How To: Elastic Thread Smocking

by This is Carrie on September 16, 2008

I did elastic thread “smocking” on the back of this latest refashion. It’s one of my favorite little sewing tricks. You can find one of many tutorials on the subject here.



TinaJewel September 16, 2008 at 2:34 pm

I use to do this on the ends of my sleeves all the time but I would start at the under arm seam and sew 1/4″ apart. When you would get back around to the starting point just sew at an angle to take you up to the next 1/4″ layer to keep continually sewing around the sleeve end until you had about 7 spiral rows sewn. Back stitch end on seam starting point and knot elastic and threads inside. Turn sleeve inside out so elastic is out. Then hold hot iron just above the elastic and steam. The elastic will shrink right up! No having to pull the different strands to gather it!

Just my 2 cent idea!

Mommymita September 16, 2008 at 4:07 pm

I’m so glad you posted this because I have always wanted to try it. Now that I have girls to sew for it will come in handy

Carolyn September 16, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Thank you! I was wondering how you did that.

Mommymita September 17, 2008 at 2:23 pm

I’m curious …. did you do the shirring then cut out the under arm curve? or cut then smock?


TftCarrie September 18, 2008 at 3:57 am

I don’t know if it is very clear in the tutorial I linked to, but I hand wind the elastic thread on the bobbin while stretching it. This is what makes it gather once sewn – I don’t use an iron or pull the strings to gather it.

mommymita- to answer your question, I cut the shape first then “smocked” it. Once you cut the elastic thread it will start to unravel so you want to be able to leave long tails that you can secure at the edges.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: