I somehow can’t find any previous mention of this on my blog, but for kind of a long time I’ve been working when I can on smocking a smock for miss Ky. That’s totally puzzling to me. However, it means new information is new!
I learned about smocking at a class last year and LOVED it. Love the look, love the effect, love everything. Smocking is period elastic. It uses strategically spaced tacking to create elasticity in such non-stretch fabrics as 100% linen. Also, it’s REALLY pretty.
Smocking is kind of an intensive process (in the way that neurosurgery is kind of challenging). The basic process is:
- Plot out a grid on the fabric in the area to be smocked.
- Tightly gather fabric in lines across the grid in parallel lines along the axis to be elastic-ized. Gathers need to be identical, so that the dashed lines are repeated down the fabric rather than alternated.
- Stitch in one of various patterns over the peaks of the gathers. Many, many options available.
- Stitch a different pattern across the peaks on the back (much simpler), optional in some cases.
- Remove gathers.
- (optional) Line or back with non-smocked fabric (reduces or negates stretch).
So… this is a bit of a process. Currently I’m smocking a square-necked chemise (smock), adding panels of smocking at the front, back, and shoulders of the head opening, and at the cuffs. Today I finished the front and started on one of the shoulders. The back was already done. This project takes a LOT of time, partially because my grid is crazy small. I wasn’t sure how much space between points made sense, so I did half-centimeters. I found out only later that this is basically crazypants. Oh well.
For those who know smocking, I’m doing a modified honeycomb stitch in metallic gold on white linen. For those who don’t, it looks like this:
In other news, I ordered a lensbaby and macro kit today in anticipation of a wedding this spring (I love lensbabies for weddings), which means I’ll be able to do more artsy detail shots. Yay!