My first attempt at English smocking

Yes, I do mean smocking as in the almost dead art of embroidering on pleated fabric.  And no not just grandmother’s smock.  Although I often get teased about my hobbys so this is probably just another example.  Oh well, laugh all you like.

Here’s my first attempt at smocking.  It’s just a practice smocking.  The colors are awful because I was using leftover thread from other projects.

All in all I think it looks pretty good, considering I taught myself from a book and I completed this during naptime (it was a good 3 hour nap mind you).  Here’s the book I bought,  Ellen McCarn on English Smocking.

There are several mistake stitches which really throw off the balance of the design.  There are also some thread tension issues.  When I started out I didn’t pull the thread tight and the stitches are loose and sloppy.  As I went on it seemed to get better.  I realized thread tension consistency is crucial.  That’s a strawberry by the way.  Not the best but my first try.  Stacking is hard.  (Stacking is where you layer the stitches to make a solid design)  Obviously not as hard as keeping my row straight.  Yikes, that is crooked.

Next on to my first real piece, a bonnet.  Hopefully with the strawberries, that is if I can make them look more like berries and less like beets.  I am definitely ordering my favorite two dress patterns.  I really enjoyed the relaxing embroidery so I think this craft will be around for a while.  So many dresses so little time.

Check out my other post on Learning to Smock if you too want to bring back the art of English Smocking.


2 responses to “My first attempt at English smocking

  1. Beautiful! I think that you did a great job. I love smocking but have never tried it because it looks so hard. Can’t wait to see the bonnet,

  2. Nice job Courtney! It is beautiful, really for your first try!

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