Saturday, 31 July 2010

Pleat/smock detail

Still at my parents place. Eager to sew something, I've finally relaxed from work, become creative (it happens, inevitably, after a week or so of holidays) and after a stressful and challenging project like the Burdastyle coat things feel more do-able than they usually do.

But since I'm not at home I won't start anything big (most of my fabric is in Stockholm).

A perfect time to do research and learn new things!

My mum bought a really nice new coat the other day (on the summer sale, though it's a winter coat... well, we're in the north here, winter is always present, if not in reality, then in the back of your head).

The coat is by Swedish designer Nygårds Anna.  Check out her clothes for a bit old fashioned (pre vintage) clothes with loads of nice details, always in "real" materials, linen, cotton, wool. Very nice!

I think the "braided" detail in front was quite clever, and very nice, and I just had to try making it. So here goes!

On a piece of wool (leftover from the Burdastyle coat actually, very convenient!) I marked four parallell lines, 3cm's apart (you can make the "braid" as wide as you want, but 4 lines is the minimum).

I then folded the material and stitched 0.75 cm's from the marked lines, on my machine (my mum's in truth, but they're almost the same) with this foot I could use the edge of the foot as a guide.

I then marked the edges of the folds, 3cm's apart, as a guide for the next step.

Finally I stitched loops around two lines at the time, using a button-hole-thread (thicker than normal thread, "Björntråd" in Swedish), alternating between line 1+2 and 3+4 and line 2+3.

The finished result! Quite nice, isn't it?

This swatch is made with a heavy weight wool, but I think it would work really well in thin cotton or linen too, with a more narrow spacing between the lines, and more narrow pleats.

In fact, I'm quite sure I've seen linen blouses with this kind of smock before, if I don't remember incorrectly. I might just have to try that out, maybe instead of ruffles on a JJ?

Update: And then I found this, also in my mum's closet. A knitted cardigan with exactily the same detail. 



  1. Wow, that's gorgeous! I love how projects feel simple and straight forward after a big one.

  2. That is fantastic! It would great on a blouse -- give it a go!

  3. That is a gorgeous detail - I have a leather bag which I love with exactly the same feature. I don't think it'd be too hard to stitch on a soft leather or suede.

  4. Such a simple detail and it can give so much 'character' to a piece of clothing. Beautiful.

  5. This is a beautiful detail! Thanks for the tutorial, I'm going to have to give this one a try! I once made children's clothes with a good friend under our own tiny label which we sold in small local shops; we made almost nothing!! That's why I only sew for myself and family now... Oh, we're still good friends, too!

  6. That looks really great, I'll have to have a go... I got to catch up on your posts finally yesterday and I noticed the post about shirring... I've done it but it always ends up skipping a few stitches or getting twisted at some point, no matter how careful I am... any idea why?

  7. That looks fantastic! I would really love to try and use this sometime - maybe with the JJ you suggested :)

  8. I've only just noticed a comment you left for me ages ago about the fact that you lived in Japan too!? This is just too weird! I worked in Shibuya for about 6 years until 2007, when were you there?

  9. Yeah lovely I really like the detail!


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