Isn’t this little honeycomb smocked baby dress just precious? Designed by Kris Curtis and featured in issue #97 of Australian Smocking & Embroidery, “Dimity” represents a style that might have been worn during the 1930s or 40s and employs a variety of vintage sewing methods. The square neck opening frames baby’s face with a bias edging and a touch of lace, while the sash at the back is hand hemmed using a simple mock rolled hem stitch. This hemming technique, traditionally used to hem scarves and handkerchiefs, is easy to do and results in a fine double hem. Follow AS&E’s tutorial below to learn this technique (the pattern – sizes 6, 12 and 18 months – and complete instructions for sewing this dress may be found in AS&E #97):
Note: Be sure to only pull the thread to tighten the stitches after working the stitch into the single layer at the base of the hem. Contrasting thread is used here for photographic purposes.
1. On one long edge, fold under 1/4 inch (5mm) and press.
2. Knot the thread. Bring it to the front through the fold close to the end.
3. Take a small stitch through the single layer of fabric at A.
4. Take a small stitch through the folded edge at B.
5. Take a small stitch through the single layer of fabric at C.
6. Work two more stitches in the same manner.
7. Pull the thread until the fabric folds on itself.
8. Continue working in this manner along the edge.
9. Sash point. Hem one edge of the strip. Fold the end as shown ensuring that the raw edges are together. Tack, close to the edge.
10. Fold under 1/4 inch (5mm) and press. Tack the fold in place if required.
11. Repeat steps 1 – 7 through the double layer. Remove the tacking. Trim the end.
12. Continue working the mock rolled hem along the second long edge.
Be sure to check out Australian Smocking & Embroidery for more great sewing tips and tutorials!