Week 6: Smocking & Elastic Sewing

Smocking is done by using small stitches to gather fabric in a pattern. You can use it to create little rows of pretty pleats with colorful stitching, the perfect detail for a child’s dress or the bodice of a blouse. This smocking pattern doesn’t involve any special skill, just hand sewing and lots of time and patience.

Smocking Material: fabric, needles, thread, the smocking template

How does it works?

1) Choose fabric and thread.
Smocking can be done using any type of fabric, but it works best if you use thin fabric that doesn’t have a lot of stretch. Try thin cotton or linen if this is your first time. The stitches are meant to be seen to create a pretty dotted pattern.If you’d rather not have visible stitching, choose a regular sewing thread (rather than thick embroidery floss) in the same color as your fabric.

2) Draw a dotted grid on the fabric.
Use a fabric pen or a pencil to draw a grid of evenly-spaced dots covering the area that you want to smock.  You actually can refer the smocking template.

3) Thread your needle.
The first step will be to use a needle and thread to gather the fabric and hold it in place. Thread a needle and tie the end so that it won’t pull through the fabric. If you have a template then you can just follow the steps on it.

4) Pull the threads.
Pinch the petals together and take another stitch across the middle. In this stage, you can add the decorative accessories like pearl to make the smocking more interesting.

Practice in class!

Work with another pattern!

There is some professional examples that the smocking has been used in fashion. They are so pretty!


Stitching with elastic
Elastics are able to resume its normal shape spontaneously after being stretched or compressed. By using this technique, we can come up with incredible surface that we cannot imagine at first!

Material: fabric, elastic band or thread, sewing machine

In class demo
Elastic stitching on different materials which are foam paper and felt.

Sewing with elastic is a common technique which usually be used in fashion. These are few examples of kid’s clothes.

Author: XianTian


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