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Forum > Creative Sewing > Smocking for clothes, help? ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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Smocking for clothes, help?
LDT2011
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LDT2011
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Date: 2/2/13 10:11 AM

I've not done smocking before but recently got a book that breifly explained 'direct smocking'. I've done a little sample and now would like to use this technique in a project. Can anyone suggest a good garment incorporateing smocking for a smocking novice. Adult clothes, not childrens please.

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'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

solosmocker
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Date: 2/2/13 12:02 PM

Anywhere you would use gathers you can use smocking. I am not familiar with the term "direct smocking" but English smocking requires with most blouse weight fabrics a 3 to 1 ratio. That means for many patterns you wouild have to put in more volume,ie, width of fabric. There are may types of smocking, Canadian or North American, Italian, counterchange, etc. I would be interested in knowing about the "direct" smocking.

Peasant blouses are a classic use of smocking in women's clothing but I have utilized smocked inserts just about anywhere from collars to waistlines to handbags. It is a lot easier to put an insert into a pattern piece than it is to find a pattern that utilizes all the volume that smocking can generate.

If you google Grace L. Knott you will find patterns that will be for adult women, some are nightgowns and also peasant style dresses and blouses.

ETA: I just came back to say that it appears that GRace Knott is going out of business. There are some good buys there, NA. Here is a link to the site that has her patterns and will continue to have them: http://www.amberlane.ca/atelier/atelier.html
-- Edited on 2/2/13 12:07 PM --

It can be a challenge to find suitable patterns. Good luck on your quest. I would be very interested in following your journey as it has been a lifelong goal of mine to employ smocking in adult garments. Currently I am working on a bag that has some smocking. Welcome to this very addictive process.
-- Edited on 2/2/13 12:10 PM --

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LDT2011
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LDT2011
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Date: 2/2/13 1:54 PM

I think the alternative name given was counterchange. I do have a pesant blouse pattern that's mean to have elastic to gather it so that's an option. I also have a dress pattern that asks for shirring at the waistline would smocking be an appropriate alternative?
I have some gingham material in my stash I can use.

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'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

beauturbo
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In reply to LDT2011 <<
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Date: 2/2/13 10:37 PM

Did you see this current Butterick 5861 peasant blouse? They happen to only have it in with the plus sized patterns, but it actually does start at a ladies size 8 even.

I liked the way on that one, that they used stitched across tucks to decorate it, on the non button down the front version, but also the way they have the top of the raglan sleeves and just the inset of the slit in the front of it, would adapt it's self to smocking pretty well. You actually would have a choice on that one, of smocking onto the top of the gathered sleeve or if using some kind of marked or checked fabric, for the top of the sleeves and the outside facing over the front slit, or even sleeve cuffs, you could just actually counter change your fabric inserts first, then cut to size and then even just add them in afterwards if you wished.



http://butterick.mccall.com/filebin/images/product_images/Full/B5861.jpg

Immelu
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Date: 2/3/13 11:59 AM

I made a top that incorporated a bit of smocking. Here's the review: http://sewing.patternreview.com/review/pattern/76929

I liked how the effect, but I did not like that fabric so the top went the way of goodwill. In that review, I gave a link to the line drawing...it was simple, pretty much a rectangle until I added in the smocking. It would be easy to self draft and then add the smocking.

Have fun!

LDT2011
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LDT2011
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Date: 2/3/13 2:20 PM

Hmmm..its giving me a few ideas. Maybe i can do a shirt but with puffy sleeves with a smocked cuff and maybe a small panel of smocking on the sides to bring in the waist?

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'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

LDT2011
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LDT2011
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Date: 2/3/13 5:02 PM

I have this pattern
http://butterick.mccall.com/b4685-products-4806.php?page_id=875

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'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

solosmocker
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In reply to LDT2011 <<


Date: 2/4/13 7:12 AM

That sounds like a great idea and that pattern looks like a good opportunity too.

So "direct " smocking is counterchange. Now I get it. Thank you. That one was a new term for me. Counterchange does not take up as much volume of fabric as English smocking so that is a good place to start and you won't need a pleater. Once addicted though, I am sure there will be a pleater in your future!

I like smocking on the waistline of blouses and your sleeve idea sounds good too. Do you have your fabric yet? Counterchange is so much easier on a repetitive print like a gingham or other even repeat that is small enough.

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http://lasewist.blogspot.com/

LDT2011
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LDT2011
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Date: 2/7/13 4:27 PM

I intended to use gingham but first decided to do a test on some fabric scraps...
Ended up with a white apron with smocked waistband.



close up of smocking
I know its not perfect I need to work on getting better tension. but I think not bad for my first project.

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'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

Pamela R
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In reply to LDT2011 <<


Date: 2/8/13 10:22 AM

Nice project. The gingham will make it much easier, and tension does come with experience.
Pam

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