How to Make a Dress With Pre-Smocked Fabric

By Heather Berkowe
Pre-smocked fabric, a variety, colors, prints
Hemera Technologies/ Images

Pre-smocked fabric is fabric that has been gathered in with the use of elastic thread. This is usually done using a smocking machine called a pleater. Usually, the smocking is applied to the top quarter of the fabric so that you can make a dress that is tight at the bodice and loose at the hem. Buying pre-smocked fabric is particularly useful because it saves you the time and trouble of either smocking the fabric or attaching elastic to the fabric.

Step 1

Measure your bodice at the top of your bust using the tape measure.

Step 2

Subtract 2-inches from that measurement.

Step 3

Lay the fabric on a table or other flat surface.

Step 4

Make a mark on the fabric along the top edge of the smocking side of the fabric, the measurement from Step 2 away from the fabric edge.

Step 5

Sew the fabric across the width of the fabric in a straight vertical line using the machine straight stitch.

Step 6

Cut the fabric 1/2-inch outside the stitch line.

Step 7

Fold the piece of fabric in half, right sides together, matching up the side seams or edges of the fabric.

Step 8

Sew the fabric using either a machine straight stitch or a serger along the fabric edge 5/8-inch from the fabric edge.

Step 9

Put the dress on and make a mark along the length of the dress where you'd like it to finish.

Step 10

Take the dress off and lay it flat on a table.

Step 11

Cut the hem parallel to the bodice of the dress, 1-inch longer than the dot that you made.

Step 12

Fold the hem back 1-inch.

Step 13

Sew the hem, 3/4-inch from the fold edge using a machine straight stitch.

Step 14

Turn the dress right-side out.

About the Author

Heather Berkowe is a fashion designer with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in fashion design. She has more than five years of experience in the fashion industry, including design work for lingerie brands and owning the inner-wear company Soussuits. Berkowe has been writing since 1997, with work appearing in the "Journal News" and Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibitions.