This is a form of decoration best suited to thin woollens, cottons, silk or linen, and is chiefly used as a means of finishing children's dresses and shirts where much fulness is desired. Carefully gather up the portion of the garment to be smocked with rows of very regular gauging at intervals of 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch, and fasten the ends of the gauging threads to pins after drawing them to the required width. Diagram 146 shows some of the various stitches commonly used in smocking. The first is a row of outline stitch, taking up two folds of the material at a time. Care must be taken not to make this stitching too tight. Next comes Honeycomb Stitch where two folds of the material are caught together by two small firm stitches, and the needle is then directed along underneath one of the folds about half an inch, brought out there, and this fold and the next in succession caught together in like manner to the first pair, the folds have thus a zigzag direction given to them between the upper and lower rows of stitches. Many rows of this stitchery give a honeycombed appearance to the material, but great care is necessary to keep the rows of stitches perfectly even.

Smocking 159Smocking 160

Feather stitching and chain stitching may also be employed, each stitch taking up one single fold of the gauging. When finished the first gauging threads may be withdrawn.