First, this is the organza that I found in my antique stash and just had to use. I'm using this on Riley's, too, but in a VERY different way.
I put it through the pleater. It really went through easily. I was afraid that the flowers would not go through so well, but no problem, thank goodness!
I first smocked with white, then I did a cross-over stitch in rows. I used lavender, then green, then yellow, then pink, then back to yellow, green and ended with the lavender. These are all colors that were in the flowers on the fabric. There were red flowers, too, but I wanted to emphasize the pastels. When I came to a flower, I just smocked around it. So, they became part of the design. This fabric also has a double row of what looks like entredeaux between each row of flowers. Entredeaux is a ladder looking trim that is used in heirloom sewing to edge lace or whatever when inserting it or when attaching two pieces of lace, etc... You can see the holes near the center of this smocking.
Then I decided to match the rows of smocking with rows of the same colors of ribbon across the back. I left these rows of ribbon very long so they can tie together to make a bow in the back, like a sash. See one of the pictures below.
I used all French seams on this dress, even on the sleeves and slip, etc... Everywhere.For the neck and sleeves I cut a bias strip. I stitched it on with my machine and finished it by hand to make a narrow band. The sleeves are gathered mostly right in the center at the bottom which gives a different sort of look. I hope they look good on Emory like this. Then, I gathered a strip of the fabric, without flowers or the entredeaux design, on both edges. This strip of fabric was triple the width of the skirt. I probably would have made it fuller if I had it to do over again. I then sewed real entredeaux to both edges, and then I sewed lace beading to the outer edge of the entredeaux. I thought about weaving lavender ribbon through the beading, but decided that I liked the openess of the holes. When I attached the entredeaux I trimmed it very close to the stitching. Then, I sewed this band of gathered fabric with lace edging onto the skirt of the dress and then trimmed the fabric from behind it. This is kind of scary, because Im always afraid I'll cut something I'm not supposed to cut. I usually use my applique scissors, but I couldn't find them. I need them, so I have to look again!! I used interfacing at the back opening to support the buttons and button holes. I just realized that I took this picture before I made the buttonholes or sewed on the buttons. I put three buttons. Emory won't stay still for long, so I hope 3 buttons and a bow won't be too torturous for her and her mom.
This is a wing needle. It makes holes in you fabric when you sew with it. I used it to hem the slip. A lot of heirloom stitches have holes. It is reminiscent of the drawn work that you see on many antique things. For the slip, which Emory can actually wear as a sundress since she lives in the desert, and it's hot all year long, I used a very soft, thin, cotton, fabric that is kind of like dotted swiss, but has little tufts of thread instead of dots. I made bloomers because Emory is 18 months old and is a real climber. I finished the arm holes and neck with a shell stitch. To do this I made a very small rolled hem and used a hemstitch or blind stitch so that the stitch that extends out went off the edge of the fabric. I also tightened my tension. I wasn't sure how the lavender would look under the dress and almost went with white, but I like it. I hope Emory does, too.