Friday, May 25, 2018

Tutorial 1 How to smock a baby dress

Hi everyone
Today I am going to share with you how I smock a baby dress. I will be sharing over a few weeks so you don't get too confused and it will give you time to practice each stage a step at a time.

Whichever pattern you choose,allow at least 3 times the width of fabric for the front skirt of the dress to the size needed to attach to the bodice.This will allow for the fullness needed to pull up the pleats for the smocking.

I use a Super Amanda smocking pleater, but there are a few different ones available on the market.
I find using a pleater is far quicker than the old
way of picking up dots, but that's still ok if you don't have a pleater. I also only pleat half spaces as I find it keeps my smocking neater.

Once you have pleated your fabric,pull up the threads to form little pleats. Keep them quite close together but not too close.

On the back of the pleated fabric unpick the threads at either end for two pleats to
 allow for the seams. Tie them of in pairs loosely as you will need to pull the threads out later.

 You are now ready to smock. You will smock on the right side of the fabric,so turn your fabric over.
 We are going to start off with a cable row. We don't smock on the top or bottom row of threads as
these are holding rows. So starting at the centre of your pleats (an equal number of pleats either side of starting point) Thread your needle with only 2 strands of thread. I use DMC 6 strand thread and pull out 1 at a time making sure the same ends come together.
I usually smock white on white but so you can see my smocking better I'm using a colour.

Starting on the row below the holding row in the centre, take your needle horizontally through the left pleat and pull through so that your thread is only halfway. We keep half of the thread to smock the other side of the row. Match up the ends of thread to make sure you are only using half for this side.

Now with the thread above the needle take your needle through the right hand pleat and pull through. You can give it a little tug to make it sit neatly. You have now completed your first stitch, and up cable.

The next stitch will be a down cable, so the thread will be below the needle. Push the needle through the next pleat right to left and pull through.Still with the thread below the needle pull through the next pleat to complete your second stitch. Continue right along to the end of the row in this manner,an up then down cable as the photo.
Remember an up cable thread up a down cable thread down. At the end of the row, take your thread to the back of your work and make 2 little stitches to finish off.

Turn your work upside down and complete other side to match,making sure your first stitch is opposite to the last one on your left which on mine was a down cable so this stitch will be an up cable.

This is baby wave stitch I will show you next post

You have now completed your first row of smocking a cable stitch.
I always start my smocking with a cable row as it gives me a nice guide for when I attach the piping to the bodice.

Our next smocking row will be a baby wave but I'll show you that in the next post so it doesn't confuse.
Practice Practice Practice LOL Any questions please email or comment below.

Happy smocking untill next post
xx jeanette ann


Kim said...

I have always loved smocking on baby and little girl dresses and of course on rompers. Thank you for sharing some of the procedures, Jeanette.

Jeanette Ann O'Donnell said...

You're welcome Kim,

Sue McPeak said...

Hi nice to see your comment on my Fenced In Flower post. I had to come see what you are doing, and I am amazed at your smocking tutorial and the stunning little dresses you have done. So good to see someone reviving a sewing art of days gone by. I have seen several different smocking aids, but have never owned one. Thanks again for stopping by, I enjoyed catching up with you.

Decor To Adore said...

What a labor of love! I belong to an heirloom sewing group and a few of the ladies have expressed interest in learning smocking. It seems doable.

Jeanette Ann O'Donnell said...

Thank you all for your nice comments. Smocking is certainly quite easy once the basics have been learnt. Have a go I'm sure you will be hooked on it like me LOL
jeanette ann

Alessandra said...

Your smoking tutorial is really well done. Thanks for sharing with us your talent