Smocked Peasant Blouse

August 2007

The pattern is Simplicity 5799, which is currently out of print.

I've had this pattern for quite some time, as well as the fabric to go with the pattern; I just never quite got around to making it at the time of purchase.

While cleaning up and re-organizing my sewing room, I rediscovered the pattern & fabric. I asked Rene if she still liked the pattern & fabric and to my satisfaction, she still did. She asked for the view with the shirred midriff. We substituted smocking for the elastic thread shirring that the pattern called for and lengthened it about 6 inches. The smocking measurement on the cuffs is a bit loose, as I didn't have her present at the time ... we both over-estimated what her wrist measurement was. Ah well .. she doesn't seem to mind terribly and I told her that if she does want it tightened up, I can always put elastic thread in the cuffs. The smocking around the midriff fit perfectly; I was pleased.

The fabric is Silkessence from Joann's; this pleated very nicely indeed.

The smocking pattern "Sampler" by Julia Golson of Atlanta, GA. This pattern was designed for a Bishop, but I used just the wave section, as I wanted the pleats to be released on both sides of the design to accomodate the bustline and the hips of the sewing pattern.

I used DMC's "Antique Effects" in silver (color E415), as Rene wanted a metallic silver color. The floss is very wiry and I'm not sure if I'd use it again for clothing. Once I started the smocking I realized that the knots on the inside could be irritating, but Rene says not (so far at least). I let her know that if she decides, after wearing it a while, if her torso is irritated by the knots, I can put a tricot lining in the smocked area.

Overall, I'm pleased with the outcome and very pleased to have another smocking project. :-)