Monday, July 26, 2010

Tutorail Review {Smocking}

After finding out that I was pregnant with my third girl I decided I wanted her to have a smocked baby blessing dress.  To do this though I needed to learn how to smock myself.  So I scoured the Internet seeing if I could find a tutorial.  This was actually the first tutorial I followed.  And I loved learning this skill and I love that i am able to say that I know how to smock, by hand!
Now this is not a craft you decide to do an a whim, this baby will take time.  But the beauty of it will be a wonderful reward.
Marie Grace Design is where I found the prefect smocking tutorial.  She is mostly a knitter but all the work she does is lovely.  When I find a moment in my life to learn to knit I am turning to her.  But for now I turn to her for smocking.  Here is a lovely dress she smocked.

So smocking takes time and practice.  So please start on a practice piece before you ever start your real project.  I must admit I don't have pictures of my first practice piece because it was scary and I threw it away to hide evidence.  But my second practice piece turned out super cute.
I was very pleased with it.  After practicing and figuring things out move on to the piece you are really doing.  This is how mine turned out.
And here is the finished dress on an unhappy baby.  It was a long day and she was tired.
But it is a beautiful dress you must admit.  And it cost me less than $10 to make.  But I cannot count the number of hours that went into it.  But I loved the project so much that I figured my two older girls deserved their own pretty dresses as well.
I love their dresses but if I made them again I would do the sleeves and collar a different color, oh well hind sight is always 20/20.  I think next year I will make them all bishop smocked dresses.  But we shall see.
Anyways here is part one of the smocking tutorial.
And here is part two.
Some tips I discovered: 
Practice your embroidery on small piece of smocking (like your practice one you did).  Embroidery is much harder on pleated material than it is on flat material.
Do not use the shiny/silky embroidery floss, it will knot and unravel and make your life very stressful.
Have patience with yourself and remember practice makes perfect.