Add Hand Smocking to an Adult Garment with these 5 Patterns


So often I am told by one of the my students that they would love to smock for themselves, but they just don't know how. Or that their daughter or granddaughter has outgrown smocking. But this year, shirring is having a style moment and it is the perfect way to add some smocking to and adult garment! With these 5 patterns you can easily add some smocking! First, shirring and smocking are not the same thing, so check out this post (and video) explaining the difference. Below I have a video explaining the patterns, but they are listed as well.







The Azores Top

The first pattern that can be used for smocking is The Azores Top by Itch to Stitch. (affiliate link) Smocking can easily be added at the shirred wrist and at the waist. What I love about this pattern is that you can easily add extra width to the pattern at both of these locations without drastically altering the rest of the pattern. Simply slash and spread from the bottom up to have the correct fabric ratio for smocking.

Azores Top by Itch to Stitch

The Asha Dress

The second pattern that is perfect for Smocking is the Asha dress by Stylearc. (affiliate link) This pattern is similar to the Azores Top but the neckline style is different. Again, it is a simple matter to slash and spread to add the needed fabric width at the sleeve and waist. This will add fullness to the skirt but not at the neckline.

The Asha Dress by Stylearc.

The Sophia Dress

You could really show off your smocking skills with the Sophia Dress by Victory Patterns. This dress has a fully shirred bodice both front and back. There are several sleeve options and a few of them also contain shirring. So smocking could easily be substituted for all of the shirring.

Sophia Dress by Victory Patterns

Simplicity 9549

Simplicity 9549 is a pants and shorts pattern that has a shirred waist. The great thing about this pattern is that the shirred waist is a separate pattern piece that is just a rectangle. No volume would have to be added to the shorts or pants but just to the waist strip. This would give you more of a paper bag waist but would be simple to alter for smocking.

Simplicity 9549

Simplicity 9141

My final pattern is Simplicity 9141 by Cynthia Rowley which again is a fully smocked bodice but with a different skirt and sleeve configuration than the Sophia Dress listed above. Again this pattern would be simple to alter for smocking but just adding width to the bodice pattern piece. If you are confused on how to do that, check back later this week when I will have a full tutorial on how to alter this pattern!

Simplicity 9141

If you are interested in smocking and don't know where to start, I have a free Get Started Smocking email series and a Learn to Smock Video Course. Happy Smocking!