Gathering Threads

Cherie, the Swiss dot bishop, finished

Posted by on Jun 06 2011, in Smocking

I’ve finished “Cherie”. Put the last stitch in Saturday evening.

The deadline was tight but after promising myself I would get this UFO FO’d it’s all done and I love it.  You can see my progress over the past few weeks here and here.

(Stanley’s standing up straight; the wind is blowing the dress crooked. :))

I think this may be the favourite of all the dresses I’ve ever made. It’s just got so many details I love.  Is it wrong to want to pet a piece of clothing?  Because I want to pet this.  Badly!

I worked 84 bullions on this dress.  And 376 detached chain leaves.  That’s a lot of flowers but it was worth it.

The embroidered placket with seven small pink buttons interspersed between the embroidered rose medallions:

I hand whipped the lace to both edges, rather than attaching it by machine before sewing on the placket to the front edges as the instructions suggested and I’m glad I did it that way, rather than trying to fiddle with the lace and the button band and the smocking and getting everything straight and even.  I know myself and it just wasn’t going to happen.

The puffed sleeves.  Again, the lace here was also hand sewn.

Of course, when Ellie wears it, she’ll have on a fine batiste petticoat but the petticoat is at home in Ottawa, so I’ve modeled it on Stanley without.  Please overlook his immodesty. 🙂

And the three bands of lace around the hem.  This is the only change I made from the pattern: I left off the four rows of feather stitching.  I felt the dress was complete enough without it.

It’s a beautiful June day here and it was far too lovely to take pictures inside against a boring beige wall so Stanley and I decided to move our photoshoot outdoors.  The irises have started to bloom.  I’ve got tiny pale purple ones and big gold ones and cream ones, just starting to open.  And these ones:  rich purple with golden throats.  My favourite.

I hope it’s as beautiful where you are.


  • Oh Claire, I am speechless over this dress!! I think it is truly the most beautiful dress I’ve ever seen. It combines all my favorite things in sheer perfection. I assume you picked out all the little tufts from the area that was smocked?? I KNOW how time-consuming that is and I have never done it for a bishop before – just a smocked bodice dress!! You did an outstanding job! (I guess for being speechless, I really left a long comment! 🙂

  • Claire turned out beautiful. I know what you meant about being bishoped out, haha. I was the same way, and I had to get my done under a week! 🙂

    That Jane Ellen plate is in Sew Beautiful’s #122, I think…. it’s their pink issue.

  • Claire

    Thanks, Wendy. I definitely have that issue. I’ll have to look it up.