Tips to Beautiful Smocking

The following is simply suggestive hints. Any suggestion (or maybe question), kindly comment. :)
A) Choosing Fabrics

Smocking works best on cottons or other natural fabrics. However, if your fabric is thin or limp, spray starch the fabric and press before pleating. Always press the fabric before rolling the fabric to the pleating rod. Another option is by placing the fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the to-be-pleated fabric section.

Always consider the wearer. Babies don't wear large prints although that flowery motifs really look sweet to you.

B) Pleating

Other than the general rules of pleating, it is best if you stand while you pleat. Always make sure that the fabric is straight prior to pleating. The unsmocked area should be on the left-hand side of the pleater.

C) Thread Colour Choices

Choose the colours of the thread only after you pleat the fabric.

If you use prints, always try to apply not more than 2 or 3 colours. Try applying one 'ugly' colour to combine with other dominant colours. 'Ugly' colour (e.g dark grey or cream on grey fabric) balances out the overall look of the smocking.

In this project, my 'ugly' colour is cream so I could highlight the cast-on roses.

In this project, I decided to apply a cream insert to balance out the 'busy' fabric motifs and to highlight the big cast-on roses.

D) Textures vs Stitching

It is a good idea to use plains as a first project for beginners. Decide if you want to highlight the textures of the stitching or the stitching itself.

In this project, I used the Stranded Rayon thread in white to bring out the textures of the stitching rather than using contrasting colours.

In this project, I pick colours that coordinate with the fabric to bring out the colourwash effect.

E) Blocking and Shaping

After completing the smocking, pull out the pleating threads (exception: the first pleating thread) and block the smocked piece based on the blocking guide you have. Spray mists of water all over or steam iron it 1" above the smocking. When dry, shape it accordingly.

I pinned the centre and the sides on a padded surface and block it according to the blocking guide provided.

I wait for the piece to dry and using the fabric marker, I mark the armholes. When shaping is done, I use narrow zigzag stitches and stitch on the marked area. when this is done, I cut them out accordingly.

The end product for my 3-year-old client. :)


Selamat Datang ke Dunia Anak Patung

Semua koleksi pakaian dijahit sendiri oleh Erpha. Baju Kurung yang Disney pakai lengkap dengan selendang songket (juga dari perca kain yang sama) dan dihiasi dengan jahitan leher (istilah orang S'wak ~ Simo).

There she is, Disney dengan kebaya batik ketat dan cantik dipakai. Kain jenis ni dari kain kapas, lebih mudah 'handle' dan senang sikit dijahit kerana tidak mudah berbulu... Fesyen rambut anggun by Seungu Qhalila.

Kemudian, dia juga menggayakan blouse ala kelebar dipadankan dengan seluar jeans, nampak 'chic' dan simple... Yang ni dari kain perca Baju Kurung adik...He2.

Then, Disney, Sidney dan Audrey masing-masing menggayakan dress yang comel-comel nih... Untuk 'boa' biru tu, ada dijual di mana-mana kedai jahitan. Sidney mengenakan dress putih stail 'toga' sementara Audrey selesa dengan dress ringkas (perca diambil dari tudung lama, patut la ada detail sulam2 lagi... he2) dengan jaket organza warna sedondon.

More to Come! Sampai jumpa!

Syok Smocking

Syoknya Smocking!

Home Sweet Home, as worn by Izzah Atirah was photographed and edited by seungu Qhalila.

About Smocking
Smocking is an embroidery technique used to gather fabric so it can stretch thus producing elastic effect. The fabric is exquisitely handsmocked after being meticulously pleated. Embroidery such as bullion roses can enhance the overall look of this very unique needleart. You may find expensive machine-made smocking gowns in certain boutiques but no machine-worked can compare the beauty and the complexity of a lovingly handsmocked dress or outfit for someone you love.

My niece, Izzah Atirah in a full bodice smocked dress. The dress is adorned with bullion roses and daisies and scattered with tiny bullion rosebuds.

Her recent smocked dress, adapted from AS&E Issue 67, 'Home Sweet Home'. I embroidered some tiny yellow bullion rose buds on this fully smocked dress in coco.