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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Perfect Party Dresses: 12 Superb Dresses to Smock and Sew edited by Susan O’Connor; Interweave Publishing


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With beautiful photographs to inspire you, Perfect Party Dresses will be your guide to making party dresses dreams come true.

The easy to follow instructions for 12 glorious smocked dresses and 3 petticoats include more than 180 step-by-step photographs, full colour smocking graphs, detailed construction diagrams and multi-size liftout patterns.

Learn how to expertly tie a perfect sash bow, and discover helpful hints and tips for finishing touches and care of smocked and embroidered garments. Full-color smocking graphs, detailed construction diagrams and multi-size lift-out patterns.

Learn how to expertly tie a perfect sash bow and discover helpful hints and tips for finishing touches and taking care of smocked and embroidered garments. From birthdays to weddings, this beautiful collection of stunning smocking designs in sizes 2-10 years is sure to provide something spectacular for every special occasion in a young lady's life.

My Review

There is absolutely no better way to celebrate a party than with a new party dress. Every girl MUST know this right? The book Perfect Party Dresses is a beautiful collection of 12 really gorgeous dresses for little girls. Most of them have a very vintage feel to the look, which are all striking!

These dresses are beautiful, but they aren’t for beginners. The patterns are advanced, so you’ll need some experience with dress making before tackling any of the projects in this book! The instructions are very detailed and easy to follow along with. Each dress has at least 3-4 really amazing pictures of the dresses on girls so you can get a grasp of the flow of the material and how it looks once it’s completed.

Each dress has the ages that the dress is targeted to (ex. 6-8 years old) so that you know before you have to take measurements. It shows the fabric, notions, AND thread needed to complete each dress. I really appreciate this because I’ve started projects before and had to stop mid-way through because the book or instruction didn’t list a certain notion or a type of thread that I didn’t have and was essential to making it.

The full pattern to every dress is on a huge pullout sheet at the back of the book. This makes it 10x easier for me. I would rather trace patterns from a full pattern. I dislike scanning the smaller patterns and having to zoom and piece the pattern together with paper! That way there are NO creases or pieces running off printer paper. :/

Some of the dresses include embroidery (usually on the bib or sleeves of the dress). Even if you aren’t sure how to embroider the instructions take you step by step (picture and written word).


I love that the back of the book has instructions on how to make sleeve puffs, how to finish a bodice with lace, and how to care for/clean the dresses after they are made. It also gives detailed instructions on French seams, neckline piping, sashes, and so much more!


This book isn’t for beginners, you’ll need sewing experience before whipping anything up out of this book. If you do have the experience, this book is definitely a book you’ll want to add to your collection! If you KNOW someone who enjoys sewing, this book would make an amazing holiday present for them!

Get it: Perfect Party Dresses $22.73

Interweave, Barnes & Noble, & Amazon

About the Author

Susan O'Connor is a world-renowned designer, teacher and the former editor of Australian Smocking & Embroidery (AS&E), and her magnificent smocked garments have been published for 20 years.


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This post was written by:

Jess is the creator of Stylish Southern Mama + Southern Rambles. She is a freelance writer + designer, Social Media Marketer, and Journalist. She has 2 amazing kids, Aidan and Adisyn, and has been with their dad Adam for 12 years, and has 2 amazingly adorable dogs; Harley + Cheyanne! :)

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