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Topic: Smocking?  (Read 1782 times)
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« on: January 21, 2012 03:27:38 PM »

Alright, so I've had a bunch of ideas for projects lately that I'd like to try, and alot of them involve smocking. One problem: I have NO CLUE how to do it!!!

Do any of you guys know how to add smocking to something? I haven't been able to find any good tutorials or instructions, but maybe I'm just searching the wrong thing.

Thanks so much!
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2012 03:18:09 AM »

I've only smocked one little Barbie dress, but to the best of my knowledge, you smock the cloth first, then assemble your garment. I remember seeing lots of kid's dress patterns at the thrift shops that were intended to be smocked. I bet you can make your own clothing patterns for smocking just by slashing and spreading the area to be smocked and factoring in how wide your smocking pleats will be. After poking around a bit, it seems you can also smock an insert, such as a dress yoke, or sleeve band. Here's two of the pages I remember seeing before:

Creative Keepsake: Beginner's Guide to Smocking
Tip Nut: The Art of Smocking

Also, you can give Canadian smocking a try. A different tutorial. It's also called lattice smocking.

If you mean smocking with a sewing machine, it's also called shirring. I've never done it, because putting elastic in my bobbin kinda scares me Tongue

« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2012 09:57:43 AM »

Thanks so much! Those links are perfect!!!!! Cheesy
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012 08:32:44 PM »

No problem! I'm glad I could help Cheesy

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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2012 09:14:58 AM »

If you are referring to English smocking you will need to pleat the fabric (either my hand--picking up dots (you can get iron on transfers) or other evenly spaced points) and then you embroider through the pleats to hold them in place.  Your piece typically needs to be 3x as wide and the finished width before you pleat it (give or take).

Good luck with it, it's a lot of fun and looks great when finished. 

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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2012 10:29:57 AM »

I used to teach smocking and cannot recommend the book 'The Joy of Smocking' by Martha Pullen enough. It really does a perfect job going over every aspect of smocking (and pleating) from start to finish with really easy to follow instructions and pictures.

Best of luck!

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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2012 03:29:03 PM »

I found a lady here through the fabric store that has done smocking for 40 years! She taught me. I also like Martha Pullen's book. Easy to follow!

You smock then assemble, I just finished a little girls dress!

« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2012 12:34:14 PM »

Oooh, a technique I haven't tried yet! I'll have to try it out.

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