When measuring your fabric, cut double the amount you need as it will 'shrink' by half, then add about 4" as a border around the edge.
1. You’ll need to draw a grid onto the back of your fabric, of 1” square boxes. These need to measure exact, so take your time drawing the lines! Do a little test patch first, some fabrics may show the ink on the right side, if so, use erasable ink, [not air erasable though, you may find your grid has disappeared before you’ve finished!] If you fabric is thicker, a ball point pen will be fine.
Now follow my pattern, and transfer the diagonal lines onto the grid.
Using a strong or double thread, start in the bottom left corner, and knot your thread at the end of the diagonal line. Take your needle through the other end of the line, and pull tight. Stitch over two or three times to secure the stitch.
Now take the needle to the opposite end of the remaining diagonal, and knot. Don’t cut your thread.
Take the needle to the next diagonal line, leaving the thread loose. Knot at the base of the line, then pick up the opposite end of the diagonal line an pull. Knot the thread, and repeat with the next diagonal line.
Keep stitching in this way until the whole grid is stitched. Keep turning over your work to make sure the pattern is uniform, if any pleat looks twisted, unpick and start again.
Keep stitching in this way until the whole grid is stitched. Keep turning over your work to make sure the pattern is uniform, if any pleat looks twisted, unpick and start again. This is one row from the right side.
When your fabric is completely smocked, you’ll see natural folds around the edges. Tweak these to make neat pleats, and pin.
10. Stitch the pleats in place and you’re ready to create a project with your smocking!