The Four Year Bishop Dress

Four years ago my neice was three. Inspired by our southern home I decided it would be fun to learn to smock and to make her a little Bishop dress.  So I got right on it and took a class at a local quilt shop. I actually enjoyed the process, even though my hand cramped up a few times. Sometimes in the evenings it is nice to have a little project to work on here and there; I suppose that is why people take up knitting and such. After learning the basics I tackled the Bishop dress and finished up the smocking. It took countless hours and I know I began to doubt I would finish before my neice moved into the next size.

Some friends and I even joked that maybe I would finish in time for my unknown future little girl.

Turns out that was rather prophetic.

My darling toddler son found my bag of smocked dress parts and all the needles, threads and scissors. You can guess what happened next. Yup. I randomly walk into my bedroom one day to find the scissors attached to the front of the unfinished dress. To his credit, it was a rather smallish hole, and quite readily hidden by the print. But that tiny hole was enough to deflate my enthusiasm.

So the smocked dress parts were shoved into the bag and put on a shelf…and forgotten.

Yesterday afternoon I decided that I wanted to make my daughter an Easter outfit – a bit late I may add – especially as I had no plan. What is it with Easter and new outfits? I am not sure. It was then that little dress popped back into my mind. I found the bag, pulled out the dress and tried to decipher the directions.

Note to self: don’t let four years pass when sewing up a complicated pattern.

I finally gave up on the directions as I couldn’t even figure out which part of the pattern I was to be using. So if you are a true, blue Bishop dress connoisseur I beg you, please don’t judge. What is one to do? Especially as I had the itch to get it done right now.

It came out a bit big. And I made up the sleeves as she was really looking like she was in a muumuu….but I am satisfied. And glad to be done. Sorry, my dear niece, it just wasn’t meant to be!


  1. Kerry
    Apr 25, 2011

    Good job!

    I love to smock and need to so some for Grace. She has been just wearing all the things I made for Avery but needs some of her own :)

  2. MMOM
    Apr 25, 2011

    Just so adorable! I just love it on Hanna! Nice job! can you teach me ????

  3. Addy
    Apr 28, 2011

    I’m so glad little h got the dress. It was hers all along, but we just didn’t know it! :)

  4. joanna
    Apr 28, 2011

    i can’t believe you finished it. wow. it is a beautiful art-filled piece and she looks perfect in it. well done.

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