Mar 31, 2013

Smocked Sundress

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Simple serger techniques can change a plain sundress into a special one-of-a-kind sundress. Your serger pin-tuck foot makes this easy elastic smocked bodice and your serger belt loop binder turns a strip of fabric into simple shoulder straps. Add silk flowers to make your little girl a hit at any party. Download printable instructions.


  • Madeira® Aerolock premium serger thread
  • McCall’s Pattern M5613 – view C (or similar pattern)
  • Spray of silk flowers
  • Elastic thread (or very thin elastic cording for smocking the bodice)



  1. Cut pattern pieces for view C:

    1. Cut piece 9 according to pattern instructions.

    2. Cut pieces 7 and 8 on the bias for extra ease and smocking and cut twice the width and length for the size recommendation.

    3. Pattern pieces for the size 6 dress measures 14-3/4” x 3-1/4”; therefore for this dress size cut the pieces on the bias 29-1/2” x 6-1/2”.

  2. Instructions for dress straps:

    1. Cut pattern piece 9.

    2. Set up your serger with the wide belt loop binder following instructions included with the wide belt loop binder.

    3. With fabric right side up sew the dress straps in the belt loop binder according to instruction sheet in the binder.

    4. Cut the finished strap the length of the dress pattern.

    5. Set straps aside to attach to dress when pattern indicates.

  3. Instructions for floral skirt:

    1. Cut pattern piece 9. Cut 2 in solid colored skirt fabric as instructed in pattern. Cut 2 in organza.

    2. Set up your Sewing Machine. Change to the “N” presser foot. Select a flower or star decorative stitch.

  4. Flower placement:

    1. Separate the spray of silk flowers into individual petals.

    2. On the underside of the organza randomly place and pin the petals right side against the organza fabric.

    3. Then place a small piece of tear away stabilizer behind the petal.

  5. Sewing the petals to the skirt:

    1. Position the stabilizer petal organza sandwich on the machine with the organza side up.

    2. Place the center of the petal in front of presser foot.

    3. Stitch a single pattern repeat of the flower or star stitch chosen to attach the petal to the organza.

    4. Carefully remove the tear away stabilizer from the back.

    5. Finish stitching the petals randomly on the underside of the organza in the same manner as explained for the first petal.

  6. Hem organza with rolled hem on your Baby Lock serger.

  7. Hem underskirt with double 1” hem.

  8. Assemble the skirt:

    1. With right side up on both place organza and underskirt together with flowers between layers.

    2. Match side seams of underskirt and organza.

    3. Stitch ½” in from top edge to secure both skirt layers together.

    4. Finish the waist of the skirt with a 3-thread overlock stitch.

    5. Gather the skirt at the waistline.

  9. Set skirt aside to attach to bodice when instructed by pattern.

  10. The bodice pattern pieces for the size 6 dress measures 14-3/4” x 3-1/4”; therefore for this dress size cut the pieces on the bias 29-1/2” x 6-1/2”.

  11. Set your serger for a narrow rolled hem and finish the top and bottom edge with the same color thread as the underskirt

  12. On the wrong side of the fabric mark elastic placement every 3/8 inch (10mm) at the side seams of the bodice front and back.

  13. Within the seam allowance secure the elastic thread with a short (1.0mm) stitch length on your sewing machine.

  14. Rethread your Evolution serger to a narrow cover stitch (needles C2 and C3) following instructions in the operation manual.

  15. Attach the pintuck foot and cord guide according to instructions with foot.

  16. Thread white thread in the chain stitch looper

  17. Thread colored thread to match the flowers in each needle.

  18. Thread the long end of the first elastic in the cord guide.

  19. With the right side up place fabric under the pintuck foot with the first row of elastic under the channel of the foot and between the C2 and C3 needles.

  20. Stitch the cover stitch slowly over the elastic thread. The cord guide will position the elastic through the center of the cover stitch.

  21. Stitch each row until the bodice is complete.

  22. Gently pull the loose ends of the elastic until you have the desired gathering for the smocked bodice

  23. Secure the loose ends within the seam allowance

  24. Sew 5/8” seam allowance attaching the front to back bodice

  25. Flatten seam and sew a narrow zigzag of 2.5mm wide and 1.5mm long down the outside of the bodice side seams.

  26. Trim excess seam allowance and elastic ends.

  27. Top stitch seam on outside of the bodice side seams with a 3.5mm wide and 1.5mm zigzag.

  28. Set your completed bodice aside till time to assemble your dress.

  29. Assemble follow pattern instructions to attach the straps to the bodice.

  30. To attach the skirt to the bodice pin the right side of the gathered skirt to the underside of the bodice matching the side seams.

  31. The gathered seam of the skirt should be 3/8” from the lowest edge of the bodice.

  32. Set up your serger for a cover stitch (needles C2 and C3).

  33. Stitch one more row of narrow cover stitch at the waistline of the dress to attach the skirt to the bodice.

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