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Everything I wish I knew about smocking when I started smocking.

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  1. After pleating, I often have to remove or rearrange the needles in my pleater.

    Of course, once the removable drum is out, accidentally turning the bottom drum slightly in the wrong direction makes all the needles fall out.

    Try this next time: run a piece of wax paper, or a paper towel, or even a scrap of cloth through the pleater and fill up the needles with pleated material. Leave it ON the needles.

    Remove the removeable drum. You can now take out ALL your needles TOGETHER. They will STAY together.

    You can remove unneeded needles and, with a little practice, quickly reinsert the strip of needles into the pleater.

    Once the removeable drum is back in place, you can remove the wax-paper/paper towel/scrap of cloth from the needles.

    No more chasing dozens of needles around the table after they have fallen out, getting MOST of them back in place, and having them all fall out again.

  2. There are so many things that I have learned about dress making and smocking, and things that I have yet to learn, that this page will never be completed.

    In fact, I am sure that many of you have favorite hints that you would be willing to share with the rest of us, so I invite you to join our group and contribute your ideas.

    As time passes, I will be writing my hints and putting them here.





assemblyDocumenting several stages in the making of a dress
smockingThe step by step assembly from pleating to finished dress (see pleating page)
storage hints
Measuring size
Flowerettes are a great way to add extra color and interest to a basic smocking design. These flowerettes are usually stitched after the basic smocking is completed. Adding a seed bead or a French knot in the center of the flowerette adds significance to the design in many cases.
Flowetettes are made up of cable stitches. These are stitches over 4 pleats.
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