Friday, September 11, 2009

Smocked Christmas Wreath Tutorial Part 2

To make this Smocked Wreath you will need 2 pieces of light weight fabric for the front of the wreath that are 6 1/2" wide by the width of the fabric.

For the back of the wreath you will need 1 piece of fabric that is 5" wide by the width of the fabric. The back fabric can be the same fabric as the front of the wreath or you can use a novelty fabric or another fabric of your choice.

Cut or tear your three pieces of fabric.

Set aside your fabric back. We will deal with it after the wreath is smocked.

Take your two front pieces of fabric. Cut off the salvage of one side on each piece. Pin the fabrics together cut short side to cut short side.

Stitch fabric together using a ¼ inch seam allowance. Trim seams down to 1/8 inch then zig-zag the edge making a rolled edge seam. To make a zig zag rolled hem, the zig is on the fabric and the zag is off the fabric. Press seam.

The wreaths shown have a serged rolled hem on the outside edge. This is optional you can do a narrow hem or even add a trim. The choice is yours.

To make the serged rolled edge first double to make sure the Right side of the fabric is UP. Otherwise the rolled edge hem will be rolling to the wrong side of the fabric.

Thread your serger with the thread of your choice. Set the serger to a rolled hem. If you have a differential feed on your serger if you set the differential feed to stretch the fabric while you are sewing the rolled edge you will have a denser stitch. When going over the joined seam hold the fabric taunt.

There may be a few little threads sticking up after you go over the joined seam. Don't worry. This can be fixed later.


Thread your pleater with 13 Full space rows of hand quilting thread. For this project I prefer Hand Quilting Thread over any other thread because it is stronger.

Your Pleating threads need to be extra long because you are pleating 90 inches of fabric.

Roll your fabric on to a dowel rod.

Here is a graph and a picture to show you the pleating spacing. We want about an 1 inch ruffle of unpleated fabric on the outside edge. Double check that the unpleated ruffle is on the serged rolled edge side. (been there, done that, don't want to do that again.)

After the wreath has been pleated, Unpick about 1/2 inch from each side.

Place your pleated wreath onto a blocking board or your ironing board. Pull up the pleating threads of the first two pleating thread to 12 inches. Tie off the first two inside rows with a double square knot.

Note: I know that some ladies smock a bishop dress with the fabric straight (not fanned out into a circle). The Straight Method of smocking a bishop does not work on this wreath.

Fan out the wreath onto your blocking board or ironing board. Tie off the rest of the pleating rows with a double square knot.

Here is the smocking plate for the Red wreath. It is clickable to make larger.

The usual restrictions apply to this smocking design. It is for personal use only. Do not sell the design or mass produce it. Also do not make changes to the design then claim it as your original design.

You can also use use any bishop smocking plate you want.

We are going to use 4 strands of embroidery floss when smocking this wreath. You want your smocking stitches to be visible.

Remember this wreath is an exercise in endurance. Think of it as smocking bishop dress for an elephant. :-)

To begin smocking this smocking design we are going to start in the very center of the pleated wreath.

Bring your threaded needle up one pleat to the left of the center seam on row 5. Stitch a cable stitch.

Continue following the graph.

After you have smocked several trellis stitches, look at your wreath. Can you see your stitches? If you can't see your stitches I recommend to increase your threads to 5 or 6 strands.

When you get to the end of the pleated wreath, Do Not tie off. Leave about a 3 inch tail.

To be continued............


  1. I just joined the blog and I'm loving all of the ideas. I would love to smock a wreath (for next year!). Is there a Part 3 to the tutorial?

  2. Part 3 of my Smocked wreath is under smocked wreath construction. Here is the link.