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Forum > Creative Sewing > Smocking ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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Smocking
Anyone do it?
birdmcfarland
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birdmcfarland
Intermediate
Pennsylvania USA
Member since 8/1/08
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Date: 3/9/12 12:49 PM

I just sent for this pattern because I just totally loved the dress:


Have any of you done smocking? Is it difficult? Can you recommend any tutorials? I love the look of this dress but I've never tried smocking.

I just went to Fabric Mart today and got this JCrew voile fabric for the dress:

clotheshorse
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clotheshorse  Friend of PR
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British Columbia CANADA
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Date: 3/9/12 2:04 PM

Martha Pullen teaches smocking and has books available. She may have some tutorials on her website.

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Viking D1, 1+, Pfaff 7570, Singer 503 Rocketeer, 66, 15-91, 301, Featherweight 6 Flock, Babylock Enlighten & CS and Pfaff Creative Performance

ggexpansive

ggexpansive
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Alabama USA
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In reply to birdmcfarland


Date: 3/9/12 2:23 PM

What a cute dress. I have only done a small amount of smocking, but near the interfacing sewing stores have a thin fabric that has red dots to help you keep track of your rows. This is so very helpful! I just tacked it in the corners to the back of my fabric and smocked through it. You can also use a fabric marker to write your pattern on the rows.

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if a little voice inside says dont buy that fabric you have so much, you know your not pushing the cart with the loud wheel to the cutting counter fast enough!

birdmcfarland
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birdmcfarland
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Date: 3/9/12 3:28 PM

thanks for the help. I thought that dress would be a good first-attempt because it's so free flowing and isn't fitted at all, that way I can put all my effort into the smocking. I can't wait to try it!

NhiHuynh
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NhiHuynh
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In reply to birdmcfarland


Date: 3/10/12 1:16 AM

I took a smocking class last year. My stitches were lopsided and funny looking at first but it didn't take long to get it nice and even. The class instructor, Vaunce, said that people do send her pieces of fabric to do the smocking pleat (not sure of the exact name) for a small fee and mail it back to you. That's an option if you don't want to do that part yourself.

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I finally have a blog. www.detectivehoundstooth.com :)

gramma b
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gramma b
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Date: 3/10/12 8:12 AM

Jealous that you can actually go there and see/touch the fabric!
Tell them to open regional outlets!

KathySews
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KathySews  Friend of PR
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Michigan USA
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Date: 3/10/12 9:03 AM

funny you posted this. I have been thinking I want to smock the top/shoulder area of my tnt t-shirt kind of like this but only at the shoulders. Of course I have never done smocking or even know where to start, so I am watching to see what you learn.

gramma b
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gramma b
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In reply to KathySews


Date: 3/10/12 9:33 AM

that's gorgeous, my dil's favorite (but un-affordable) line.
wonder if you could fake it with a piece overlay?

asafina
asafina
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In reply to birdmcfarland


Date: 3/10/12 10:40 AM

I've done a fair amount of smocking for my daughter when she was a little younger. I always wanted to incorporate smocking into clothing for myself but never got around to.

A few points I can share. I think smocking is very easy if you are handy with hand sewing in general. I got good results right away, with no classes, just written (with pictures) instructions (can easily be found on the web; or possibly will come with the pattern). Here's a good resource site for smocking (among other things):
http://www.everythingsewing.net/smocking.htm

The tricky thing is pleating the fabric prior to smocking. You can do it by hand or by a pleater. I never did it by hand and, unless you are well of patience, I don't advise it. Find some shop or individual that will pleat the fabric for you. Any heirloom sewing shop will do it for a reasonable fee.

Then, the fit. I feel the drawing for the pattern is misleading. You will get a sizable poof in the area between the smocked part and the waist sash. It may turn out okay depending on how soft/crisp your fabric is. Just something you should be aware of beforehand.

Hope that helps. Good luck with your project. Smocking is adorable.
-- Edited on 3/10/12 10:45 AM --

KSC
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In reply to birdmcfarland


Date: 3/11/12 4:09 PM

I am an expert in smocking, having smocked for over 40 years. I also collect vintage patterns with smocking. I'll be happy to help you with your project. 8-)
When you receive your pattern it will probably (hopefully) have a transfer with rows of dots on it. There are different types of smocking so I'll need to know what is in the pattern. As someone mentioned, the process of smocking provides fullness but there are techniques to get around the mu-mu look that will result! It depends too on your bust size and the pattern design.
Let me know how I can help. Kris Curtis
kristinecurtis@yahoo.com

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