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How to Do Smocking on a Sewing Machine Full Guide of 2023

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Smocking is one of the well-known types of embroidery that allows you to add decorative and unique stitches to garments. In addition, you can create some elasticity in your garments while sewing. That’s why smocking is the best way to get finished embroidery garments with mesmerizing designs and stitches.

If you apply a smocking technique to your garments, you can collect the fabric to stretch it. If you want control over the fullness of your garment, smoking is the best way to do it. Unfortunately, many sewers don’t know if they can smack on a sewing machine or not.

Well, the answer is yes. With a few simple steps, you can efficiently and effectively perform smocking on a sewing machine. In this article, you will learn how to smock on a sewing machine. Plus, you will understand the importance of smocking along with a step-by-step guide to doing it.

So, grab the knowledge from this article and use it to get the best sewing results for your embroidery clothes.

How do you smooch on a sewing machine?

If you turn the fullness of your embroidery clothes around if you want to check the bodice, neckline and shoulders, smock. This embroidery technique will help gather the fabric from these areas and prevent them from fitting.

You need to add small stitches to the smocking to give some elasticity around the fabric or create the garment. However, you need the right equipment or materials to make smocking easy and efficient. The real trick behind a successful smocking of your clothes is the preparation and sewing phase.

So watch each stage before and after the smocking to get the best finished results. for your embroidered garment. In addition, they broke each stage down and well explained with a step-by-step guide.

Materials Needed for Smocking

Here are some materials you will need for smocking your embroidery clothes.


If your smocking If you want to do this, use lightweight fabrics such as soft linen, cotton, silk,. However, it you use gingham fabrics, as their checks make it easier for you to mark the positions. In addition, thicker fabrics are difficult to fold, so try to use thin and soft fabrics for best results.


Embroidery thread is the best choice for smocking on your embroidery clothes. These wires can be easily and effectively separated from one to six strands. For example, if you are working on a cotton garment, use cotton thread. In addition, choose a thread that matches the color of your fabric and design.

Sewing machine

Finally you need a sewing machine with thin and sharp needles for small stitches.

The stages of preparation, gathering, sewing and smocking will get you to the eventual results for your embroidered garments.

Phase 1: Preparation phase

If you want to get the best results from your smocking, you must follow this phase carefully. In this phase, you should wash the fabric and press the wrinkles on it.

If you are using a very thin or light fabric, you can add it. some fusible interfacing. So follow these few steps for the preparation phase for the smocking.

Step 1: Cutting the fabric for the smocking

First, cut the fabric about three times wider than the width of the fabric’s finishing line. This allows you and smock the fabric. However, if you use fine fabric, you can cut the fabric five times wider.

In addition, you can use smocking before or after cutting the fabric. Sometimes, if you are working on a rectangular piece of fabric, smock before cutting the armholes, sleeves, cuff, etc.

Step 2: Use Dots to mark position of peat

Now you need to create a grid of dots to mark the position of the creases on the fabric. Mark the folds precisely. In addition, you must lay the peat in rows of exactly the same distance.

If you want to determine the width of the pleat, you can use the width of the marked pleat. dots. For example, you can create dots in a one-inch grid. This will cause more prominent wrinkles, which are perfect for practice before working on smaller pleats.

Step 3: Using a Smocking Machine Gatherer

If you are not sure about the accuracy of creating dots, you can use a smock collector machine. So you can use the machine pleats to collect. However, this machine is best for commercial use rather than domestic use.

Step 4: Using Checkered Fabric to Start Smocking

You can start with smocking using ginghams and fabrics with stripes, dots or checks. This is because the controls and make it easier to ease the highlighting step.

Phase 2: Fabric Gathering

When you with the preparation phase and marking the area, you need to collect the dots. So follow the few steps to sew the dots, pull the threads and finally tie them off.

Step 1: Sew the dots to the fabric

First you need to tie a knot on the thread at the beginning of the row. Then you can weave it together with the points you marked earlier. In addition, you need to make sure the knots are big and strong so they don’t get pulled through.

Second, take a short position below the dot and move on to the next one. This will make your collection look like long stitches between the dots and small stitches on the dots. However, you must follow this pattern to maintain the even set of your measured points.

So, finish all rows while not pulling any threads. In addition, you can leave about two inches of tail at the end of each row.

Step 2: Pulling the threads from the fabric

In this step, you can take about two strands at a time and pull the stitches at the end. Then you can loosen the pleats firmly on your gathered space on the fabric. In addition, keep knots on one side of the fabric and loose threads on the other.

Step 3: Tie the thread of your fabric ]

In addition, in this step, you will need the creases and create even distances to tie the threads of your fabric on the other sides at a loose end. In addition, do not pull the pleats too tight.

Stage 3: Choosing the right stitches for your sewing machine

You must choose the matching stitches for machine smocking.

Although there are a few decorative stitches available for sewing machines, it is not possible to find a suitable one. be so difficult.

You can choose a stretch stitch for the traditional cable stitch on your embroidery clothes. In addition, you can also make zigzag stitches with two threads with needles to create different shaped stitches.

You can also search your sewing machine’s manual to get the best results for decorative stitches for smocking.

Stage 4: Smocking on the sewing machine

When you have collected and made the stitches, it’s time for you to smock on the garment. However, double check whether or not the pleats are even.

So when your fabric , start sewing from the parallel rows of your decorative stitches. You can then use the shirring stitches as a guideline to create straight rows and sew between them.

Finally you need to build your group of smocking stitches. on the equally spaced lines. Once you with the smocking on your machine, you can remove the basting stitches by pulling on them with ease.

This will lead to the release of creases and you will definitely improve clothing design.

How do you smock extra small or fine pleats?

There are several simple ways and methods smoking in your extra small folds instead of drawing dots. For example, you can mark in grids instead of points. However, you may encounter the downside of unclean fabric on the bottom. So try using chalk or a removable ink pen in your fabric.

In addition, you can measure lines about an inch between the rows and ¼ inch between the columns. So if you want to work on extremely fine creases, you can use grid lines about inch.

Finally, you can sew the fabric up and down along the measured grid lines. In addition, try not to forget the tails of your pleats to pull them.

What are the basic smocking stitches?

There are different smocking stitches for embroidery clothes. But if you want to do smocking on your sewing machine, check out these basic stitches.

Cross stitch: You can use these points to suit the decorative and design needs of your fabric. These stitches and X-shaped, giving them the best results.

Running Stitch: U You can also think of this as the straight stitch needed to run small stitches back and forth on your embroidery projects.

Back stitch: You must perform contour stitching on your embroidery garment smocking procedure. Here the backstitch will act as a favorable factor.

Whipstitch: This basic smocking stitch helps the thread move in a spiral motion along the edge of your fabric.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.