Honeycomb smocking on gingham

This will eventually be the bodice of a dress, with a yoke sewn above it and a skirt below.

I could have cut the bodice and skirt as one piece and used the smocking as the gathering stitches for the skirt, but honeycomb smocking only requires 2 times the finished width and I would like the skirt to be more full than that.

I’m using the same basic technique shown at this link, except for that I’m leaving the diagonal threads between stitches showing on top instead of hiding them underneath. Also I’m using the checks of the gingham as my guide instead of drawing dots onto the fabric.

I’m using a #7 darner (also known as an embroidery needle) with two strands of stripped embroidery floss. I cut my lengths of floss quite long because it gets used up fairly quickly with this technique.

Somewhere I have a couple of pieces made by my grandma Grace (my mom’s mother) using this technique–one was on gingham, and another on an even polka-dot fabric. I should find them and take some pictures. (Well, and I should also sew them into dresses or tops while I still have a little one they would fit.)

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12 Responses to Honeycomb smocking on gingham

  1. Erin says:

    Wow! I love smocking, but have never tried doing it myself. I’m very impressed. How long does it take you?

    • zstitches says:

      Frankly, it’s pretty time consuming. Maybe an hour per row, or half that when I get going. It’s good for taking along while I wait for the kids at the dentist, or if I’m sitting and watching TV and don’t need to give the show my full attention.

  2. Jillybean says:

    So pretty!!
    I’ve always wanted to learn smocking.

  3. Megan says:

    This is beautiful! Great job.

  4. Tracy Hall Jr says:

    Awesome! I love how that looks, almost enough to have you teach me!

  5. Tracy Hall Jr says:

    That was actually Helen Hall. I guess I was logged in as my hubby. πŸ™‚

  6. Trina says:

    Love it! Something I have yet to attempt. . . maybe someday. . .

  7. Jan says:

    I learned to smock when I lived in the South, but here in Utah, no one seems to do it. I always did it on fabric that had been run through a pleater first with basting threads to hold the pleats in place. Do you happen to know any places along the Wasatch Front that do the pleating or sell smocking supplies?

    Your orange gingham turned out cute, btw. πŸ™‚ Hope you get it made into a dress soon!

    • zstitches says:

      There are people who smock in Utah but I agree that it’s less common. I have a pleater and a neighbor who wants to learn, which will be fun. The Stitching Corner used to have smocking classes at their Salt Lake shop but I don’t know if they still do at the Provo one (which is their one remaining store). Stitching Corner does have a few old copies of Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazine and some sample dresses hanging up.

      I do know of places you can ship your fabric to to be pleated, although that can slow down the midnight sewing sprees.

      If you go to delphiforums.com and find the “Heirloom Sewing and Smocking” forum you can meet lots of smocking friends all over the country.

  8. Nafisa Rangwala says:

    I love smocking but have never done a design like this would love to see some more samples

  9. Suhasini Khare says:

    This design is lovely but i will like to have some more samples .Rcently i have done one design on gown . — Suhasini

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