Monday, August 17, 2009

Smocking Tutorial

Smocking is super easy, and it’s a wonderful way to make dresses, shirts, and just about everything else. It is really flattering and allows for a lot of flexibility of fit.
What you need:
- elastic thread
- sewing maching
- fabric, or whatever project you’re working on and want to smock

Step 1: Wind the elastic thread around the bobbin. You HAVE to do this manually; if you do it with your machine it will stretch the elastic, which you don’t want. When you wind the bobbin, you want to make sure that it is to the point where it is almost stretching the elastic, but not quite.
Step 2: Put the bobbin in your machine. It’s really important that you do this correctly. Some machines will sew ok with normal thread even if the bobbin isn’t threaded exactly right (mine is like this), but with elastic thread it will not work.

Step 3: Sew! You want the right side of the fabric to be up, so that the elastic is on the underside. As you sew, you should see the fabric bunch behind you. This is what the underside of the smocked material should look like:
And here's one of my smocked dresses:


  1. Do you use regular thread for top stitch?

  2. I have the same question. Do you use the elastic thread on top or regular thread?

  3. I would also like to know what thread you use on the top spool!
    And is that a special foot you use? Or just a regular one?


  4. Hi! I'm not Amber, but I do know that you do use regular thread on the top spool or for your top stitch. Hope that helps if anyone is still wondering! :)

  5. I've sewn with elastic thread before and I've had a problem with the elastic sliding out of the stitching after I try stretching it. Any suggestions to fix this?

  6. If you reverse stitch at both the start and the end that should secure the elastic

  7. This is called shirring.



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