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.

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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,
    Donna

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

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