It took longer to complete this dress than to incubate the child who's wearing it.
The process was humbling.
I taught myself to sew in high school. My first dress was a flower sundress made of brown rayon blend. It fell apart the first time I washed it, but it didn't matter. I was hooked. After we got married I invested $100 in a Brother sewing machine from Walmart and set to work in earnest.
Those were the days before easy-to-find independent designers. Those were the days before sewing blogs and YouTube.
Those were the days I spent hours bent over my dining room table, decipering big-box patterns and trying to figure out what it meant to "understitch." (Didn't figure that one out until recently, by the way.) Somehow I managed to learn how to sew, and now I'd consider myself proficient.
"Sure, I can teach myself to smock!" I thought. "How hard can it be?"
Ha. Ha ha. Hahahahaha. Hahahahahahahahahaha.
It turned out better than the first time around, and it's wearable at least. Even better, now I've gathered some resources (including tutorials linked in the comments by a helpful reader named Elizabeth) and am ready to tackle another bishop.
I'm determined the next one will be worthy of this precious face.