Carolmarie, I think that smocking is actually the easiest of all the hand needle arts because as long as you prepare your smocked panel well, all you have to do is keep your needle straight and space your trellis steps evenly. Even this is easy to do because the rows of smocking and the smocking threads themselves provide a very clear guide for where to put the next stitch. I think it's quite easy to get a good result as long as you've kept your fabric straight as you put it through the pleater and that you've spent time blocking your smocked panel so the rows are well-spaced.
I would really encourage you to give it a try - it is great fun and really rewarding. The best how-to guide would definitely be the "A-Z of Smocking" to learn the stitches and the "A-Z of Smocking for Sewers to learn how to make up the garments, by Country Bumpkin the publishers of "Australian Smocking and Embroidery". Also, the AS&E magazines themselves all contain full-size patterns, tips and full instructions about how to make their creations. Check out their website here:
There are not words that desrcibe how beautiful and sweet this dress and coat are...omg I would cry if I had a little girl and someone made this for her!
Wait..... the 12 month old baby girl got married????
I think that I have seen that doll somewhere before? Possibly in a magazine?
This is absolutely beautiful. The last time I smocked something...was my high school graduation dress! I am old!!! But it was the hit back then....'71!!!! This is way too cute!
I love this little dress. I have never smocked anything but if I could make it look like this, I would try. Just so sweet. I love the color too
Wow, how talented you are and your mom isn't bad either! You guys make a good team. The dress and coat are priceless. When I first saw the doll I made a double take. I had a Patty Play Pal when I was about 7 and she was the same size as me.
Sewzalot She is an Annette Himstedt doll. Himstedt is well known as one of the finest doll artists in the world. Her inspiration was always from real little children.
Conniharns Thanks so much! Maybe you should get back into smocking? It is such a soothing and fun form of needlework and it's so much fun when the final panel is all done and you can admire your labours!
Quilt455 QUilt - it's not hard to get a great result even with your first smocking project! Read my reply to Sewzalot if you want to get into this new hobby. If you put enough time and effort into your preparation of the smocked panel before you start the actual smocking, a great result is almost guaranteed - it's pretty hard to go wrong!
Terryt1955 Thanks so much! My Mum and I love co-creating outfits and we have often made them for my Himstedt dolls who are the size of and have the realism of real children!
Your Patty Play Pal sounds like so much fun - a little girl's dream dolly!