For the past five years, I have gone to Sewing At The Beach, Myrtle Beach SC in January. The first two years, I was a student. The third year I started teaching smocking at the venue.
Bear in mind, I have been teaching smocking pretty much since I learned to smock. I look back on those early times when I tried to teach smocking to my friends. I just didn't understand the true mechanics of smocking. That was developed over the years by reading, studying plates, taking classes and practice. LOTS of practice! I failed my first students.
I had wonderful mentors along the way. LeeAnnW. who had a little shop in Southern MD. KarenW. who really understood smocking and shared. LeahB. in the UK that really taught me how to sew heirloom and perfect my picture smocking. Moving onto the Emerald Coast I had classes with the best of the best: Elizabeth Travis Johnson, Sarah Howard Stone, Mimi Turner and Cindy Foose. And finally, here in VA continuing my education with Judith Adams, Janice Ferguson, Lyn Weeks and many more. SAGA accepted me as a smocking teacher about 15 years ago, a little more than half way into my smocking career.
And now, I have travelled to many places around the country teaching smocking.
One of the tangents of my needlearts and sewing is learning, and now teaching, to be a NEEDLE ARTS JUDGE. I work through the Maryland and Virginia State Fair Systems. I also had the wonderful experience of running the Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition for several years.
All of the above brings me to the SMOCKING POLICE.
I taught Summer Angel at Sewing at the Beach, January 2014. One of my students HONORED me by 1. finishing her dress and 2. entering it in the NC State Fair. Not only did she win! (Conrats, Karen!) but she also won the Elegant Stitches rosette for best smocked garment.
Karen had been smocking for years, but she humbled herself to take a ~smocking class~. Imagine that! WHY TAKE A SMOCKING CLASS IF YOU CAN ALREADY SMOCK? Sadly, I hear that way too often. WHY take a smocking class with me?
- Becasue I can teach you to smock better. (Smug, I know.)
- I can teach you how to check for mistakes long before you need to frog stitch a couple of Rows.
- I can teach you to understand the mechanics and ~math~ yes, that four-letter-word, of smocking.
- I can give you confidence in branching out, beyond a printed smocking plate. Some students are shocked, yes SHOCKED! at the idea of changing colors or the number of Rows on a project.
Yes, almost anyone can teach you how to smock. *I* can teach you to smock better.
While I attempt to share lessons on the internet, there is only so much I can do. Seeing the hands move, step by step, listening to the repetitive comments in class, is always better.
At SATB last week, I made the comment: there are no smocking police. Then I looked up at the students and saw their faces. And I realized *I* have become the smocking police. I think I should wear the badge with honor. After all, police are about rules and doing what is right. And why bother teaching if I am not going to teach you to the highest standards?
Let me show you how to smock and construct smocked garments better. Contact me for information about teaching in your store, chapter, sewing group. Private lessons are also available!
My next big sewing school venue is Sassy Southern Sewing in Texas this coming July. Contact Vanese for the pdf of the class details. I will be teaching a bishop dress, a smocking primer class and a sweet smocked sundress.
Thanks for reading, now smock on!