Thursday, June 26, 2008

Smocking Photos

Several of you have asked about my smocking. Some have asked what it is. I'm sorry for not getting these up sooner, but I had to scan in some photos, and I wasn't to that point in my photo history yet. So I just jumped ahead. Hate that, getting things out of order.

Here's Miss Maybelline at age four in one of my first attempts to smock. I had just learned, while pregnant with the last child, t
hen wound up with Little Guy. Go figure. But I loved to dress up my girl.



She was dedicated in this dress. Yes, at four. We moved from Maryland to Virginia just after she was born, then from Virginia to Florida after Oatmeal Head was born. We just had all three dedicated after Little Guy was born.


I think she was five here and it was Easter. This is one of my more favorite dresses. It's difficult to tell, but there are three separate panels on the front, each with a pansy smocked on it. The colors of floss match the colors in the calico, so it blends. The sleeves and collar were my favorite feature, though. I'd found some dish linens in an antique shop which were falling apart, but they sported some beautiful French knot bouquets. I used them as inserts on the sleeves and as the collar. That's when I found out the hard way that when Scripture talks about not putting new wine in old skins, it's really also applicable to fabric in general. The second run through the washer and dryer tore that thing apart. The older linens just fell apart.

Those are my earliest attempts to smock Here's one from just a couple of years ago. Honestly? I'm not really even sure whose baby this is. I've made this outfit for a couple of different girls of friends. I love the pattern, the pale pink cotton batiste, the shell buttons and the tatted trim. Oh! And the matching diaper cover!


See how the smocking just falls from the shoulders? Isn't it adorable? So delicate and girly. The baby's cute too.

Smocking? Simply embroidery on pleats. As long as I have you here, I might as well show you my pleater. This is the little machine through which I crank my fabric, after rolling it on a dowel. The needles are all wonky to fit into the gears. It rocks.



Hope you enjoyed the tour today. I just noticed that that strange baby's toenails are painted, so you know I enjoyed the tour.

Until I write again ...

Flea

15 comments:

noble pig said...

I am now informed!

dlyn said...

Wow - I have to give you huge kudos for having the patience to do this - and the result is gorgeous!

Jan Parrish said...

How cute and feminine. Smocking is in now so you should make yourself something cute and feminine. :)

Candace said...

Whatever became of that class you held at church. I remember coming once or twice. I still have the baggy with the sample in it somewhere, not that I remember how to do it.
I have a picture of wee one in one of your dresses somewhere. Sadly, I never got one of her in the off white one. She grew too fast :(

Mental P Mama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mental P Mama said...

Love them! A timeless art...and as a GRITS, smocked dresses are the uniform! I miss them.

Tammy said...

Those are gorgeous! I had no idea how smocking was done, I didn't even know there was a machine for it. COOL!

Kacey said...

Wow, I love that smocking! Sigh. I had all boy babies though...

Memaw's memories said...

I've been smocking for about 30 years. My granddaughters are now wearing their mother's dresses. I don't smock as much as I used to, because I have to make 3 of everything, and I don't like to do that. The only thing I've smocked this year has been Easter Dresses, and I don't think I have a decent pic of any of those dresses.

Did I understand you have taught classes--that's great.

jules said...

Beautimus!!
I love little girls dresses with smocking. So classic and feminine!!
I would love to learn how to, looks hard.

Mayberry Magpie said...

I LOVE smocking, but then you expect that from a woman from Mayberry, huh? I want to hear more about how your pleating machine works. I sew, but I've never heard of such a thing.

Mayberry Magpie

The Sports Mama said...

I just have to tell you that I LOVE the picture in your header! :)

That, and those are darling pictures of Maybelline!

Chelf said...

Somewhere in the sundry laws, there were instructions to not wear two types of material at the same time. I don't know if that was the Bible, or someplace else.

MIL smocked a navy dress with white thread for Jelly Bean. Was so clean and pretty!

Suzanne Eller said...

Hey Flea,

If I enjoyed sewing, this would be fun. : ) But it's fun seeing someone else do it. Your daughter looks cute, cute, cute in the smocks. My mother-in-law sewed for my girls and it was such a gift.

Colleen said...

I need to have a little girl so I can buy one of your lovely smocked frocks. Well, I'd like a girl for other reasons, but dressing her up all girly is a good one, right?