I was so happy to finally finish this dress for Sweet Elisabeth. I saw a ready-to-wear dress with these similar lines several months back. I wasn't aware of any patterns that were drafted to make a bishop like this....so I had to draft my own. Basically it is a bishop with a box pleat in the center front. I spent a long time agonizing over what to embroider on the pleat. Finally I decided on an "E" for Elisabeth, of course. I could not even find an "E" that was what I wanted so I free-handed that too.
The rest of the bishop dress is pretty normal except....I made this one "seamless" hoping the microcheck would not create such a moire effect...no such luck there either. I had never made a "seamless" bishop but rather always sewed the sleeves in before running it through the pleater. I think I'll stick with sewing the sleeves in from here on out. It did not make the pleating, smocking, or construction much more difficult...but I really had to "think" about it more than I like. I found myself constantly comparing the three bishop patterns that I have. I'll stick with my "tried and true" from here on out.
The final test came when Elisabeth tried it on when it was all finished. I always worry about a bishop accidentally having a "turtle neck effect." I usually block a bishop before I smock and after I smock and so far...I've never had a problem. And the best part....Elisabeth loves it and does not want to ever take it off. I call that success....until bedtime tonight!!!!