How to do smocking embroidery

how to do smocking embroidery


Smocking is a design technique to control the fullness in a piece of fabric, with beautiful embroidery stitches. To do smocking, regular gathers (or pleats) are taken on the fabric with long stitches on the back and very small stitches in the front. Most of the time other embroidery details like flower designs are done along with smocking. A regular embroidery machine thread is typically used for smocking jobs. However, you would want to use a cotton thread when smocking on cotton, and a linen thread when sewing on lustre of the cotton perle thread is hard to beat, though.. As far as the color of the thread is concerned, keep it simple.

I predicted a resurgence of hand smocking about a year ago—mostly to embrodery members of the S titch team. I said, " You know smocking isn't just for little girls' dresses any more! Smocked pillows by Tanya Mauler. Figures 2 and 3. And I was serious—so serious that we ran an article last summer on smocking. We had some trouble finding how to start an essay about myself for college images, but I went online and found a young woman from Brooklyn, Tanya Mauler, who was hip and really into hand smocking and had posted pictures on flickr.

She had taken the art of hand smocking and incorporated it into everyday items like pillows and aprons. I was so excited! Now I call that a trend! I was introduced to hand smocking in a couture embellishments course that I took at Fashion Institute of Technology, and I just fell in love with the technique, which is every bit as enjoyable as embroidery or beading.

I hope you'll join me in its revival. Hand smocking requires a just few basic tools—fabric, needle, and thread. Lightweight woven fabrics such as linen and cotton are the easiest to gather and smock.

The gathering or pleating step required before smocking can how to order your credit report done either by hand or machine. When gathering fabric by hand, the easiest method is the use of iron-on transfer dots, which place evenly spaced marks on the wrong side of how to do smocking embroidery fabric that can then be gathered using a running stitch.

Dots can also be done by hand. Once the band of emocking is pleated, check it against the size of the pattern. How to reset chamberlain garage door or loosen the gathering threads as necessary. Tie the ends of the gathering threads in pairs using a sturdy square knot to secure your work. Rows of smocking stitches will be added at the top and bottom of the pleated band to further stabilize it, creating a canvas for more decorative stitches across the middle of the rmbroidery.

Paying attention to where the thread lies in relation to the needle will result in stitches that lie neatly across the pleats. The outline stitch and the cable stitch are the two common stabilizing stitches used to begin most patterns.

Always work from left to right. Thread position is important. If you are working across rows, the thread follows the needle. If working from top to bottom, the thread is above the needle and if stitching from bottom to top, the thread is below the needle.

When stitching, the needle is always kept parallel to the gathering threads. The "bite" or embroider of the stitch taken across the pleat should also be kept at a uniform depth. Usually a third to one half of the pleat depth is picked up when stitching.

I hope you give hand smocking a try. And for a resource that practically wrote the book on smocking, check out Sew Beautiful magazine. Have you ever tried hand smocking? I would love to know that I'm not the only one!

You must Register or Login to post a comment. I do not smock, but I frequently buy little dresses for my two granddaughters. I always pre-launder them so the dresses are ready to wear when I give them to the girls. I bought a smocked dress made of small green and white gingham fabric.

After laundering on the gentle cycle, and hanging to dry, the smocked area has the appearance of faded streaks now, especially noticeable in the back. I am not sure if this can be corrected or if the dress is ruined. It must have to do with the green and white threads and the folds of the smocking. I am just heartsick. Any suggestions? Love hand-smocking. Wish I could embridery a source to do the initial pleating.

I bought a pleater, but have not been sucessful with it. I have howw smocking on everything from bridal emocking and headpieces to home-dec pillows, doll clothes, purses, tote bags and smocked crazy patch! And altho I started as a hand smocker, I took the technique to the sewing machine and created smocking stitches by machine! No end to how smocking can be used.

Deb Yedziniak. Smocing for all your posts and we will certainly continue to have modern projects in Stitch that include hand-smocking!

I may try smocking. My mother-in-law was how to make a complaint against a business the Czech republic and did beautiful smocking, but I never had a chance to learn from her.

I learned to hand smock in when I was expecting my first little girl. Smocked so much I had to purchase my own pleater. I find smocking so soothing and relaxing, now pleating the material is a different story. My mother-ini-law made a couple of beautifully smocked dresses for my two daughters when they were young. They are in their 40s now but I still have what is bilateral extrarenal pelvis dresses.

