sections below the bustline, I needed to add fabric to the top.  So it resembles a girl's square yoked dress.  

Please don't try this top as your first smocked project.  It was hodge-podged together with the knowledge of how to put together girl's garments.    The smocking is done very loosely and not typical of English smocked garments.  I wanted this loose stitch look.  The original top was shirred with elastic thread.  

Back of tunic

Clear picture of the smocked rows.

Not too shabby of a copy.  The original was $80.  I spent $40 in fabric and it spent a year in my sewing bag.  I must confess, I am totally addicted to sewing.