Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Smocking: Everything you wanted to know July 6, 2009

smockLast week in my haute couture embellishments class we learned hand-smocking, and oddly, it’s a skill that I took to right away. It’s not the smocking is anything to mock—it’s just not something I considered myself to have an affinity for. But as my professor, Kenneth D. King, pointed out with great practicality, I can do it on the train. I’ve found a great link on smocking, but it includes a machine pleater.

smock2If you prefer to pleat by hand, it’s easy. Mark a dotted grid on your fabric piece to be smocked, spacing dots 1/2 – 1 inch apart. Then sew a running stitch along each horizontal line in the grid, connecting the dots. Once you’ve stitched the parallel lines, pull the threads to gather the fabric into pleats. You can anchor 2-3 threads with a figure-8 shape around a pin. You’re ready to start smocking. Learn the technique here.

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2 Responses to “Smocking: Everything you wanted to know”

  1. Debra Says:

    Thanks so much! I have been looking all over the net for a ‘how-to’ to set up my own smocking squares, but couldn’t find the measurement anywhere!

  2. rebmas03 Says:

    Thanks Debra—I had a full lesson so let me know if you have any more questions. I always prefer to know the handmade way, makes me feel more independent and less encumbered!


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