Thursday, February 18, 2010


Over a period of time and posts I have mentioned the hand smocking I do on some of Charlotte's dresses. Several of you have stated you do not know much about it and some have even requested to know more. Since I am in the midst of smocking Charlotte's Easter dress as I watch the Winter Olympics on some of these February evenings, I thought I might share a bit.

Smocking is an beautiful old art. At first the Anglo-Saxons would wear a "smock" which was a type of undergarment worn under a woolen dress. They would decorate this undergarment with fine stitching and then cut the neck of the dress lower in order to display the hand work.

I can still remember my mother pleating, by hand, a blue dress for me and then smocking a geometric design across the front. Today, however, pleaters will do the pleating for you by gathering the fabric in even pleats. There are several basic stitches of smocking. By the arranging and combining of these basic stitches in different ways you are able to create the lovely designs.

While pregnant with Charlotte, smocking was birthed in my life. I was taught to smock and I can't adequately describe to you how it feels to make the needle threaded with embroidery floss pass through those tight little pleats and watch it form those beautiful designs. Smocking to me is simply...gratifying. I believe I could do it for hours on end.


GretchenJoanna said...

Your photo conveys the beauty that gives you such joy to create. What a blessed little task with a definite ripple effect!

~Karen~ said...

And you certainly do excellent work. The stitches are perfect. I'm one of those who would love to learn this art.
Will you post a picture of the finished dress?
On a different note, I've enjoyed the cold winter and snow this year, too. Just ready for warmer temps this week because I was forced to be out in the frigid temps every single day last week and this. I'm home today, thank goodness. Hoping to see some of my hyacinths pop up out of the ground next week with the warmer temperatures forecasted.
I hope you have a lovely, peaceful week-end.

Deborah said...

You have a beautiful talent for it! It really is relaxing to have some handwork to do isn't it? I do hope you will post a photo of Charlotte's dress when it is complete. It looks so pretty already!

Your crocheted hearts are very sweet too!


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