The Sewist

I sew, knit and crochet hats. (Not all at the same time. Whaddaya think I am - a machine?)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Smocking It

My apologies for this small image. It doesn't show the detail at all on this exquisite 1940s-era Misses' blouse pattern. For greater detail, click here.
This size 16 pattern is just $12 at www.woodlandfarmsantiques.com. I already own this particular pattern, so when I saw it again at the Woodlandfarmsantiques site, I began to wonder again: Should I give smocking a shot? I mean I've never ever tried it. Those smocked children's dresses always looked too intimidating, like they take 300 days to complete.
Then again I wouldn't make an embroidered frock for a child. If I'm going to do any kind of time-consuming hand-stitching, I'm going to do it for the person who will appreciate it the most: me. Besides, most of the patterns are too frou-frou for my taste. I wouldn't want to inflict that on any child even if those patterns are considered classic or heirloom. Most children I know who wear these smocked dresses only don them for special occasions and tear them off at the first chance for a t-shirt and shorts or something else more comfortable.

Enough of that. Back to the pattern. I'd make a short-sleeved version of it in a purty chartreuse chiffon with a flaming fuschia thread for the embroidery. The reverse, chartreuse stitching on pink, would be cute too. And I think it's a great starter pattern for some simple stitching. Just two small parts of the bodice. Easy-peasy. Right? I might prick a finger or two at most - what's a little blood for great art? How many of you like do smocking on your garments - either for yourself or loved ones? Do you do it by hand or by machine? One inquiring mind wants to know.

4 Comments:

Blogger Diane said...

I haven't tried smocking yet because of the aforementioned 300 hours and I'm an instant gratification kinda gal. I also have a collection of vintage patterns, some with smocking details. So, ya wanna start a challenge? That's the best way I know of to kick start unexplored territory!

1:31 PM  
Blogger the_sewist said...

Well, let's see. I'm wondering if I should do a test swatch of this smocking. It doesn't look too hard. If I can crochet for hours on end, how bad a couple of inches of smocking be?

What kind of challenge were you thinking of, diane?

Mary Beth

3:02 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Mary Beth, I didn't have anything in particular in mind, just that a challenge gives me a deadline and I work better under pressure! Maybe a blouse challenge in white cotton? One can never have too many white tops.

8:05 AM  
Blogger the_sewist said...

Hmm. I just sewed up a white cotton eyelet top in white. So I think I'm set on a while for a little while. But I can't resist an interesting eyelet pattern - especially in white.

I think I'd tackle the 1940s pattern posted, probably in chartreuse or fuschia for my challenge.

5:14 PM  

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