Haute couture for a baby? It feels alike. Just kidding. In a way it`s like yoga for me. I love hand embroidering. It`s so meditative. The same stitches over and over again, while you let your thoughts fly. I think that`s the reason why I spend a few hours embroidering a baby dress.
But look at this beauty, totally worth the effort, don`t you think? Hand smocking is an all time favorite. It gives the fabric a structure. And if you do it like me, on a small repetitive swatch, like a gingham, it changes the pattern in a very interesting way.
The dress is self-drafted. I`m exploring the possibilities of gathering fabric. Smocking is a good one. It adds a little stretch to a woven fabric.
That`s a vintage button of my stash. Always a pleasure, to find the perfect one in my collection. I just lined the back bodice. The wrong side of a smock is nearly as beautiful as the front. I didn`t want to hide it. The armholes are finished with a very narrow bias-binding.
Wanna try it yourself?
Here is the tutorial for Honeycomb Smocking
That`s what you`ll need. Only use woven fabric`s. Cotton, Voile, Baptist, Linen (not to heavy)…
You can smock plain fabric, but then you`ll have to mark the points first.
Prepare the fabric like shown in the picture. Be sure to leave the threads long enough. Gather the fabric, by pulling those threads.
This is an overview of the technique, I added pictures to visualize the different steps.
Sort the needle from the backside of the fabric on point A.
Hop over two pleats pierce the fabric on point B. Stitch through to point A.
That`s how it should look, if you stitch through two pleats. You`ll pierce through 4 layers of fabric and sort just before the top of the pleat on point A.
Stitch in again on point B, sort your needle on point C.
(You`ll sort just before the top of the pleat. As shown in the picture.)
Hop over two pleats stitch in your needle on point D. Sort your needle on point C.
Stitch in again on point D, sort your needle on point E.
(Check the picture on step 3, those steps are alike, this time you only stitch back up instead of down.)
—> Repeat this steps until you`re done. Stop with a double knot on the backside.
Pull out the gathering threads
Here you are, easy isn`t it? Just do it a few times and it will go by itself.
Note: Your fabric will halve itself in the width. For example, if your front bodice is 26 cm width you`ll need 51cm of fabric. The length of your piece will not change.