I know, I know, Danna give it up on the cutesy theme days already! :-) I've decided to do a smocking tutorial and share with you the little that I know about it. It's not a lot, but it will allow you to smock about 90% of the plates(patterns) out there. I'm going to go excruciatingly slow, because I am pretending that I am teaching myself! Even if your children are too old or don't wear smocked clothing, they make wonderful baby gifts! It's incredibly easy, just start early. (It's much more relaxing to do a little at a time while watching t.v., than to stare at a needle and thread for hours!)
Okay, Lesson 1: MATERIALS
You will need embroidery needles and embroidery(DMC) thread. Important because the needles have a longer eye than regular sewing needles. Both of these things are very inexpensive. Each color thead is about 25 cents. The pattern will tell you which colors to get. Some patterns call for many different colors. I, however, never go by the colors it calls for. I just make up my own color scheme.
Fabric - I have always used either gingham, batiste, or broadcloth. Usually broadcloth because it's cheapest. You will need to have the fabric pleated. You can ask around and usually find someone you know who has a pleater. If that's not an option, places that do tailoring or alterations will work or a local fabric store can give a recommendation.
Alright, that's all you need to begin: needles, thread, and pleated fabric. No embroidery hoop necessary. Next Tuesday's Lesson - threading the needle and the basic cable stitch!