She also made a sleeveless tunic-like pinafore for each of them. She used striped fabric and then embroidered a wide variety of embroidery stitches down every other stripe of the fabric and up over the shoulder but only part way down the back.

Then she lined the tunic. I was astounded that someone would how to please your women so much time to make something like that for a child to wear. Skocking, I did let them wear them a couple of times but I was so afraid they would spill something on them.

I recently found an usual quilt with a lovely woman appilqued on each block. She is tall and willowy. I have never seen another one like it. You can see the quilt here on my blog. Ii have a lot of theories. I have been smocking for over 30 smockkng. I have used smocking to provide details how to do smocking embroidery pillows, purses, Christmas stockings, etc. I have long promoted smocking as an art form to be used in many disciplines.

I teach smocking and share with my students that they need to be creative and use the art in new and fun embroiderry. It may be an old art form, but everything old is new again. Additional resources for those interested in learning more about smocking can go to the SAGA website. The Smocking Arts Guild of America has been helping members learn to smock for 34 years! We have local chapters across the United States that offer instruction, collaboration and friends who share a love for Smocking and Embroidery.

For those not located near a chapter we offer Embgoidery and regional and national classes. Your membership in the Smocking Arts Guild how to do smocking embroidery America offers you access to the best teachers, and a complimentary magazine filled with projects, free smocking plates and great tips. I grew up in England, where we were taught to sew and knit in school. I remember learning to smock when I was about 10 years old.

We did our smocking on gingham fabric, which is a great way to learn, because it has built-in markings. Now that I think of it, you could also use dotted swiss fabric in a similar way. I made pillows and aprons out of gingham using the squares instead of making dots.

Using the cornes of the squares instead of dots allows you to concentrate on the embroidery until you learn the basics. After both of ho girls grew out of smocking, I started a business teaching smocking and selling fabrics and notions for smocking. I now have a new granddaughter to smock for yippee!!!!!!! It is a true art and I have found that sewing is cheaper than therapy haha. We love having people come and learn.

Mondani taught the campfire girls to smock in sixth grade. We made aprons for our mothers. We love smocking and other related needle arts! Join us!! When I was 16 yrs old we had a new addition to our family… I got a sister.

I was smoxking excited as I loved to sew. I made her many smocked dresses! I loved smocking! I even made one for myself. I have done a little hand smocking years ago when my daughter was little. I still have a precious little dress that a friend smocked for her when she was born which was It is tucked into my cedar chest and I hope she will be pleased someday to find it.

No Sewing Machine Required!

For embroidery machines, smocking patterns, designs and software for digital machines can be ordered. There are a variety of patterns available for embroidering by hand, as well. Step 1 Pleat your fabric. Use transfer dots as guidance to create straight and . Dec 09,  · For most smocking, 3 strands are used. Place the 3 individual strands back together, insert the three strands of floss in the needle – I usually use a number 7 Darner – and smooth the floss. I do this by using a piece of felt that I wet with water and wring out, and slide across the floss. Feb 09,  · As I have interacted with many of you I have realized that a series on the basics of smocking might be helpful, so this is the first of several posts to explain a little about the art of smocking, the terminology and how to get started! Lets start with where smocking comes from. Smocking is essentially embroidery on pleated fabric. The art form that we traditionally think of as Smocking .

Realistically it is a little bit difficult to do than other embroidery work but the effort is worth it. Hope you also find some value from it and start smocking all the fabric in sight. Table of Contents Table of Contents What is smocking?

Which fabric is best for smocking? How much extra cloth is needed to do smocking? Which thread is best for smocking? How to prepare fabric for smocking?

How to gather fabric for smocking? Basic rules of smocking Steps to smocking. Smocking is a design technique to control the fullness in a piece of fabric, with beautiful embroidery stitches. To do smocking, regular gathers or pleats are taken on the fabric with long stitches on the back and very small stitches in the front. Most of the time other embroidery details like flower designs are done along with smocking. Linen, crepe, silk, lawn cotton, ginghams, velvet, chiffon, lace , knits.

You name the fabric and it has been smocked by women in earlier times. A light to medium weight evenly woven fabric with a smooth surface is ideal for smocking. You can choose plain or printed cotton, poplin, cotton lawn, silk, satin, cotton blends, organdie, lightweight denim and lightweight wool blends.

