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Counterchange Smocking How-To


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Counterchange smocking is a fun, striking form of embroidery that can be used to create embroidered, gathered areas for skirts and cuffs, or create flat areas for a bodice or household furnishings. It is quick to do, requires no pre-pleating or iron-on dots, and works on any fabric with an even stripe or gingham check pattern. This PDF shows how to do the basic steps of Counterchange smocking, with photos. Once you have learned how to do the basic stitch, you can download some of my patterns for more complicated shapes. Please leave comments and ask me if you'd like me to design a particular shape! BASIC SKILLS NECESSARY Thread a needle; tie a knot; make a small stitch SIZING / FINISHED MEASUREMENTS Counterchange smocking reduces the width of the fabrc to half its original width.

Supplies Needed

  • Fabric with an even stripe or gingham check pattern - at least 30cm (12") square to practice on
  • Sewing needle with long eye
  • Stranded embroidery floss

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A.A.'s Pattern Store
A.A.'s Pattern Store
I grew up in a rural location, where we had to make things for ourselves, so Mum taught me to knit, sew, embroider, draw, paint, make toys...