I recently purchased some Amy Butler fabric from her new Midwest Modern collection. I'm still in this intense sewing mode. I just completed a smocked sunsuit and still have the smocking bug. I decided to make a smocked sundress in a girls size 3 using my new fabric. The piece of fabric that is to be smocked generally has to be 3 to 4 times wider than the finished measurement to account for all the pleats. I have a Super Amanda pleater. First thing that needs to be done is to prepare the fabric. It must be washed to remove any sizing and then pressed. All selvages also need to be removed. Those pleater needles are finicky and we can't have one breaking right in the middle of the process! The prepared fabric is then rolled onto a wooden dowel. This helps to feed the fabric evenly though the pleater.
Here is a picture of my pleater all set up for this project.
I got the box that my pleater is sitting on from my friend Dora. It's the best gadget! All the spools of thread sit inside the box and are fed through small holes in the plexiglass front. The spools stay in place and tangle free.
This picture shows the fabric coming through the pleater.
A perfectly pleated piece of fabric.
Of course you don't need a pleater to do smocking.
Smocking dots are iron on transfers. You transfer the rows of dots to the back of the fabric and with a needle and thread, pass through all the dots to create your pleats.
It's so easy and really fun to do. I'm off to pick out the floss for my new project!