A beginner can choose a checked cotton fabric as there is already a guideline for you to gather the fabric evenly. I am assuming that you do not have a pleater. A knit fabric or a velvet fabric as a first project would be difficult to tackle. A plain fabric can also be taken, if the guidelines for the pleats are correctly made.

You need atleast 3 times the cloth for the width of the final piece. But then it also depends on the tightness of the smocking stitches. If you make very slack stitches the cloth needed will be less. Add the seam allowance as well. Smocking stitches are done with regular embroidery thread. On silk clothes use silk thread and on cotton fabric use cotton thread.

I love to use Pearl cotton thread for smocking as it has a nice sheen to it and the 2 ply thread is thick enough to stand out. Colour of the thread — A simple colour scheme works well for smocking, which should look elegant rather than tacky. Pastel colours works best on light coloured fabric.

Keep the thread two strands of the thread near your fabric to see if it suits. One or two colours, two or three shades of the same colour are all preferred for smocking. I use three strands of thread for the smocking stitches; for a thicker effect you can choose four strands. I love the luster of cotton Perle thread for smocking. It is true that unwashed fabric looks best when smocked but shrinking of fabric is a possibility.

So prewashing the fabric is necessary. Take the cloth along the lengthwise grain of the fabric. Professionals add a light fusible interfacing to hold the pleats, especially for thin fabric. There are three ways you can gather the fabric. Machine gathering is easy. Checkout this post on gathering fabric. Make basting stitches and gather. But the problem is that machine gathering doesnot give even pleats. It is very very important that you get even gathering ; which means the pleat on the first row and the second row should be the same for all gathering.

The pleats should all line up vertically This is the most important thing that qualifies the beauty of smocking. If you have a pleater all the problem goes away. The pleater does the job beautifully.

Hand pleating is the next best option, though it tests your patience. A smocking transfer available in the market can make this process easier. The smocking transfer consists of a series of evenly spaced dots on a paper which can be transferred to the fabric with heat. You get different types of smocking transfers with differences in the spacing of the dots. For very fine cloth small spacings are more suitable and this will give shallow pleats. How to use the smocking transfer?

Hand marking — Marking the dots yourself is the next option; a slightly cumbersome task but for a passionate sewist who wants to smock very badly this is the best option, unless you are doing the smocking on a checked fabric. Measure and mark the dots with a ruler and pencil on the wrong side of the work.

You have to ensure that each stitch is set directly under the same stitch in the row above and the rows of stitching are all same distance apart. Make running stitches through the dots and at the end of each row leave thread tails hanging down. Gather the fabric. Tie two thread tails each at the end, making sure the pleats are tight. Cut off the thread tails.

Step 1. After the fabric is gathered count your pleats. You need an even number of pleats. Now mark the center two pleats. The center of your smocking is actually the valley between these two pleats. You can make a mark at this place with a small stitch or using the chalk.

This is a very important step in smocking. Step 2. Skip the first gathering row for smocking stitches. You can use this row as a guide for the further stitching. Also Leave 3 pleats to either side — to account for seam allowance. If you have already left seam allowance do not bother. Step 3. Come up from the side of the third pleat or the first pleat if you have already left seam allowance.

Bring the needle up through the left-hand valley of the next pleat. Insert the needle back through the first pleat — the one you will be starting the stitch with from left to right keeping the needle parallel to the gathering thread. I assume you will be working from left to right.

Left handed people will be working from right to left. I always start with a row of stem stitches first to hold the gathered fabric in place. You can make one or two rows of stem stitches like this to hold the gathers firmly in place. Step 4. Do the smocking stitches. The common smocking stitches are described and illustrated below.

Smocking stitches. The most frequently used smocking stitches are. This resembles a rope. It is made the same way as the embroidery stem stitch. Usually this stitch is used at the beginning of the smocking — as it holds the gathers tightly. Each stem stitch picks one pleat of the fabric and joins it to the next one.

Bring up the needle through the first pleat, to the left of the pleat. Pick up the next pleat , at an angle and come up at the middle of the two pleats. Continue doing the same thing. Remember that the thread will be over two pleats. One important thing to remember as you make the Outline stitch is to always hold the thread in the up position after each stitch above the placement of the needle.

In the stem stitch the thread is in the down position. Wheat stitch. This stitch is a combination of the outline stitch and the stem stitch. First the outline stitch with the thread in the up position is made and then immediately under it the stem stitch is made — the second row of stitches is made basically in the same spot but just underneath.

This creates a wheat shape pattern, with a slight angling of the needle. Cable stitch.

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