Do You Smock?

I (sort of) do, and I think you should, too. It is really such a lovely technique, and it adds such a nice dimension to hand stitching. Like I mentioned in my post about my purse, I saw this tutorial on a form of smocking (at least, I’m pretty sure it’s smocking, but I’m not positive—the web page was in French), I decided to try it out.

I did a little sample, first.

It took a little guessing and trying things out, since the instructions were in French, and Google Translate just wasn’t cutting it. But after I got the idea down, it went pretty smoothly. The repetitive stitching may be tedious to some, but I like it, for the most part it is relaxing and a nice activity to do while watching a good movie.

I really liked both sides, actually, so I set about trying to figure out a way to get the results of the “back” without all the loose threads hanging out on that side.

I did pretty good, but I still have to perfect it. Maybe I’ll share that with you sometime.

One part of smocking that I did not enjoy was marking up the fabric. Especially when it came time to make my purse; it seemed like it took almost as much time to mark up the fabric as it did to sew the thing. I decided to try a different way of marking.

I made myself a little marking template (and you can too, if you want to try this kind of smocking). I just drew out a grid of half inch squares and punched holes with an awl in the corner of each square.

Then I simply laid this template down on my fabric and made little dots with a fabric marker at each hole. This method worked pretty well; it was much faster than drawing the grid out for each piece of fabric, and it saved the ink of my disappearing pen, but it wasn’t perfect. The fabric I used was dark and very shifty, so it was hard to keep the fabric from moving underneath the template, and the pen I used (light blue) didn’t show up super great. Anyways, that’s my two cents on that.

I have since seen a very detailed and helpful posts about how to get started smocking, and I think they’re great. Definitely check it out if you’re interested in learning more about smocking.

If you have any tips about smocking, I would love to hear them. Have a great weekend. Be sure to check in next week, I have a fun project to share with you, and I think I’ll be doing a little giveaway to celebrate my 100th post. See you then.

2 thoughts on “Do You Smock?

  1. An easier way to mark the fabric is to use “Knott’s Dots”. It’s an iron-on grid of dots for smocking. You can get them lots of places online. If you really get into smocking for dresses for your girls, you might want to buy a pleater. and her “Sew Beautiful” magazine are a good place to start if you’re looking for information on heirloom sewing techniques.

    • Thanks for the tips. I’ll have to check out that site, and I’ll definitely keep my eye out for Knott’s Dots the next time I go shopping for supplies. Thanks!

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