I finished smocking the insert for Annika this weekend.
It's Baily's Butterflies by Creative Keepsakes. You can see it here with the dress fabric in the background. The fabric is red with really bright butterflies, so I had to choose bright colors for the smocking, much brighter than the model on the plate. I think it turned out pretty well, though. It's a very easy plate. It is picture smocking, but it's easy, satisfying picture smocking. There are no color changes within rows and there is minimal embroidery. You have the choice to make the butterflies' bodies with a couple of straight stitches, or with a bullion knot. I chose straight stitches and it looks just fine. I think this would be an excellent plate to try if you want to try picture smocking for the first time.
I'm starting to get really excited about seeing this dress come together. Last night I piped and trimmed the insert and today I plan to cut out the dress and try to get started on construction. Stay tuned- we should have a new dress soon!