Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How To Add a Smocked Insert to a Ready-Made Knit

Two Points Smocking Plate

Whether we like it or not, children spend a lot more time in sweats than they do in our meticulously stitched finery. 

In the technique how-to below, designer Janet Gilbert will show you how to get more mileage out of your smocking by adding an insert to a ready-made knit. The tutorial originally appeared in our September/October 2008 issue of Sew Beautiful magazine.

You can find the "Two Points" smocking plate that is pictured on the example in the "Web Extras" section of our website. However, this tutorial can be used with any smocking motif, so choose a design that best suits your little one!

Materials List:

- Purchased sweatshirt (navy blue shown) 
- Ready-made piping (one package) 
- Thread to match piping 
- Thread to match sweatshirt 
- 6-inch square German interfacing 
- 1/2 yd cotton broadcloth for insert and lining (example uses navy blue Kona cotton)
- Lace-shaping board 
- Wash-away tape (such as Wash-away Wonder Tape™ by Dritz®) 
- Wash-away marking pen or chalk marker 
- Soft pencil 
- Sharp scissor 
- DMC perle cotton (example uses black #8) 
- DMC Six-strand Embroidery Cotton 


NOTE: My insert measured 3-3/4-inches across and 3-1/2-inches vertically. Yours may be slightly different. 

1. Block smocking so that it is perfectly square. Steam and dry. 

Step 1

2. Baste piping to each edge of insert using wash-away tape. Remove cording from seam allowances so that cords meet at corners, then machine stitch piping using a grooved foot getting as close as possible to cord using thread to match piping fabric. 

Step 2

3. Mark vertical and horizontal centers on a 6-inch square of German interfacing. Mark rectangle on interfacing, centering measurement of insert from piping edge to piping edge vertically and horizontally on non-sticky side. Draw a line on German interfacing 1/2-inch inside of outside rectangle. 

Step 3

4. Mark insert placement on wrong side of sweatshirt with vertical and horizontal center lines. 

Step 4

5. With sticky side of interfacing facing wrong side of sweatshirt, align vertical and horizontal center lines of sweatshirt to vertical and horizontal lines on interfacing square. Fuse interfacing to sweatshirt. 

Step 5

6. Stitch along outer lines with a 1.5 stitch length and cut out along inside lines. Clip each corner to, but not through stitching. 

Step 6

7. Turn sweatshirt right side out. Press seam allowances to back creating a window for smocked insert. 

Step 7

8. Place wash-away tape around piping on right side of insert. Place smocked insert inside of window on sweatshirt aligning edges of piping to edges of sweatshirt window. Double check that design is straight. Topstitch insert to sweatshirt along fold edges of opening with matching thread (I double topstitched the edges). 

Step 8

Finish: Turn sweatshirt inside out and trim seam allowances to neaten. To ensure there is nothing scratchy inside the sweatshirt, cut a lining out of cotton fabric, fold edges to wrong side and hand whip over insert to cover seams. 

Be sure to check out our newly released Sew Beautiful 2008 Collection for more great technique and project tutorials. Available in both CD and digital download format, this collection features full-sized electronic versions of all six issues of Sew Beautiful from 2008 and includes printable patterns, tips and techniques, how-to articles and more.

Sew On, Sew Well, Sew Beautiful
Kathy and Amelia

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