Small Sewing Projects Offer Opportunities To Try New Techniques

Lazies, I’ve been dying to play with the new smocking products from Clover Needlecraft. Small sewing projects, such as the Wonder Wallet, can be a great way to test out a new technique. I decided to showcase a little smocking on the cover of this Wonder Wallet.


Wonder Wallet with smocking detail on cover.
Fabrics are City Girl by Benartex.

Clover Smocking Products
I talked about the new smocking products from Clover Needlecraft in a recent blog post here.

Getting Started
I loved this yummy green fabric and I paired it with the Diamond Design smocking product. I used four of the six strands of embroidery floss, in a luscious cream color to coordinate with the fabric. I used one of the Clover needles and their new needle threader for this project.

Here is the fabric before smocking.

Diamond Design smocking product
from Clover Needlecraft.


Here is the fabric after smocking.

Pleat Management
I needed to trim around the smocking detail in order to incorporate it into my Wonder Wallet project. Due to the gathered fabric at the center of this piece, the fabric did not lie flat. So I arranged the pleats a bit, pinned the corners to my ironing board to hold everything in place, then pressed the whole thing every so lightly with a hot iron.

Tape Instead of Pins
It’s hard to tell in the photo below, but I put a piece of clear tape above and below the smocking. I used the tape to help keep things manageable while sewing along the cut edges. Click on the photo to enlarge and see the tape. I left the tape in place while I sewed this into to cover piece of the wallet. As an alternative, you could also turn under the edges and topstitch the smocked detail onto a finished item.

Smocked detail trimmed for Wonder Wallet project.

Final Thoughts
I like how this project turned out. I smocked a small piece of fabric, then incorporated it into the rest of the project. I found the smocking product easy to use and I’ll look for ways to use it again in my designs.

What do you think? Have you tried smocking or the new Clover smocking products? Do you think there is a place in your sewing repertoire for a little smocking? Post a comment and tell me about it.


[tags]smocking, Clover Needlecraft, fabric wallet, sewing pattern[/tags]

Leave a Lazy Comment

18 Responses to “Small Sewing Projects Offer Opportunities To Try New Techniques”

  1. Joan Adams — January 28, 2008 @ 7:58 am

    I like the look of your smocked wallet! Your directions and pix are clear. I will definitely try this technique, and possibly make a wonder wallet to try it with. I’m going to let my mind wander through my stash and patterns to see what peaks my interest.

  2. Penny — January 28, 2008 @ 8:39 am

    Joan that is fabulous!, I have been working on one for a Sassy. I have also used it on a doll dress but have not finished either one yet (go figure!). I love the Clover items for this finishing idea it give them such a polished look. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Penny D in Chesapeake

  3. Mary — January 28, 2008 @ 10:20 am

    Joan, this is darling! It is a fun way to change up the Wonder Wallet (or other projects), and to give one a chance to try a new technique without it being overwhelming. I’ve always thought I wanted to try smocking, but then “heirloom sewing” and giant smocking pleaters (expensive too!) were enough to dissuade me from taking on a new creative pursuit. I’m anxious to look into the Clover product for smocking! As usual, you’re inspiring!

  4. Barb — January 28, 2008 @ 10:35 am

    Joan , there are so many “lazy” opportunities to use this new smocking tool ~ I may just have to go find one now! Thanks

  5. Elizabeth — January 28, 2008 @ 11:57 am

    What a great idea! I love to smock and have just discovered your wallet recently. The two together are terrific. I can’t wait to try it. How much larger did you have to cut the fabric before smocking it? Thanks!!

  6. Joan Hawley — January 28, 2008 @ 12:02 pm

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I used a much larger than needed piece, did the smocking, then cut it down to size. I believe the instructions for this smocking stitch noted that the final smocked area would be about half the width of the unsmocked area. So, I made sure to have enough for the smocking and then plenty of border around that.


  7. Liz — January 28, 2008 @ 12:27 pm

    I like the look. Maybe I can incorporate some smockig pieces that I have finished but not used. They are a few years old.

  8. Deepika — January 28, 2008 @ 12:44 pm

    Hi Joan,

    I love the smocking technique but I’ve never tried it. Since I love gadgets, I might give this a try. I love that you used this technique on the WW.

  9. Denise Clason — January 28, 2008 @ 1:16 pm

    WOW! Joan! that is so awesome, how do you find the time to try out new techniques!? Clover is a great company, always coming out with new and improved ways to sew/craft! I’ll have to try the smocking technique, soon!

    I have always love smocking, but never tried it when my daughter was small. Always wanted to. Now it can be done for any type of project, thanks for showing us how easy it is!


  10. Ziggyfan — January 28, 2008 @ 10:26 pm

    Hi, am new to the blog but can tell I’m going to enjoy it. The smocking for the wallet looks wonderful! My grandma taught me to smock when I was very small, not even 10. She smocked some beautiful dress bodices, which she then made into cute dresses for me from the time I was very small. I wish I still had one. I wasn’t aware of this tool, but if I cannot remember how Grandma taught me, I’ll try it!

    The timing is ironic…I just discovered the Wonder Wallet pattern last week, and I was thinking of looking for some woven or printed plaid fabric so I could do chickenscratch on it for the front! Haven’t done that in a while!

    Thanks for the great idea; I have the Wonder Wallet pattern on order and cannot wait to make at least one for myself!

  11. Judy Bailey — January 28, 2008 @ 11:25 pm

    Wow, I love it. I can’t wait to get the Clover smocking tool and give this a try. You have given all sorts of ideas. I think I wll start with the wonder wallet using your example as a guide. Your directions look awsome.

  12. Linda — January 29, 2008 @ 6:29 pm

    How interesting the smoking is on the WW. Where is the Smocking tool available? I love gadgets and would love to try this. Some friends of mine were going to teach me to smock when my granddaughter was born, but so far it hasn’t happened and the little sweet gal is almosot 2 1/2 now. I guess I’ll have to teach myself and this looks like fun. Where can I find the Clover smocking gadget? Thanks.

  13. Judy Meyer — January 30, 2008 @ 11:10 am

    Where can I find the instructions on your site for smoking the Lazy Wallet? I just can’t find my way around your website very easily. Thanks.

  14. Joan Hawley — January 30, 2008 @ 11:21 am

    Hi Judy,

    First you’ll need a Wonder Wallet pattern, #LGD211. And you’ll need one of the smocking designs from Clover.

    I simply smocked a piece of fabric, cut my pieces for the Wonder Wallet, then sewed the smocked detail into the cover piece of the wallet.

    You can buy my products, as well as Clover’s, online or at quilt shops.


  15. Bunny — January 31, 2008 @ 10:25 pm

    I am a smocker. You can solve the wrinkle problem by squaring off and pinning your smocked fabric to a blocking board or ironing board. Spray generously with spray starch and let dry overnite. In the morning it should be perfect with no iron attack. Your wallet is great.

  16. Christy — February 4, 2008 @ 1:26 pm

    Is it really as easy as the Clover tool says it is? It looks so cute, I’d love to try it.

  17. Bella — February 15, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

    I loved the looks of this wallet, the smocking really took it to the next level!

  18. kenna — March 21, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

    this is amazingly cool!!!!!!! i am going to have to try it!!!! 🙂 🙂