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.
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.