Info on What you need to Make a Smocked Bishop Dress
After numerous requests we have gathered together all the supplies
you need for making a bishop dress, history and a short version on how
to make a bishop dress. (Please bear with us as we are working on
developing this page. Check back soon for more information.)
A smocked bishop dress, as the heirloom sewing world refers to it, has
evolved from the past as a comfortable garment to wear.
A Bishop Pattern in the size range you need
GK#17 Peasant Bishop
The original bishop pattern now revised to include all sizes.
Short Sleeves, Long Sleeves and new button down front version
All the Bishop Patterns We Carry
Neckline Shaping Guide - Very important.
Bishop, Yoke & Collar Guide is a versatile aid
to use from the start to finishing of the smocked garment, but it Bishop
or Yoke, Collar or Insert. Neckline sizings are from an 18" doll sized
neck, Preemie/Newborn up to Adult. Actual size is 14" x 14".
Also included is a Scallop Guide for Hems and Collars
for scallop sizes 1", 1 1/2", 2", 2 1/2", 3", 3 1/2" & 4".
Ellen McCarn's Smock & Block Guide
Patterns that include a neckline guide are Pat Garretson
and Ellen McCarn and each issue of Australian Smocking & Embroidery
that contains a bishop dress pattern comes with a neckline guide.
All other bishop patterns require a separate neckline blocking guide .
The bishop style can be made in several ways besides the primary dress.
Here are the many variations of a bishop dress available with the Chery William's Bishop
CW#102 Bishop - Girls: 2-6 or 6-12 years
CW Bishop $14.00
The bishop dress is one of the staple designs in the smocking world. You really can't go wrong in making one for your little girl. There are so many variations possible depending upon the fabric you use from fancy to a regular dress. For older girls the waisted and dropwaist bodice styles are especially flattering as well as the smocked bishop blouse.
Your style choices are:
- Sleeveless overlay collar dress
- Angel sleeve dress
- Short sleeve dress
- Long sleeve dress
- Short sleeve Blouse/Dropwaist Bodice
- Long sleeve Blouse/Dropwaist Bodice
- Button-down the front or back or placket closure.
Two Size Ranges: 2-6 years; 6-12 years
The bishop book from Country Bumpkin comes with
patterns as well as a neckline guide.
You will also need a smocking design which has been created with the
uniqueness of a bishop dress in mind, that is with a flowing pattern on the
bottom rather than closed up with a border on top and bottom which is suited
for an insert or yoke dress. On the examples below see how the bottom
of the design opens up and lends itself to the flowing out of pleats that
bishop dresses and blouses are famous for. These designs can be used
for children as well as adults as the patterns repeat.
Two new designs from Ellen McCarn - $3.50 each
Two lovely designs created for the smocked collar, a variation of the round
smocked bishop dress/blouse.
A smocked collar appeared as a variation in the Chery Williams pattern for
adding a special touch on a smocked dress. It was the fashion in the south to make smocked collars but it was always taught by 'rote' rather than in a pattern, so it was very convenient to have it in pattern form. There are two ways to do
a smocked collar upon a bishop dress. The first is to make it detachable
to make a dress more fancy for special occasions. Add a beautiful lace
edging to the bottom of the collar piece makes for a lovely mantle effect,
perfect in church settings. Or if you prefer you can pleat the collar along with the dress.
This is bit of an advanced technique in pleating as the layers may
shift unless you have totally basted the collar to the dress. Chery
did an excellent job in instructing you on the proper technique. Her
instructions can be found in her bishop pattern (shown above) The
detachable bishop collar can be used on any style under dress, wether it
be a basic square yoke, a-line or basque waistline. (show images of
all of these). You can also consider a detachable collar as an investment
in patience when the gravy spills on the dress because you were able to take
it off before dinner. My daughter's favourite dress was one that I found
in of all places a chance trip to the Salvation Army. It was a Liberty
of London fabric, tiny floral print in shades of French Blue and Grey with
tiny peachy salmon flowers. At the neckline was an attached smocked
collar, attached to the neckline of a drop-waisted dress with a ribbon and
bow just at the hipline, the skirt flaired out. It fell just below
the knee of my tall daughter.
What is the difference between a Basic Square Yoke Dress and a Bishop? How
did each of these styles evolve?
The bishop dress evolved from the bishop neckline worn as nightwear or
undergarments. The neckline was easily controlled by a string, bias tape
or ribbon. Today we can use a combination of elastic or simple bias band,
if the neckline is secured or fastened by a button or ribbon.
One of the main differences between the bishop dress and the Basic Square
Yoke Dress is how the sleeves are set into the garment and that it is partially
constructed by sewing the sleeves to the backs and front before pleating.
For ladies we also have bishop blouse patterns available. Please click here to see our offerings Ladies Patterns We Carry.
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