Monday, February 21, 2011

Honeycomb Smocking

It's National Smocking Month and today I decided to teach the Honeycomb Stitch! I have had several people request a tutorial on this. I wanted to test out the honeycomb stitch using Pearl Cotton #8, so lucky you - I decided to turn my experiment into a tutorial!
The Honeycomb Stitch is a stitch connecting two pleats at a time and worked alternately between two rows. 

The thread connecting the upper and lower stitches is carried on the back of the pleats, like this: 
How do you do the Honeycomb Stitch?
I am using a #7 darner & DMC Pear Cotton #8
Begin by bringing your needle up between two pleats.
Take your needle thru the pleat to the left.
Bring the needle across two pleats to the right.
Instead of keeping the needle horizontal, as you would
for the cable stitch, you will take the needle 
under the pleat and vertically down the same pleat
 to the next row and out the left side of the same pleat.
Bring the thread across two pleats and
take the needle behind the pleat and vertically up to the previous row and out the left side of the same pleat.
Bring the needle across two pleats to the right 
and bring the needle in the right side of the pleat.
then carry it down the same pleat to the next row.
Bring the thread across two pleats and
take the needle vertically up to the previous row 
and out the left side of the same pleat.
Continue working your stitches between two
rows all the way across the pleated fabric.
Add as many rows as desired.
Your goal is to make sure your stitches are
nice and straight on the guide rows. I use the
pleating threads as my guide, trying to take my
needle in and out the same hole as the  pleating
thread, but being very careful not to stab my
needle into the guide thread. You want to be able 
to pull the guide threads out when the smocking
is complete without the pleating threads getting
stuck in your honeycomb stitches.
Once you pull your pleating threads out,
the honeycomb stitches should alternately
hold two pleats, as shown!
I used pink batiste fabric and you can't really see from my pictures, but the darker pink pearl cotton casts a pretty shadow in the pleats. It's alot of fun to experiment with solid color batiste fabrics and darker thread shades to create pretty shadows with the honeycomb stitch.


Julia said...

Thanks for the tutorial. This is very pretty. I'm getting ready to smock a dress for my 5 year old granddaughter for Easter.

Jan said...

Thank you for making the honeycomb stitch so easy to follow. After looking at just a couple of your pics, I thought to myself "that's not hard at all, that's easy to do". So well done, thanks again.

CAS said...

Your smocking and the instructions are very nice. I want to do some things for my two youngest granddaughters. Thanks for sharing.


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