Thursday, September 15, 2011

Smocking Q & A


I have started the smocking on Selena's bishop. I started on the wrong row and had to rip all that out and now its my second try. You can see, somewhat barely the threads that hold the pleats together. The rows are marked with white quilting thread and the half rows in between are a light brown. I always pleat half rows. I am not really good at judging distance, particularly when doing the wave stitches, so the half rows help my accuracy. 

We had some questions regarding this project and smocking in general so I will answer them now. Sewconsult asked, "Is it a batik?" Yes, it is. It is in pale pastel colors and has the slightest drawing of a butterfly. Her next question was "do you block before you smock?". I do. Some don't saying its not necessary but when it comes to hand needlework I like to stick to the tried and true. The pattern I am using, like most, provides a "blocking guide"  for each size dress in the envelope.

Debbie Cook asked, " why do you have to count the pleats?"  This is for placement of the smocking design. It must be lined up at absolute center of the garment to be visually pleasing and you need an equal amount of pleats to the left and right of center so that when you end up the smocking in the back of the garment the design will match on either side of the bodice. Smocking "plates" (the smocking design) always indicate where the center front is  and you can see this in the pic in yesterday's post.   

I dehydrated another batch of tomatoes today and will do one final batch tomorrow. We are expecting frost tonight and the trees have started to turn. This chill has made me realize I need a jacket, not a big wintry one, but a light jacket, maybe a Chanel type jacket, hmmmm,,,,,,,,Bunny


  1. Thank you for the answers. I don't usually block first, but sometimes the fabric dictates it. I do the first cable row from back to back (if the design calls for it), but when I am ready to start the design part, I smock from the center to back on the right. Then, I turn the dress upside down and smock the left side, but as it is right to back. It took me awhile to get my brain upside down for the upside down half!
    Beckie in Brentwood, TN

  2. Bunny, I always mark the middle of the fabric after it is starched and before I pleat, then I know exactly where the centre is and the back always matches.

  3. This will be so pretty. I think it would be fascinating to be able to smock. It's so old fashioned and charming. Maybe someday...

  4. I always enjoy seeing your project evolve. Such sweet little dresses you make.

  5. I can't believe you are getting a frost already!


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