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Smocking ideas?

Becky-book | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

What would you like to see in the way of smocking ideas for “grown-ups”?

Solosmocker should not be left alone, and the beautiful work she does should inspire us to perhaps try our hand at it!  Let’s encourage her to help us do some smocking for big-girls.


Grandmas are just antique little girls!


  1. jatman | | #1

    I would love to see some sort of bohemian blouse with smocking at the collar and cuffs, maybe even at the waist!  I think I'm going to get both of the books Solosmocker has suggested.  I'm so intrigued and inspired by her smocking!


  2. MaryinColorado | | #2

    Well, I have been thinking about making some "faux smocking" as I don't have a pleater.  It involved rows of elastic thread that I bought in red, white, and navy.  I was thinking of a 4th of July theme "peasant style" blouse for my granddaughter.


  3. Ralphetta | | #3

    I just answered this on the LITTLE DRESS site where people were discussing smocking...didn't know there was going to be another thread.

  4. solosmocker | | #4

    For those of you with embroidery machines, there is software out there for smocking. I have seen the finished product and it is quite nice, not the same as all hand done, but pretty good looking anyway.

    If you google MecoModes, you will find some patterns made specifically for adult women. Whats available out there are variations on "granny" gowns, peasant blouses, and not much more. In the back burner of my brain are simmering ideas for a woolen jacket, a kimono style garment, and others. Right now those ideas are being overshadowed by some wedding wear I need to make and get started on. I also am in the throws of hopefully my "pride and joy", a christening gown made from an 80 year old lace priest's garment. That is quite an involved project with a lot more to do. I need to make the slip, booties, bonnet, and finish up the gown. Then I have another gown to do after that, much more tailored, so that will be a fun challenge. I love making these little "formals". It's the chocolate of my sewing world.

    I encourage any and all to try their hand at heirloom work. You could do a sampler, not necessarily commit to an entire garment. You may find it's your chocolate too!

    Mary, your patriotic dress sounds darling. I am sure it will be wonderful with your skills.


    Edited 5/2/2007 9:11 pm ET by solosmocker

  5. dotty | | #5

    How about a little smocking on the back of a yoked blouse,instead of a center back pleat?

    1. MaryinColorado | | #6

      An empire syle top with smocked insert underneath the chest, maybe even curved upwards toward the center in an upside down curved v shape.  like a cursive w might work too.  or anywhere that you would use rouching or a wide ribbon. 

      I think it would look interesting even on a square neck top as a band of smocking instead of bias. 

      Now I am really motivated to finish my quilt so I can get sewing garments again!

      1. ricstew | | #7

        I found this when I was following a link....................something to drool over!I love it!



        1. jatman | | #8

          Fabulous!  I just went for a walk and peeked in some store windows - inside one store I found a similar dress but with the smocked inverted V in the front.  It was black and inserted in the smocked part were tiny gold beads.  It was beautiful.  Guess smocking doesn't just have to be for little girls or bohemian/peasant type wear anymore, does it?

          Thank you for posting that!


          Edited 5/3/2007 4:45 am ET by jatman

          1. ricstew | | #9

            I think this has smocking at the front as well........sort of a shirtmaker style with smocking on the bodice sides.........lovely full skirt....so very Audrey Hepburn in the pic.......I wish I could remember who's blog I was looking at! She was having a go at making it with heaps of success!

            I love smocking and have plans to make ........SOMETHING..........dont really know what........ to prove it doesnt need to be the hippy look to DD!

            Theres lots of adult patterns but they are sooooo.......flowey........ for want of a better word!



        2. MaryinColorado | | #10

          That is so pretty!  I love everything about it! 

          It is similar to what I was thinking would look good on the front of a dress or top with the smocking under the bust.  Something to ponder, but I would need an experienced teacher/helper for that one!  Maybe someday! 

        3. solosmocker | | #11

          I have seen that blog as well. She loves to copy designer looks and did an amazing job on her version of the dress. This is very flattering to a tiny figure. Gorgeous dress. If I find that in my bookmarks I will post the link.ETA: Just looked and I don't have that blog bookmarked. I haven't given up yet, though.Edited 5/3/2007 12:04 pm ET by solosmocker OK, I just found it:
          http://couturedetails.blogspot.com/This is a great sewing blog.

          Edited 5/3/2007 12:34 pm ET by solosmocker

          1. jatman | | #12

            Thank you Solosmocker!


          2. Josefly | | #13

            Thanks for that blog address.Isn't that dress great? Love the unusual way the smocking is used.Many years ago, while in college, I made a dress from a Vogue pattern, that was smocked in a yoke area - not a sewn-on yoke, but the fullness released over the bust. It was made of cotton voile I found at a dime-store, and was a sleeveless, boat-neck, blouson style, gathered in at the waist, and then with a gathered, flared skirt attached. I remember also that the bodice (only, I think) was cut on the bias. Neckline and armscye bound with bias strips of fashion fabric. I remember feeling very feminine in that dress. My first and last attempt at smocking.

          3. MaryinColorado | | #15

            That sounds like a very feminine dress!  I love cotton voile, can you imagine finding it at a nice price these days? 

          4. Josefly | | #16

            Yes it felt very feminine. I can hardly find nice voile these days at any price.

          5. MaryinColorado | | #14

            Oooooooooh!  This is great!  Thanks so much for sharing this cool sight!  Mary

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