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The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: kjun_redwater
Date: 05-08-2006, 04:26 PM (1 of 5)
I do not know how to smock, but I would like to learn. Is there a way to learn smocking without a pleater? How did women do smocking back in the day before pleaters were invented? I am a klutz with most machinery, and I get frustrated when I can't operate them. I have looked at some books with smocking in them, and I can't find one that I like. Is there a book that anyone can recommend that is not only good but also easy to understand?

User: kjun_redwater
Member since: 01-05-2005
Total posts: 2
From: sewingnonie
Date: 05-08-2006, 07:42 PM (2 of 5)
Karen,I will do a search and see if I can find a good smocking book for you. The one that comes to mind is A_Z of smocking,by country bunpkin.

Yes you can smock without a pleater,lots of gals don't like to use pleaters. You can pleat your fabric by 1. using iron on dots,these are yellow and you just iron the dots on and pick up each dot to pleat the fabric. 2. you can use fabric that already has small dots,or use a small gignham and pick up the corner of the squares to pleat the fabric. Some prefer to do the hand pleating as it can give a better visual look.

User: sewingnonie
Member since: 09-23-2004
Total posts: 175
From: BeckyW
Date: 07-02-2006, 09:17 AM (3 of 5)
In my town there are several shops that will take fabric that you have cut out already and will do the pleating for you. For a bishop dress, you would cut it out and sew the sleeves on. Any seaming you do, you have to be very careful to make tiny french seams or tiny serged seams. I finally broke down an bought a pleater, but I seem to remember it being like $7 or $8 for a yoke and a little extra for sleeves.
User: BeckyW
Member since: 12-25-2004
Total posts: 24
From: MrsSnuggly
Date: 07-02-2006, 11:10 AM (4 of 5)
You really should read Noni's stuff on this. I am extremely interested in learning this - not extremely interested in spending more money on yet another machine.....her write ups and articles have been very helpful. I found one, I believe (forgive me if wrong Noni) on sewnews about the honeycomb stitch, complete with pics, that was great.

The best tip I've read so far is to start with gingham. Oh and the recent Sew Beautiful magazine has some great pics and info on smocking (especially good for inspiration and learning what can be done!).
Have fun.
User: MrsSnuggly
Member since: 05-21-2006
Total posts: 104
From: sewingnonie
Date: 07-03-2006, 12:28 PM (5 of 5)
Thank you Brandy, I hope to encourage and inspire.

User: sewingnonie
Member since: 09-23-2004
Total posts: 175
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