Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I think I'm going to change this blog into something more personal. So while there may be some thoughts about podcasts, librarianship and other serious (ha!) matters, I might write more about my other interests.

Naturally anything I say does not constitute the view of my employer, nor is it necessarily endorsed by them ... the usual disclaimers apply. To that end, I'm going to take off the links to my workplace on the side bar.

On to my current obsession:

I've taken up smocking again. I took a 2 year break after DS was born because it wasn't the sort of hobby you can leave out while a baby is in the larval/rugrat stage. But he's a toddler now, and while he's interested in what I'm doing he can also be told not to touch things. And most of the time he listens! I did make a few items for him but I have to admit that I was put off somewhat by DH's comments they looked "girly".

I started smocking about 14 years ago. At the time I was trying out some different needlework crafts like ribbon embroidery & stumpwork. While I still enjoy those, smocking quickly became the craft of choice. As I didn't have kids, most of my work was given away to people who did. Looking back now I pity them because the quality wasn't always good. It also meant I don't have a record of those garments because I rarely photographed them myself.

I'm hoping to help my friend A with a stall at a craft fair later in the year. She has a few things she wants to try selling and I'm going to take along a few things too. Including some smocked garments. I've no idea what I should charge for them, or even if people dress their kids in things like this. Seems like a lot of children are dressing like miniture adults earlier than ever. So it will be interesting.

So far I've smocked 3 fronts for 3 different rompers. I'm starting on a coat dress for an older girl, and I've got plans for more. I love the smocking part but the sewing up of the garment is something I dislike.

Here are some pictures of some projects I've done in the past.

Smocking is an art that could easily die out. I like to think I'm contributing to the continuation of this form of heritage embroidery.


  1. Stunning work Penny. I had to reread that second paragraph , thought you had taken up smoking! Great to see you have a blog, can't figure out why I didn't know about it before.

  2. wow thats gorgeous!! I love smocking, mum use to do it on the dresses she made when the girls were babies.

    LOL have to admit when I was reading your post I read it as you had starting smoking!!

  3. I read it as smoking, too!

    Hope you keep blogging as it would be good to hear more from you. Do write about things that are more personal, too! I've always done that on my blog, and it's helped keep it real for me. Just writing about 'librarianship' would have kept it too theoretical...

  4. As a totally non-sewer I think you arer so clever. My aunt and my Mum both made smocked outfits for my daughter when she was born. They are very special. I'm sure people would buy them.