The Smockery, is carrying on the craft of handmade clothing for infants and children. The signature dress is a handmade, hand smocked bishop dress that has been a Charleston tradition for nearly forty years. It is classic in its style as well as its assembly. No one else in America hand smocks in this way. I also cut, assemble and monogram empire dresses, rompers and john-johns. The fleece blankets, eyelet panties and bibs make wonderful personalized gifts that showcases the gift-givers part in the designing of the present.
These gifts and clothing create nostalgia for a time when little kids were dressed like little kids, not tiny adults. Baby clothes have buttons, not zippers, and kids wear knee socks and bows in their hair. The clothes are timeless and meant to be passed down from child to child and generation to generation. These dresses are meant to be worn and played in, so things will be spilled and ground in, but all Smockery dresses can be washed and dried with your regular wash. They are sturdy enough to play in, yet pretty enough to be worn on a special occasion.
There is a great sense of pride in continuing these styles. At one point, the bishop dresses were sold in over 300 boutiques in the south. If you go through most family albums with little girls, you will find these dresses, worn for a birthday party, on Christmas day, or picture day at school. It is amazing to be a part of that history, and to see the memories that come back to people when they recognize the dresses.
I feel very fortunate to have trained with some of the original seamstresses, smockers and owners of The Smockery while I worked for the company in Charleston. Now that I have moved it to my home in Virginia, I am determined to keep up the level of quality and pride that goes into each and every outfit. I hope you all enjoy the clothing as much as I enjoy making it.