Friday, August 27, 2010

{What is a smocked bishop?}

I don't know about you, but I am pretty excited about this "smocking a bishop" series that I am blogging about in my Sewing Journal! I hope that you share my blog link with those who want to join us! Since some of my followers might not be familiar with smocking or even what a "smocked bishop" actually is, so I am going to do a little introduction before we actually get started.
What is a smocked bishop? 
English Rose from Beautiful Bishops
A smocked bishop dress is one of the most traditional garments for babies and little girls. A bishop dress is a loose fitting, comfortable style dress, and is the easiest smocked garment to construct. What I like best about a smocked bishop dress is that it seems they fit longer than any other style dress. For a bishop dress to be authentic, it must be smocked by hand from the neckline out to the shoulders with raglan sleeves. The front, back and shoulders are all smocked at the same time, creating a decorative round yoke. 
Decorative stitches are hand-smocked in the round neckline
Most bishop dresses look somewhat similar, but there are a few variations, with sleeves and in how the closure is done. Some bishop dresses open on the shoulder, some in the front, but most common is a back closure, which is what I am going to demonstrate in this lesson series.
To get started, I will be using a Smocking Pleater and a bishop pattern by The Children's Corner.
Sally Stanley Pleater
Quite a few of my followers already smock and have smocked a bishop style dress, but some may have never pleated and smocked a bishop using gingham fabric, or perhaps have been a little hesitant to do so. I am going to add in a demonstration using the brown gingham you see pictured above. This will be sort of a bonus for those who have been afraid to pleat up a gingham bishop dress. However, I will be using a light colored fabric for the class, as I think it will be much easier for you to see seam lines, pleats and the smocking as we work along together.
Bishop Pattern by The Children's Corner
It is not necessary that you use the same pattern that I am using. If you have another favored bishop-style pattern, you are welcome to use whatever you prefer to follow along with me. I will be making View A "Betsy", which is the style on the far right.
Get your supplies together this weekend - we will begin on Monday with laying out the pattern pieces, cutting out the bishop and prepping for pleating!
Please feel free to ask me any questions you might have in the comment section. I will do my best to answer your questions in the following blog post.



Sara said...

great blog on bishops!!!! My all time favorite style for little girls!!! and yes, they seem to fit forever!!

The sewing room said...

Looking forward to following your demonstration,i do not have time at the moment to do one but i am very excited to learn as you go along and it will be so nice to be able to ask questions and be able to refer back to your tutorial, many thanks for sharing hugs Pat

Julia said...

Can't wait for this tutorial!

Rettabug said...

I'll be watching over your shoulder. My sweetie is too big for a bishop now :-( however, I will enjoy learning all your tips & tricks for making one.

I'm busy with an Ariel Halloween costume at the moment. ~insert rolled eyes~

Jerome said...

I appreciate your tutorial. The information presented thus far is excellent! I know the user name says Jerome, however, he is not sewing along it is Marie.

Thank You

Jan said...

I love smocking, it's absolutely my fave pastime! I've been doing the sew-a-long on Old Fashioned Baby and having so much fun, I think I will have to joint this one as well. I've done bishops, so wonderful for babies. Now, I think I should order the pattern. Can't wait.

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

I love that you have this Smocked Bishop series on your blog, so that those like me (who seem to be able to swing by sporadically to read) can go through your lessons when we can...and also to refer back to them at any time!

Thank you for sharing your talent and passion.

Blessings & Aloha!

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed your tutorials and they have been very helpful. I have one question that you did not cover. After pleating the fabric with a Pullen pleater - I have no idea how to remove it from the pleater - where do I cut the threads and should there be one or two threads running through fabric to form pleats - if only one, how do I get rid of second thread.

Thanks for help.

Terrie Elbatnigi said...

Where do I find a good Pleater machine?

Laurie said...

Best place to look is eBay!


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