Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

North American Smocking: The easy and elegant way to gather July 9, 2009

While we were learning the traditional smocking, we also learned a quick form of smocking, no doubt developed by resourceful pioneers short on supplies. Check it out:

cansmockCanadian (aka North American) smocking is a very quick and easy way to elegantly gather fabric. Use it in home dec projects, accessories, bags, or clothing.

You can find Canadian smocking in the SavvySeams Tudor Rose Purse pattern. You can find some examples of beautiful costumes that use Canadian smocking at the Padawan’s Guide to Star Wars Prequel Costuming. Check out Padme’s nightdress and robe in particular.

Learn North American smocking here …


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.