I used this pattern from Sew Mama Sew made by JCasa, with modifications. I had made this pattern before and it took me forever to figure out how to get the smocking (with elastic thread in the bobbin) to work on my old machine.
I did figure it out 2 years ago... now, would I actually remember how to make it work again?
I didn't at first (if I had had a blog that long ago, I could have looked it up), but after a little bit of trying a few things it came back to me. The secret for my machine is - sew very, very slowly.
It about kills me, because I love zipping down the seams and it's difficult to keep only the slightest pressure with my knee on the pedal, but *sigh* I had agreed to make them, and I didn't want to disappoint (or go to the store for more fabric, or re-cut out pieces to change patterns.)
So, I put on some Science Friday podcasts and got to work.
Anyway, the smocking worked great, once I resigned myself to the boredom, and the dresses, though not by any means perfect, went together quickly. They were super-excited about them, which is even more important, I suppose. Here are a few pictures (note that the middle sister's dress is not really that crooked, the straps just weren't tied straight and I didn't notice until later.)
I just put 5-6 rows of smocking at the top of the dress, none for a waist like the pattern suggests. I think I'd like them better with smocking at the waist too, but I was getting too bored of sewing slowly, so I decided to drop that part.
The baby's skirt just has a bit of elastic at the waist. It probably should be wider, but she's not crawling yet, so it'll work just fine for sitting or rolloing over.
How about that? The dress is still cute even when the model is throwing a minor tantrum!
Before I became a parent, I used to see kids (girls especially) dressed all alike and pity them slightly for having their parent make them dress alike. Now that I'm a parent of girls who want to dress alike all the time, I have a totally different perspective!! Hopefully they won't always wear their dresses at the same time, but they are so excited to have matching dresses that who knows?!