Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Secret To Straight Smocking Pleats

First, I thought that I would share a picture of what is happening on my design board right now. Little Emma's first Birthday is right around the corner and of course she will need something to wear for the party. The center picture on the board shows the colors and the monkey theme that mommy will be using. Everything else are snippets of possibilities that I will be using. The "Monkey Business" smocking plate is by Ellen McCarn is new on the market. Exactly what I was looking for!

And now, back to the purpose of this blog. I get asked quite often, "How do you keep your pleats straight during construction?" So, here it is......

It starts with the pleating. ALWAYS pleat extra "Holding Rows." These are pleated rows at the top and bottom of the smocked piece that will help keep the pleats from shifting during construction. You can see in the picture that the row of smocking is on Row 1 and then below that is the Holding Row. I then smock a Cable Row using two strands of floss that matches the fabric between Row 1 and the Holding Row.

The piping is then placed next to the Row 1 and covers the smocked Cable Row. If you ever do this once, you will never forget to pleat extra rows again!

You can find additional information on smocking and construction in my "Beginning Smocking Book."


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