Saturday, April 5, 2008

Smocking Lessons, Continued.

Work the pleats slowly and carefuly down the threads. Then continue rolling the fabric through a little at a time.
Check both sides of the fabric. The top side will be the one with larger spaces between threads. (It's really best to know this before you begin on your project, because you will want the right side of your fabric on this side.) (My pleater makes pretty even spaces on both sides.) Your stitching is done on the top of the pleats, in the top third of the "hill" that is made when the fabric is gathered up.
Contine to work the pleats down the threads. Be sure that you keep the pleats straight as you do this. Don't let them criss-cross on the threads as you pull them down or life will be more difficult when you begin embroidering your design on them.
When you reach the end of your fabric, pull your fabric down the threads. If you are doing more than one piece of fabric, simply leave a gap between the two pieces and start your next piece of fabric. This will save you from having to rethread the needles. You will just continue working all pieces down the threads.
Since you know which side of the needle you have the tail of your thread on (top or bottom - bottom in our case, since we threaded by going down through the needle) begin to pull each tail out of the fabric and then out of the needles. (When doing multiple pieces on the same threads, be sure you leave about two feet of thread between pieces and one foot at each end.)
Knot the tails of your thread together. One knot on each end of your piece. (So that you don't accidentally pull a thread out.)

Spread your pleats out to the width of your pattern piece. Count the pleats and find the center pleat, mark it with a piece of embroidery thread at the top and bottom of the center pleat (on the hill top).
Begin working on your embroidery pattern, doing the rows in the order stated by your pattern. (Not all patterns are worked from top to bottom - why, I don't know. But, just like in cooking, it's best to follow the directions exactly until you really know what you're doing.)

Copyright 2008, Paula Ellsworth & Sarah Jane Mason (All rights reserved.)
(Pullen Pleater copyright - Martha Pullen)

3 comments:

Cecily R said...

Holy crap, that looks complicated!! I have a dress that my mom made me when I was five that she smocked completely by hand...it's a treasure for sure!

TheVasquez3 said...

i humbly bow at your supreme awesomeness...there is no way i could ever wrap my head around something so complicated...wowzer!

Becky said...

Thank you sooo sooo much for posting this. It has been years since I smocked anything and I want to smock something for my new baby granddaughter. I could not remember how to use my pleater and have lost the instructions. ( which I don't remember getting with my pleater at the time i purchased it) Thank you again for posting this, I did not want to have to pay 30 dollars plus to get instructions. Now if you ever feel the need lol I would love to know how to pleat a Bishop.

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