Nellie"s Needles

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

More Smocked Clothes

I'm glad to hear this little memory trip hits a cord with a number of you. For those of you who are interested, here are a few more pictures of me wearing clothing that was smocked.
I especially liked blouses. The red gingham one is in the book I wrote about in the last post, as is the cocktail dress.  The one pictured on the right is a gauze fabric smocked with a white cotton twist thread.  I think it was crochet yarn.  The one below is made of heavy cotton muslin and smocked with cotton floss.

I left the partial newspaper article in the scan out of our family scrapbooks.  Click on it and enlarge if you'd like to read a bit more about what I was doing and saying about smocking back then.

The stitching instruction for the design on this peasant blouse was published so others could make it, too.
I liked to tuck those blouses in rather than wearing them loose.  My trick was to tuck all that fullness into the top of my pantyhose for a sleek look.  Mmmmm ... where would all that fullness hide in today's under garments?

I also liked sundresses and am glad I wore them when I could.  Back then I never dreamed the toll that time would take on an aging body.

And lastly, I thought you may like to see the back of this dress as well as the hood.  The fabric is a pale green slubbed cotton and the smocking was stitched with Danish Flower Thread.

Ethnic clothing is making a comeback.  I see so many garments in the ads and catalogs that I would've worn "back when".  I still have most all those garments.  Think I may dig them out of storage to see if any of the young women in my family are interested in giving them another "go around".


Heather said...

I love the back of the hooded dress Nellie and just think how much of a less than perfect ageing body you could hide under a flowing full length smocked dress with those gorgeous full sleeves and snug smocked cuffs. Bring it back into fashion Nellie - I need one now!!

Amy said...

I am loving the peek you are giving us to your needle wielding history. I am loving that peasant blouse tucked in to the high waist pants.

Ali Honey said...

Wow ! fabulous smocking. The back of the hooded one was a work of art. Hey weren't you gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

I love smocking. Having a daughter allowed me to do more than my share and I'm still glad to have that smocking machine from so long ago. It is such an improvement over the little blue dots.
Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

Vicki W said...

Wow, you made some beautiful things! Thank you for sharing your past with us!

Anonymous said...


Helen Suzanne said...

fabulous items Nellie. The back of that last dress is just fabulous. Glad it might be making a come back. There is something quite scrumptous about english smocking.

KathyE said...

Wow, Nellie, you have left quite a legacy in the smocking world. Great work and beautiful smocking.

Pam said...

Nellie I have followed your blog and loved every post. These last 2 posts have hit home --since you taught me smocking @ MATC so many years ago when I had 2 little girls Amanda & Angela and we lived in Grafton. You encourgaed us to head down for the first SAGA convention (I still have my schedule)--we all were stay at home Moms on quite the adventure traveling ssouth and the 5 of us in one car drove through the night and crammed to to one hotel room. My woman's smocked dress with a verticle panel was on display. It was an amazing experience that I tell my daughters about when we sew together.
We moved from WI to TX,NC, IL then settled 22 years ago in GA. Never smocking like I did in WI---but enough to make sure each baby has a bubble or dress with the additions of our daughters Abigail & Amelia. I continue with sewing for pleasure whether it was for dorm rooms, baby quilts,dresses for the girls for all occasions--loving who I am when identified with my needlework. As my first Grandaughter was expected in 2010----I seached out a smocking class, heirloom class and began working on bishops, a christianing gown and an insert dress. I have come full circle since I first met you and you gave me the greatest gift--your amazing teaching, patience, and love for smocking. As a young Mom in her late twenties to the grandma in her sixties--I am forever grateful to you Nellie Bass Durand.