Thursday, February 18, 2010

Smocking

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.


the 13th of October

Friday, the 13th, and at last the weather has turned cooler. I breathe deeply as I turn off the air-conditioner and slide open a few windows...