Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pleating with Precision

One of the most important factors to successful smocking is pleating your fabric correctly. Beginner smockers and maybe even intermediate smockers might not be aware of this important factor. I recently created a quick video to instruct and educate how to pleat with precision. 
Fabric preparation is extremely important if you want your smocking to stand out and be noticed. This is particularly important when using fabric with a nap or one-way design, such as the polka dots shown above. Nothing is more distracting than to see a smocked insert where the fabric is off-grain or off-nap. The smocking is straight across the rows, but the fabric might be so off-grain or off-nap that it distracts your eye from the beauty of all the hand smocking.
The video I created is just a quick overview of 3 types of fabrics; batiste, gingham and polka dot, but the techniques taught will pertain to most any fabric you choose.
Another previous tutorial I have shows more in depth photos and instruction on pleating gingham with success and you can find that here.
After properly preparing your fabric for pleating, you will then be ready to pleat. In my video I mentioned my Pleating 101 tutorial, which you can find HERE.
I hope that you find my tutorials beneficial as you learn to smock or perfect your smocking technique. As always, I welcome your comments and if you have any questions, please send me an email.
I am working on creating a smocking class for beginner smockers or for those who want to improve upon their skills. This will be a class that teaches the process from start to finish - types of fabric, fabric prep, pleating, smocking stitches, proper technique and finishing the project. Kits will be available for this class. More information will be coming about that - please sign up for my newsletter so that you can be the first to know when it's available!
I also wanted to direct those who are new to my blog and smocking that I have a smocking handbook available.
This eBook Handbook teaches all the basic stitches and some advanced stitches for smocking. It's a handy guide that you can load up on your iPad or computer and reference to as you learn the smocking stitches.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Laurie, for this pleating video. I've been pleating for almost 40 years and still do not enjoy it. But I learn something from each book, tutorial, video ~~~ and continued to learn from you today. I appreciate your sharing your talents!
Lindy Wright, Richmond VA

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