Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Smocking lessons

My aunt Sue got inspired by the post I wrote on my grandmother's handmade dresses. This is very exciting as she is someone who so often inspires me. She is the finder of all things needed and useful, the gatekeeper of an Aladdin's cave  by way of Forest Gate. Ladybird books, buttons, old cameras, haberdashery, toys and all manner of good good stuff. Everyone should have an Aunt Sue.

Once a week a little part of this cave gets taken to her stall on Broadway Market here in Hackney and we are so happy to make our visits to her a Saturday ritual. What will she have this week?

So it came as no surprise that she had some old magazines and books with instructions on how to smock, and that she knew the basics.

It was not as hard as it looks. It is case of making a few gathering stitches to form the pleat, and then sewing the pattern with decorative thread.

The upshot of it is that we have gone halves on a pleater. These do the gathering bit for you and make the whole process much faster. I am thinking about all the applications for smocking beyond dressmaking, which is definitely not my forte.

Watch this space (patiently).


  1. Wonderful collection of books and patterns. I love smocking, so very satisfying, I look forward to seeing your results.

  2. lookingforinspiration11 January 2011 at 15:44

    i have no doubt you will be an excellent dressmaker before the year is out. Passion, dedication, skill, enthusiasm, all these things you exude and demonstrate daily. Blog is wonderful! tors x


a year above the shop

a year above the shop