I didn't have to wait long for my inspiration. It was a shortage of cotton fabric that did it. Being incapacitated I couldn't go out for new supplies so I had a look in my stash and found silk. I absolutely love to smock with silk as those of you who have been with me from the beginning will know. For those of you that don't know what I am talking about check this and this out. The first step to smocking, (the way I do it) is marking the dots on the back then threading a strong yarn through the marks. I find this so relaxing, when the piece is complete there is never a sign that all this time has gone into the work. O.K. you can see the dots marked on the back but there is no trace of all this threading as it will be removed after the smocking is complete.Once the threading is finished it is gathered up tightly and tied, the smocking can then begin. Traditional smocking is generally a very elaborate affair with lots of specific surface embroidery stitches. Creating smocking in that way gives that gorgeous, dense elasticated effect seen on infant clothing for example. When completed in that manner however the fabric is usually plain and undecorated without any need to see inside the folds or pockets.
That's why I tie my smocking instead. Previously I smocked fabric that was embellished with text and I wanted some of the text to be visible. For this piece I intend to decorate the fabric with hand embroidery, patterns taken from vintage tablecloth's with a little artistic licence thrown in. I have now undone this smocking, it was an exercise to decide where to place my embroidery.
And here is the surface so far, damp stretched yet unfinished.
The obligatory folded image!!! I am so predictable!!
Once I have finished this embroidery I will smock the whole piece. My brain is already working on the edges of this piece, so many ideas. As I have four more days of forced confinement I should be able to whiz through everything. There will be lots of time for blog visiting and blog posting. I am so spoilt, how hard is it going to be when I have to go back to work???