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.