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Alex with Smocked Insert

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

We didn’t think anything could make Alex sweeter until we added a smocked insert. With so many possible smocking designs, you can add a little smocking for boys or girls. We added this insertion to the long version, but the possibilities are endless with any of the views of Alex. Because of the way the bib is attached to the romper/skirt, we placed the smocked insertion at the bottom of the Alex bib, unlike our adaptation of the Bailey pattern where we placed the insertion in the middle of the bib. In this example, we used a lightweight shirting fabric. To add stability, we added a featherweight fusible interfacing to the entire bib to help add stability.


Children’s Corner Alex pattern Ellen McCarn Jungle Friends (adaptation to achieve 8 rows total) Pleated insertion - 45” long and deep enough for 10 rows of pleating Featherweight Interfacing (optional for lightweight fabrics such as lawn to add stability to the bib) Wonder Tape

Construction Instructions

1. Cut a block of your Alex fabric as wide and as long as your Alex bib pattern.

2. Tie off your pleated insert to the width of your bib block. To do this, first pull the pleater threads out ¼” (1-2 pleats) from each side seam. Pin one side of your insert down to an ironing board or soft surface, and tie pleater threads together 2-3 at a time. Stretch the insert to the width of your block, which is the widest part of the bib. Pin the other side of the insert keeping both sides as straight as possible. On the other side, tie the pleater threads 2-3 at a time. Unpin from board. Mark the center of the insertion.

3. Smock 8 rows on your insert.

4. Block insert by pinning to board to correct width, stretching if needed. Steam fabric using an iron 1” above the fabric. Do not place the iron directly on smocking. Allow smocking to dry completely before removing from ironing board.

5. Cut a piece of corded piping the width of the top of insert. Cut another piece of corded piping the length of the waistband. Place the piping on the insert just above the top row of smocking. Use Wonder Tape to help reposition the piping to the perfect place.

6. Stitch piping to insert using corded piping foot and using the piping stitching line as a guide. Trim top of insert to ¼” seam allowance.

7. Place bib pattern on top of insert and block, aligning the bottom edge of your insert with the pattern piece. Pin the pattern onto the fabric. Cut out the bib.

8. Sew piping around bib.

9. Sew bib lining to bib.

10. Continue with Alex instructions with step #9. When attaching the bottom edge of the bib to the waistband with a piped edge, use Wonder Tape to adjust position just below bottom row of smocking.

Adaptation by Cathy Jones

Click the printer icon below for printable version.


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