Monday, November 14, 2011

vertically smocked christmas ornament {smock-a-long}

Smocked ornaments take a bit of work, but they are ohh sooo beautiful hanging on a Christmas Tree! Oh how I would love to have an entire tree of smocked ornaments someday....or at least a tree full of nothing but handmade ornaments!
Several years ago I smocked this Christmas Ornament completely with vertical smocking. I think it gives a very interesting look compared to horizontal smocking.
Vertical Smocking
(oops! the picture is actually upside-down!)
Vertical Smocking can be defined as smocking that is worked up and down the pleats (photo above) rather than across the pleats (photo below).
Horizontal Smocking
Every time I see smocked ornaments, it inspires me to make more! Today I decided to pleat up some fabric and start working on more smocked ornaments for my tree. While getting everything prepared, I thought this might be a great time to host a smock-a-long!
Feel free to smock-a-long with me as I show my readers how to make a smocked ornament. Since I am going to work another vertically smocked ornament, you will also get to follow along as I teach the vertical smocking stitches that I will be using on my smocked ornament!
To get started, you will need to tear a strip of batiste 
6" wide by 44" long.
Purchase some styrofoam balls - I like to use the  3" in diameter size, which I purchased in a 6 pack at Hobby Lobby.
Pleat 12 rows
Tie off rows in groups of 3
Grab several complimenting colors of DMC embroidery floss or use my favorite, DMC Pearl Cotton #8. For some useful info on DMC Pearl Cotton #8 and what size needle I use - click HERE!
Stop back tomorrow for the beginning stitches and please
pass the word to anyone who is interesting in joining 
my Smock-a-long!!

9 comments:

Jackie said...

Would love to do this with you! What size needle do you use for the Pearl Cotton #8? Thanks!

Sewconsult said...

I may just have to dig out my pleater and have a go with you. Don't know that I can go at the pace of years gone by, but I love smocked ornaments. Thanks for the motivation.
Beckie

Ginny said...

I'm fairly certain I did vertical smocking on a blouse by Debbie Glenn of Love & Stitches, but that was a long time ago. I wish I had time right now to smock with you, but I have a lot of other projects I have to get done for Christmas. Maybe next year? BTW, did you tie off your pleated piece to exactly the circumference of the styrofoam ball?

Beth S. said...

Looking forward to your smock-along. Question on the pleating- I noticed that your pleating threads are different colors. Should certain rows match/contrast with your fabric?

Esther Grant said...

Pretty, pretty!! I most definitely would like to attempt vertical smocking and much love to you for teaching it to us!

Anonymous said...

I would love to try this but I don't know how to even pleat the batiste fabric :( I'll try to find a lesson on that too! Great idea and thanks for posting!

Lottie H said...

Thanks for your tutorial, your ornaments are beautiful but I have a question. After you get your fabric pleated and are ready to tie off, how long do you make your piece? I have the same 3" balls you got from Hobby Lobby. Should the smocking be equal to the diameter of the balls or should the smocking be forced to stretch a little when it goes onto the ball? I've never done vertical smocking before but would like to try it.

Also wonder if you use the full 44" width of the fabric or do you cut it in half and make 2 ornaments out of one 44" width as others advise?

Laurie said...

Lottie, you want the smocking to stretch around the ball. 44" will yield two balls.

Pat from Florida said...

I've just begun smocking, making a smocked sundress for my granddaughter at our local shop.

I'm wondering if you will be doing a Christmas Ornament smock-a-long this year. Sure hope so. I love your tutorials.

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