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Smocked Bailey

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

Smocking is always a wonderful addition to a baby’s outfit, especially when you can sew for boys or girls. Add a smocked insert to the Bailey pattern and you will want to make one for each season. In this example, we used a lightweight shirting material. To add stability, we added a featherweight fusible interfacing to the entire bib to help add stability.


Children’s Corner Bailey pattern Pleated insertion – 40” wide and deep enough for 7-8 pleating rows Featherweight Interfacing (optional for lightweight fabrics such as lawn to add stability to the bib) Wonder Tape

Prepare for Smocking

1. To prepare the insertion for smocking, release one pleat on each end to allow for a 1/4" seam allowance.

2. Pin one side of your insert down to an ironing board or soft surface, and the 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 if needed.

3. Smock 5-6 rows on your insert.

Construction Instructions

1. Cut out the bib from your fabric according to the pattern.

2. Measuring the length of the bib from the top to bottom, cut the bib in half lengthwise.

3. Sew corded piping to each of these pieces. You will sew across the top of the lower half of the bib and across the bottom of the upper half of the bib.

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. Place double sided, water soluble tape (Wonder Tape) along the seam allowance of the piping.

6. Pull the other side of the paper from the tape, fold the seam allowance to the wrong side and place the piping just above the first and just below the last row of smocking on the insert.

7. Stitch with the wrong side of the fabric up so that you can follow the previous line of stitching.

8. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4". Press the fabric away from the piping.

9. Before trimming the top of the bib, place the bib pattern on a piece of folded pattern/ tissue paper and cut a full size bib pattern. Place the new pattern on the smocked bib and trim away the excess fabric from the top of the bib.

10. Continue with the Bailey instructions.

Adaptation by Susan Whitman

Click the printer icon below for printable version.


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