Monday, February 17, 2014


yep, expansion is what's on my mind these days

i've been trying my hand at smocking

shell from the raspberry rabbits  did a blog post about the wonderful embroidery of michele carragher who has done some exquisite work

 on michele's website she has a tutorial for making dragon scale smocking

and as i love anything to do with smocking i had to try it out

my first attempt was interesting but not at all like michele's

the right side, after pressing

i thought i figured out my error so i tried again, in a smaller scale

right side, smaller scale, before pressing

 after pressing
 my second attempt was also wrong - the scales are far too spaced out - i still like it, but not what i was after...

 after studying her pictures closer, and ignoring the written instructions altogether, i made another stab at it

third attempt, right side, before pressing
 the third was the charm
(isn't it always??)

third attempt, after pressing

below are all three versions
looking at the photo it would seem my first attempt was pretty good after all, and number three needs more pressing... but i am so thrilled with them anyway

i'm going to make one more sample on muslin and add some embroidery, and then try it out with silk 

and so... back to expansion... i was thinking about that word as i worked on this - it's smocking but the way i did it, it doesn't expand much - there are stitches that aren't meant to be gathered so i knotted them

i don't mind that it doesn't stretch, it just makes me think i either am doing it wrong, or else it isn't "smocked" in the traditional manner

it doesn't matter, i like it anyway


Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

You're amazing Jillayne!!!
Now I want to try this smocking too!
I'll pop over to those blogs and have a looksie - merci!

karen said...

I love this, you know I do but???? I adore it before pressing.....sorry!! It is just so soft that way....

BumbleVee said...

I was just going to say how I love it before the pressing..but, Karen beat me to it.... yes soft looking before .... I did a bit of ruching of a small bit of silk and it looks sort of similar but, I have no idea about smocking... I just made little gathered areas... quite like it. I'll show and tell on my Flickr site some day soon...I'm putting the piece of fabric into a page of my book of stitching stuff ...

deanna7trees said... too...i like it before pressing. the smocking i have done that similar to this, but a different pattern, never said to press i was surprised. it is just beautiful.

Createology said...

I did view both Shell and Michele's blogs on this smocking technique. I didn't try stitching as you have done. I actually like each of your samples for different looks and textures. In silk it will be stunning...I can see an iridescent colored silk shimmering like scales...dragons, fish, birds...oh the possibilities are endless. You are making me swoon dear...

Celestina Marie Design said...

Hi Jillayne,
Love your smocking samples. Each one looks great to me. You are just amazing at everything you do.
Silk will be gorgeous.
Happy Wednesday.

Marj Talbot said...

I admire your trying all these different techniques. What fun!! I like both pressed and unpressed - each are special in their own way. Any embroidery going on them? Lovely!!

Mosaic Magpie said...

Be careful or you will soon be Smocking Crazy like me!

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

This is just so cool! I can't wait to see where you take it. Add your own little twists here and there. I don't know why, but I picture beads added to the points. Must be all my beads I purchased today. ;)