How to Bind a Bishop Neckline


Australian Smocked Beginnings Dress

We’re just a couple weeks away from our summer licensing retreats in Palm Harbor, FL  – The Perfect Mix: Sew, Serge, Embellish July 21-26 and Children’s Garment Construction July 28-Aug. 2. I can’t wait to see all of you who are joining us! Don’t forget we’re also having an Afternoon Tea with Martha Pullen that will take place between the two events on Monday, July 27. Registrants for both licensing events will get in free and the general public can purchase tickets. I invite you to join us for this special afternoon with Martha that will also include a shopping area and great mini clinics from our licensing faculty and the teaching staff of Keep Me in Stitches, our partnering Baby Lock dealer.

We have a beautiful new project kit available in our store. The “Australian Smocked Beginnings Dress” was designed by Australian Smocking & Embroidery editor Susan O’Connor and was featured in issue #73 of AS&E. The bishop dress can be made in sizes 3, 6 and 12 months and is perfect for a christening or other special occasion. The simple smocking design uses only wave and cable stitches, and embroidered roses decorate the lower edge of the smocking. Lace trims the edges of the smocked sleeves, and the neck is finished with binding. Follow these steps from the magazine to learn how to bind a neckline as seen on this dress:

Note: The neckline binding should be smooth and even. Backsmocking the holding row with stem or outline stitch will hold the pleats upright and prevent them from being flattened when the binding is stitched in place. To prepare the binding, fold the bias strip in half along the length and press. Mark the center of the strip and center front of the neckline.


1. With right sides together and matching centers and raw edges, pin the binding to the center front.

2. With 3/8″ (1cm) extending at each end, pin the binding at each back fold.


3. Carefully adjust the pleats to ensure they are even. Pin the binding at the armhole seams. Pin the remainder of the binding in place.

4. Tack the binding to the neckline along the stitchline ensuring that the stitchline is an even distance from the smocking.


5. Stitch along the stitchline. Trim the seam to 3/16″ (4mm). Fold in the ends, then fold the binding firmly to the back aligning the folded edge with the previous stitchline. Pin and handstitch in place. Press.

6. Completed bishop neckline.

Check out our Australian Smocked Beginnings Dress Kit for the materials you need to create this dress! We also just brought back our popular Vintage Tucked Lace Gown Kit (sizes 6-9 months)! This gown designed by Laurie Anderson is a reproduction of an antique baby dress and would also be lovely for a christening or other special occasion.

We pray for the men and women serving our nation in harm’s way, and for all of you.

Much Love to You All & May God Bless,
Kathy McMakin

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