HNW - English smocking

Connie Carroll Connie.Bunny at
Fri Jan 19 12:56:20 PST 2001

Thanks for the lists of smocking books. I've never used a machine, also done
mine my hand.

Mistress Bunny

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-h-needlework at
> [mailto:owner-h-needlework at]On Behalf Of Mike Newell
> Dear Lynn:
> I have a small collection of books on English smocking, and never got
> around to doing more than cutting out the linen pieces and working one or
> two pieces. The Armes book is rather nice and I recall I had to send away
> for it specially (this was in the late 1970's). I had a roommate then  who
> was doing a smock, and she had this book. It turned me on to the
> whole idea
> of a smock. I went to England in 1980 and I accumulated a few books there,
> some here in the US, then never got around to getting further than two
> panels.
> < I understand that the "tubes" are the pleats made by the
> uniform gathered
> stitches, but what are the "reeds"?  "It is important that
> in making up a smock the reeds should be kept true into the
> collar,shoulder-straps and wrist-bands.">
> If I recall properly, the reeds mean the stroked gathers.
> American smocking
> (when I was young) was done by first ironing a transfer of gridded dots on
> the fabric.  You would take a needle and pick up the dots here and there,
> and that made the patten. English smocking is done by first
> running lots of
> gathering stitches, then pulling up and stroking the gathers into reeds,
> *then* the pattern is embroidered over the pre-gathering. Someone please
> correct me if I'm in error here.
> My little collection of books are:
> Alice Armes (as per your message)
> Hall, Maggie "Smocks" (Shire Album #46) Shire Pubn. Ltd, 1979  ISBN
> 0-85263-4773
> Nichols, Marian, "Smocks in the Luton Museum" Borough of Luton
> Museum &A rt
> Galley, UK, 1980
>         ISBN  0-907106-00-5
> Cave, Oeone, "Traditional Smocks and Smocking", Mills & Boon, L td.,
> London, 1979  ISBN 0-263-06408-5
> Marshall, Beverly "Smocks and Smocking", Van Nostrand Rheinhold, NY 1981
> ISBN  0-442-28269-9
> Hart,. Natalie, "English Peasant Smocks", private press, 1973
> Evans, Ruby, "Embroidery from Traditional English Patterns", BT Batsford,
> London, 1971, ISBN? 7134-2649-7
>         Library of Congress # 75-131433, Branford SBN  8231-4026-1
> ============================
> I find the Natalie Hart book puzzling -- it has photos (some courtesy of
> the Metropolitan Museum of Art)  yet no publishing information (except the
> date) is anywhere in the book. I dimly recall ordering it via
> Mechanicsville, PA many years ago, but I never had any  luck tracking down
> another copy. Pity-- it's a nice book.
> Hope this is helpful.
> --Kathryn
> SCA: Kathryn Goodwyn
> "too many centuries....too little time"
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