Smocking in the Hoop – two new tips

Whether you call it Smocking in the Hoop or Embroidering on Pleated Cloth, the look is beautiful and it’s a great way to add a smocked look to garments, home decor, or other sewing projects.  This week I learned a new tip for setting up your pleated fabric for embroidery.

The first step in any smocking project is to block the pleated fabric to the right size.  Make sure you leave a seam allowance worth of unpleated fabric along the edges, and block the rest of the pleats to the size required in the project.  A pocket comb can help align squirrely pleats.  If there are pleats that just refuse to lie properly, use a Fabric Folding Pen in the well of the mischievous pleats to encourage them to cooperate.

Once the fabric is blocked, use Tiger Tape or Basting Tape along the short edges, parallel to the pleats, to hold the pleats in place next to the flat fabric seam allowance sections.  This is to keep the pleats from moving outward and flattening out, plus it clearly marks the two ends of the blocked piece.

I apologize that I do not have a photograph of this, and I will try to get one at some point.

Give Smocking in the Hoop a try.  It’s not the same, of course, as actual smocking, but it has a great look all its own.


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