Jlynn asked me in her comment if she could use smocking on the above Burda Pattern, 05/2010 #125. Absolutely! If you have followed my blog for a while you know that I love the look of smocking and love to incorporate it into adult garments and hand bags. Here are a few things I've learned. Smocking can be used in most places where there is gathering or elastic. Most fabrics smock up with a ratio of three to one. In other words, unless the fabric is heavy, for each inch of smocking you will need to pleat up 3 inches of fabric. Look at the drawing above, JLynn's choice. You can see that the sleeves are eased in with no gathering into the armscye. That means there is not much width of fabric in this sleeve. So you will not have that 3-1 ration needed. Here is what I would do: I would double a strip of fabric so that you have a folded edge. That folded edge corresponds to the bottom edge of the ruffle. The strip would be the width of the ruffle and the gathered area above. It would be cut 3 times wider that the sleeve. I would then pleat it up with maybe just 4 or 5 rows. This will automatically make your ruffle and give you a pleated area to smock. Smock that band and then attach it with piping to the sleeve. The bottom edge of the sleeve should be gathered into the piping to look right. This will take some fooling and fudging but nothing difficult.
On the waist area I would use a different tactic. It would not work to cut the bodice three times wider, so instead we will beef up the area to be smocked. I would interface the area to be smocked on the left and right before pleating. This beefs up the pleats and makes them fill more space. I like to use Formflex for this. I would interface only those areas but would pleat the waistline all the way across. Then I would cut the pleating threads in the middle and pull them out till you reach the area you want to smock, much as I did on the sleeves in this post.
Another option for this blouse is to make a band of pleating, again on the fold with a ruffle, and use that to make the insert around the neckline.
This one shoulder affair would be absolutely fabulous with smocking. You could do, once again on the fold to make the ruffle and beef up your pleats, a smocked band at the top. I would add that on top of the bottom ruffle layer as you can only pleat so much at one time. this would be fabulous in a navy silk charmeaue with some jet beads worked into the smocking and then having a tie on the bottom edge that would end in some sort of jet beading as well.
I could go on and on. The opportunities are there. Any where you see gathering think of how you could incorporate smocking into the garment. You can also add a band of smocking just about anywhere. I have put bands on collars, pockets, and waistlines. all on patterns that didn't call for any such banding. I hope this has helped JLynn and also gotten some juices flowing for the rest of you. We can never have too many tools in our tool box. It is really nice to be able to pull out a technique and having incorporated into your garment, know that there is no other like it and it is couture....Bunny... I would love to teach classes on how to do this. The idea that I could inspire someone, like I seem to have with Jlynn, is just a great feeling.Wish I could link to Jlynn, but she is unlinkable at this point,,,,,Bunny