I am a firm believer in that the back of your smocking should be neat and tidy. My goal is to strive to make it look almost as good as the front of the smocking!
I went to my sewing room and pulled out random smocked garments and snapped pictures of the underside of a few to show you how mine look.
The above picture is the smocked bishop from
As you can see, I try not to carry my floss too far
across pleats, not much more than 3-4 pleats.
This is the underside of another smocked bishop
Here is an example of the underside of
a smocked bonnet.
Even with picture smocking, you can strive to keep your work neat and tidy. This is Caleb's Cottontails! You can see on this example how I carried my floss vertically up the pleats. I try hard to have as few knots on the backside of my smocking as possible.
The white cable stitches are what is known as "back smocking" and it must be done on the back of all picture smocking in order to hold the pleats.
Here is another example of the backside of picture smocking.
You can see I had to do quite a few rows of back smocking.
Here's my tips:
- Strive to keep the back of your smocking as neat and tidy as you can. I always double knot when I tie off the floss, then leave a little tail. You don't want to trim away the floss too close to the knot, or it could come undone.
- Keep traveling across pleats on the backside to a minimal - no more than 3-4 pleats. If you travel much more than that, it can cause pulling of the pleats on the front side of your smocking.
- When traveling the floss vertically between rows, try to travel in the valley of the pleat, but do take into consideration that if you are using a dark color floss on a light color fabric that it might show thru on the front side.
- Keep knots to a minimum - I usually start with about an 18" piece of floss, so that I can work as many stitches as I can before knotting off and starting a new piece.
- When I do back smocking, I usually use one strand of Quilting Thread.