Vertical Smocked Sundress

Kathy Dykstra’s “Melody” Vertical Smocked Sundress is a versatile pattern for summer! Kathy shares three versions of this dress in our new Summer 2023 issue of Classic Sewing magazine: the original smocked sundress, an heirloom variation, and a whimsical adaptation featuring ruffles and piping. These dresses are the epitome of summer: cool, breezy, and oh so stylish! Though the pattern is the same, the selection of fabrics, threads, and embellishments fashion one-of-a-kind creations. This dress pattern allows you to try your hand at several techniques: hand embroidery, smocking, piping, heirloom sewing, and more. Let’s take a look at these three beautiful dresses:

Vertical Smocked Sundress

Melody Vertical Smocked Sundress

The blue floral dress shown above is adorned with cast-on flowers, while blue piping and smocking enhance the colors of the floral fabric selection.

Vertical Smocked Sundress

Heirloom Version

The white batiste tone-on-tone dress features a lined bodice surrounded by entredeux and gathered French lace. Bullion roses embellish the smocking and lace insertion adorns the straps. The space left between the two vertical smocked sections creates a puffing or ruched effect. Piping at the waist, along with a hem band consisting of entredeux and five pieces of lace, creates a more elaborate finished product.

Vertical Smocked Sundress - with ruffles and piping

Melody with Ruffles & Piping

From fanciful to whimsical, this striped seersucker creation combines three soft-hued colors—mint, blue, and pink—perfect for those warm summer days. Hand embroidered three-dimensional cast-on flowers and leaves enrich the white smocked area. Yellow flower centers add a touch of contrasting color. In a change from the norm, the smocking is inserted with the pleats running horizontally, creating vertical puffing down the middle of the insert. A mint striped ruffle is added to the top of the bodice as well as to the hemline and is bordered with pink piping.

How lovely it is to create such a varied summer wardrobe from one adorable pattern! The pattern, sizes 3–7, and instructions for each version of the Vertical Smocked Sundress can be found in the issue downloads for our Summer 2023 issue of Classic Sewing magazine.

(Photography by Jennifer Tarkington and Mac Jamieson)