Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Smocking and Pleating Silk

While teaching smocking recently, I had several questions about pleating and smocking on Silk Dupinioni. Silk pleats and smocks beautifully, but there are several tips that I have learned through trial and error. First, I like to use a #7 Darner Needle for the smocking. DMC floss works fine, but I like the look of Madeira Silk Floss best. Silk has a tendency to ravel as you work with it, so after cutting the garment out, zigzag or serge the edges of all the pieces. When pleating, I always pleat the half rows to prevent the fabric from "bubbling" as it pleats. It is also helpful to have someone else around who can turn the pleater, so that you will have both hands free to guide the fabric through smoothly.

White Silk Dupioni and blue smocking, gives this classic bubble a very elegant look. The tucks on the front yoke and the bow tie were both added.

The smocking is made of basic Cables and Baby Waves and is done in pale blue floss.

When pleating a bishop, I have found that French Seams are normally too dense to go through the pleater smoothly, so I trim and zigzag the seams instead. This gold silk bishop, was featured in Sew Beautiful magazine issue #78.

The smocking design was my original design, and is in the pullout section of the magazine. It was a great way for me to practice small bullion roses!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I love your work! I also enjoy smocking and am looking to smock my first silk dupioni dress. I heard that you should pleat the fabric against the grain instead and even interface with German interfacing... do you use this? Thanks!


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