Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Free Smocking Pattern


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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 (update, 2015: This magazine is no longer published).

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!

Update: 2015 – Unfortunately, the Country Bumpkin no longer exists and its replacement (Create in Stitch) does not offer the free smocking plate, Symphony of Roses, at this time.

Smocking Tutorials & Resources

If you’re looking for smocking tutorials and resources, you might visit the website, Gathering Threads. Claire has several tutorials on her blog for very pretty little smocking designs. For example, you might enjoy this tutorial for a sweet little smocked basket of roses.


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(13) Comments

  1. I have viewed your site in the past and love it! But I’ve been so busy with my projects I haven’t been back for a long time. I googled “guide for smocking” and got the Creative Keepsakes site and then it linked me to you. 🙂
    I read about your baby bonnets and was wondering how did they come out? Have you posted pictures? I didn’t notice if you had, but I will look around to see if you did. You are now saved into my favorites. Your site was an excellent site when I started with projects in the past. I will recommend you to many others.
    Thank you for your efforts and information.

  2. Hi, cherwill –

    No, I’m afraid I haven’t tackled the bonnets yet. I have four now, waiting to be smocked. I just haven’t had the chance to dig them out and work them! I’m thinking about passing them on to my niece, who loves smocking and does a beautiful job. Or, maybe one of these days… I’ll get to it!

    Thanks for reminding me, and for stopping back in!

    Best regards,

  3. I remember many years ago smocking on gingham fabric a sun hat for a toddler. It’s not a bonnet. It’s a sunhat. Can you help direct me where I can find a child’s sunhat smocking pattern. It’s not a pleated smocking it was smocking on the gingham squares and it made a honeycomb diamond shape. I’d like to create something easy like the sun hat. Can you help.

  4. Hi Mary!

    I have made a cute english smocking outfit for my grandaughter. I have inherited the Martha Pullen Pleater from my Great Aunt and am blessed to have it.
    My daughter gave me the news to be expecting my second grandaughter coming this May! Well, I am into smocking now and is loving it. I came here to see about a pattern for the bonnet. It is a beautiful pattern, I am aware that you have purchased the bonnet pre-pleated. What I am looking for is the size of the bonnet before pleating. Would you happen to know what the size of the bonnet fabric is before pleating. I have bolts and bolts of natural muslin to use up!!

    Thank you so much!

  5. There is no way you can ever price anything that is hand smocked enough to pay for your time. I sell my stuff and basically due labor for free! But I'm so addicted to it that I don't care, it's my stress reliever.

  6. if you want ideas for children, try “hand embroidered country scenes” by me. the little meadow should be within their capabilities. good luck. sue

    1. Hi, Donna – Thanks for bringing this to my attention! The smocking plate, Symphony of Roses, is no longer available, as the Country Bumpkin website no longer exists. I’ve made some corrections in the article above, and added some links for further explorations.

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