I’m home from attending and teaching at the Sewing Summit last weekend. I may or may not be utterly exhausted from all of the traveling I’ve been doing for the last month. (hint, the answer is utterly exhausted). I wanted to share some Smocking Resources for those that were in my class. If you weren’t in my class I’ll be sharing some very basic smocking how to’s over the next month… but for now I wanted to post about the resources I had so my students can have access to them. Watch for a full Sewing Summit recap later this week (or next, whenever I’m awake again *wink*).
For those of you that asked about bringing smocking into the “modern sewing world” I have been thinking about it all summer and really think that the key to this would be to use modern fabrics and colors. The patterns are so simple that I truly believe they are timeless, they just need to be shown with more modern fabrics and colors. I also think it would be great to smock on a linen or gray insert in brightly colored thread as opposed to a white insert. I pinned any images I saw on line of smocking being used this way. Alicia Paulson and Liesl Gibson have both been playing around with Smocking lately and have had some amazing results.
I use the Amanda Jane Smocking Pleater, it holds 24 needles.
A to Z Smocking (on Amazon but not available new, they do list sites selling it used)
Perfect Party Dresses: 12 Superb Dresses to Smock and Sew - dresses to sew are quite advanced but they give some great illustrations of various smocking stitches.
Usually anything from Sew Beautiful is well done and can be trusted, both books, magazines and DVD’s.
There are other books on Smocking available on Amazon but I have not bought any of the others to give you a good review.
You can also search for “ready to smock” on Etsy for a number of shops that offer pre pleated pieces and custom pleating services.
I found an etsy shop with good reviews selling Floche, Threads and Links, also many other online heirloom sewing shops sell this. Just remember when your smocking with floche to only use 2 strands, as opposed to 3.
Clothing Patterns that work well for Smocking: (just google to find where to buy online).
Children’s Corner - I love Mary De and Lee
Collars Etc. - I love the Toddler Smocked Apron pattern (the one with a tiny bit of smocking in the front).
Collars Etc. has a Layette pattern that has some great bubble suits that would be nice for newborn boys or girls (a few of you asked about newborn patterns) They do not have a lot of smocking and would be a good place to start for a beginner).
I would also recommend googling “YOUR TOWN and Heirloom Sewing Shops” to see what pops up. There may be a place for you to purchase supplies locally. In Louisville I purchase all my supplies and take classes at the Smocking Shop and highly recommend that store. If you call they may do some mail order, but I’m not 100% sure.
Good luck and remember it takes practice but soon you’ll have it down!