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What stitch is this?
meleliza
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meleliza  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/2/13 9:39 AM

I found This beautiful dress pattern and ordered it. It came with smocking lines and brief instructions. But I love the example of the stitch pattern they use in this link as the background image for the main page. I even ordered the fabric they use because it's so lovely! Ive never seen batiste in colors so vibrant before. I've been practicing and trying to figure out what kind of stitch combo is used here. Can anyone help me figure it out?

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Melanie

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In reply to meleliza <<
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Date: 8/3/13 10:45 AM

I'm pretty sure this is the wave stitch. See it diagramed here in Lesson 6. In the dress photo they have worked several rows close together, one above the other.Basic Stitches

Hope this helps. Smocking is HIGHLY addictive.

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Juliane

beauturbo
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Date: 8/3/13 10:48 AM

I think that one is kind of an optical illusion. At first glance it looks a bit like hand smocking, but when I look closer it looks like it's not.

What I really think it is instead, is a bishops or ragland sleeve like peasant top, with just a regular gathered neck and sleeves onto a sewn band. But while sewing the gathered part to the band, they inserted and overlaid a piece lace on top of it. And that particular lace, had a pointed configuration to the bottom edge of it. Then after wards, I think they maybe just went in back by hand, and more invisible, caught the edge of the lace points, with a bit of hand stitching on the underside of it.

If so, and if I'm not wrong, it's pretty neat and really does give at first the impression of hand smocking on it. I think it does that, because it's so well color matched, to the base fabric. Maybe even the base fabric was white and so was the lace, and then they both were over-dyed afterwards even?

The reason I think all that, is the what I think is "faux" smocking there, looks too thick and just not how just "folds" of real fabric would even look. Also if you look at the gathering beneath it, I don't think above it is even real stitches into the fabric at all, just since other than at the points of it, it does not seem to be attached, and fastened down, to the fabric beneath it at all.

I think it's pretty neat though, and if I ever see a piece of lace or netting that looks about the same, I'm actually going to buy it, and just try it on something.

Elona
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In reply to meleliza <<


Date: 8/3/13 12:00 PM

According to the pattern description here, as you say, the sewist does the smocking herself. So far I have not found a review which describes the stitch that was used in this case, but there must be one on some French sewing site.

However, it does look like the pattern on the closeup of the neckline of the aqua gown about a third of the way down the page. The smocker describes the top row as 'baby waves' big enough to let her pass a ribbon through them.

The last image on this page shows a lavender pattern that the blogger calls 'baby waves.'



-- Edited on 8/3/13 12:26 PM --

meleliza
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meleliza  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/3/13 1:26 PM

Thanks for that link! I think it may possibly be small waves done in diamonds or what not. The pattern includes lines for smocking and the instructions it came with are for hand pleating but don't give a specific stitch pattern. It is just a peasant style top. But isn't that what Bishop dresses are anyway?

I wondered if it wasn't a trim used instead of smocking, but I a,so wonder if the French simply have a different way of doing the smocking than we do. The fabric is not dyed. I ordered some because I love the color so much. The website describes how the designer commissioned her own line of fabrics to reflect her aesthetic. While I read French passably, I can't write it, so I can't really require either. The pattern is also brand new, so there aren't any reviews yet.

I've been practicing with my hand pleating and the results are a little different than the industrial perfect ones you get from a pleated. My experience in England tells me that they prefer a more hand made aesthetic compared to the professional aesthetic that most of us prefer. They do more sewing by hand than I think the typical American would and I'm guessing that the French feel the same way? The instructions that came with it are certainly more lassiez-faire than any American instructions I've found. This is refreshing! I'm finding that it isn't so hard as many traditionalists would have you believe, that you can get pretty results with hand pleating and that smocking can be done in a way that people might actually want to wear today.

I've been making a few sample swatches on scraps and I'm about ready to dive into the full blouse. Just a few rows of little wave diamonds I think. The coral batiste is really lovely!

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Melanie

Elona
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In reply to meleliza <<
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Date: 8/3/13 1:42 PM

I did a couple of hand-smocked baby dresses back in the day, using an antique McCall's pattern, and they came out really cute. It was fun to see the simple, rather open pattern develop, and frankly, I preferred the effect to the dense and almost mechanized ones that seem popular now.

Do post pictures when the project is done, will you?

sewme47
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Date: 8/3/13 6:41 PM

Elona, I totally agree. Traditional English smocking is beautiful in a delicate sort of way. It's gorgeous on heirloom garments, lovely on toddlers' outfits, and so pretty on little girls' dresses. It even looks appropriate on women's wear when used sparingly. I have a nightgown that I smocked about 15 years ago, and it still looks fashionable.

meleliza
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Date: 8/4/13 9:54 AM

Yes, that's exactly what I mean. It's nice to see work like that look like it was done by hand. After all, if I want it to look like a machine, I could buy it at a store. I will absolutely post a picture when I'm done.

Yesterday, I worked up a sample (I'm practicing still) with some chambray from my scrap bin and used a gold-ish thread like in jeans and it looked way cool. I've found that it doesn't actually need to be scary precise to look good the way so many instructions say. As long as I keep the rows even, a few wonky stitches here and there are no big deal.

I plan to wash up that "rose peche" batiste today or tomorrow and cut the pattern. We're going down the shore next week, so I have to start packing now, but maybe I can get it prepared and take the smocking down the shore with me.

It's a little like lace knitting - lots of work and it doesn't look like much. But when you remove the pleating threads and block, it all opens up like magic. I'm totally hooked!

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Melanie

RobbieK
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Date: 8/4/13 9:58 AM

The pink dress is just several rows of a basic 3 or 4 step wave, which probably cover a row. The lavender dress is similar, but from what I can see, those waves just cover a half row. What ever you decided to do, it will be beautiful and fun!

bestgrammy
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In reply to beauturbo <<


Date: 8/4/13 3:57 PM

Quote: beauturbo
But while sewing the gathered part to the band, they inserted and overlaid a piece lace on top of it. And that particular lace, had a pointed configuration to the bottom edge of it. Then after wards, I think they maybe just went in back by hand, and more invisible, caught the edge of the lace points, with a bit of hand stitching on the underside of it.




The reason I think all that, is the what I think is "faux" smocking there, looks too thick and just not how just "folds" of real fabric would even look. Also if you look at the gathering beneath it, I don't think above it is even real stitches into the fabric at all, just since other than at the points of it, it does not seem to be attached, and fastened down, to the fabric beneath it at all.

This is exactly what I thought about it. Still looks like that to me...but I don't know about smocking since high school "home ec" on gingham.
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