Smocking patterns (called smocking plates) are not too abundant on the internet for free. Most smocking plates must be purchased from a designer or a company, unless you subscribe to magazines such as Australian Smocking and Embroidery, published by Country Bumpkin. I have managed to find one beautiful free smocking pattern online, so I thought I would share it with readers.
You might wonder why, all of a sudden, I’m on a smocking kick, since I already wrote once about smocking this week. This summer, I plan to smock some baby bonnets, either to use as gifts or to sell. Truthfully, I don’t think I’ll be able to sell them at a price suitable to pay for my time, but I think it’s fun, now and then, to “test the market” on certain hand-made goods. We have several fine gift stores in town which take quality goods on consignment, so I might give that a whirl. We’ll see!
So that’s the interest in smocking, besides the fact that I just like the look of beautifully smocked baby goods! So don’t be surprised if I do mention smocking off and on in the next few months. It’s not my “strong point” (I’ve only smocked one other item in my life), but I’m eager to experiment with the technique!
Back to the pattern – I found this on the Country Bumpkin website, and it’s really lovely. It’s called Symphony of Roses, and it requires Adobe in order to view it. You may have to register (for free) at Country Bumpkin, but I think it’s worth it – they have some nice stuff on there!
If you don’t know a thing about smocking, and want to see how it’s done, check out the beginner’s guide to smocking on Creative Keepsakes. The instructions are good, and it’s enough to get you started – once you have something pleated to adorn! I’ll be working on ready-to-smock baby bonnets from The Old Fashioned Baby. These are a great way to go, if you don’t have a pleater and want to make a special, personalized gift.
In addition to the instructions on Creative Keepsakes, they also have instructions for smocked gift bags, which I think are really cute. Since they’re made out of gingham, they can be pleated easily by hand without a pleater.
If you find you like smocking, invest in a pleater! These bonnet patterns are so simple, so I imagine they don’t take long to make up. My sister is a veteran smocker, and she almost choked when she found out I spent money on pre-pleated bonnets when she could have done it for me! Live and learn!
I’ll keep you up-to-date on these projects when they start to materialize, and post plenty of photos along the way.