Smocking in the Hoop

Wow!  Time is just flying for me right now, and the time to write is eluding me.  I was able to finish three of the 6 projects I started at the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion, as those 3 were just about done before I came home.

The first was the heirloom baby bonnet we made in the introductory class.  I have decided that for when I attach lace to anything, I prefer using a sewing machine, but when I attach entredeux or bridging to fabric, I prefer to use a serger.  I also learned that I may prefer using a narrow hem to a rolled hem for that particular seam.  It’s a bit bigger, but it is flatter.  I still need to play around with that idea some more before I decide which I really prefer.

I loved using my embroidery machine to smock.  We took our smocked insert and made a sundress, on which I had to practice all sorts of other techniques as well.  Here is a picture of the smocking.  The flowers were embroidered on top of the smocking, and can be found on the Martha Pullen site as a free download.  The smocking design is from a design CD Martha Pullen Co. sells called Smocking in the Hoop.Here’s the sundress.

This also inspired me to try out the smocking stitches on my sewing machine.  I hope to get the time to try that out pretty soon. Martha Pullen Co. also sells pre-pleated fabric, which is what we used for this dress.  That is sure handy!

Other techniques on this sundress included a nifty way to insert piping into bias bound edges, and using a serger to attach the ric rac hem trim and to make cover stitch tucks.  The serger was used for quite a bit of this dress, making it much quicker to make than it would have been otherwise.

We also made matching headbands, where the main construction was done in the embroidery hoop.  One was only embroidered, and the other I embellished with flowers made from serged fabric. That was surprisingly fun!








© Sherilyn Siegmund-Roach and Cherished Needle Creations

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lindsay Campbell
    Aug 18, 2014 @ 12:51:35

    Can the in the hoop smocking be done on ready to smock garments (not just inserts)? My local All Brands store sells dresses that are ready to be smocked, and I would love to use my embroidery machine to do the smocking for me! I am 7 months pregnant with a baby girl, so I am ready to try!


    • Sherilyn, Cherished Needle Creations
      Aug 19, 2014 @ 08:38:20

      Thank you for stopping by. Yes, definitely. The trick here would be two-fold. First, be sure that the smocking design you choose fits in the pleated area. Second, make sure the lining is pulled out of the way completely. These seem pretty obvious, but are also those places we can forget to check when we get excited about a project. I would use a paper template and any positioning tools or techniques you have to ensure the design fits. You may have to take some stitches out and restitch them afterwards to hold the lining out of the way.

      Congratulations on the exciting new stage in your life! Babies are such a joy. Have you found Elizabeth’s Embroideries? She has lovely smocking designs for girls and boys in lots of different sizes. I wish you all the best in your machine smocking!


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