Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New Era Smocking Plates

There's a new era of smocking plates on the market and they have many advantages over the traditional paper smocking plates. I have been smocking for over 30 years, so I have quite a collection of paper smocking plates. I have all mine stored in paper protectors and grouped by designer in a big 3-ring binder.
This seems to be the best way I have come up with to keep my smocking plates organized and easy to find. When I use one of them, I just take the whole paper protector out of the binder so that I can keep my smocking plate clean and wrinkle-free!
Several years ago, smocking plates started taking on a new form by being created as PDF files. I didn't really jump on board with that type of smocking plate at the time, as it wasn't the most convenient. It was still easier to grab my paper smocking plate and carry it about with me wherever I went. That was before the era of iPads and other portable electronic tablets. I now love the ease of bringing up a smocking plate on my iPad and being able to carry it around with me!
Another great advantage of PDF Smocking Plates is that with the swipe of my fingers, I can zoom in to those sometimes hard to see stacked cables! Zooming in allows me to see the detail that I might need to work on the design.
One question that cropped up on my facebook page was "Can I view PDF Smocking Plates on my Android device?" The answer is, if you can view PDF files on whatever brand portable electronic device you have, then YES! you can!!
PDF Smocking Plates are also a great convenience as you can order them and get an instant download and be smocking immediately! 
My design studio, Brer Rabbit Designs, has quite a few PDF smocking plates to choose from and all are an instant download!
If I was real ambitious, I would scan every single one of my paper smocking plates and make them into PDF files. I could then store each smocking plates in my computer or iCloud and be able to access them all at the tap of a finger! Oh the convenience! I'm just not sure I am quite that ambitious yet, but perhaps someday I will have nothing better to do than to scan smocking plates all day long!


2 comments:

sarab4 said...

I have just returned to smocking after a 20 year break! This is a fabulous idea with over 100 plates from days of old and now I'm accumulating more! I'm going to try my husband's scansnap and I'll let you know if works easily! I especially like the idea of being able to make it larger!

mhightower said...

I too am back to smocking for a new granddaughter due Sept. 1 after smocking for two boys 25 years ago! I am searching for detailed instructions on doing a three-letter script monogram and upper/lower geometric border (something fairly simple) for a coming home gown. A pdf plate online would be awesome as I could have it instantly without wait. Do you know of any sites that might have what I'm searching for? Thanks!

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