How to Hand Smock on Gingham

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If you enjoy dressing your child in beautiful cotton gingham dresses with smocking, it is costly to purchase smocked dresses from a department store or specialty shop. This is because many smocked dresses are hand sewn instead of commercially produced. One solution is to sew your own smocked dresses by hand, or smock the front of a plain gingham dress using a few inexpensive sewing materials purchased from any arts and crafts supply store.

Things You'll Need

  • Straight Pins
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Ruler
  • Elastic Thread
  • Gingham Fabric

Place gingham fabric onto a flat surface so the bi-colored gingham pattern runs horizontally.

Block out a section on the fabric using a ruler to measure 6 inches wide and 8 inches long, using straight pins. The pins act as markers, enabling you to see the area to smock.

Insert 12 rows of six straight pins horizontally across the blocked section. Space each horizontal row of pins ½-inch apart.

Cut 12 inches of elastic thread using scissors, and thread it through an embroidery needle. Knot the end of the thread, then sew a running stitch vertically across the rows of straight pins. Use each row as a guide for your embroidery needle. Push the needle into each pinned row, then push the needle back up through the next pinned row.

Sew a running stitch in vertical rows across the entire length of the blocked area. Space each vertical row by ¼-inch. Trim excess thread, and remove the straight pins.


  • Keep sharp scissors, straight pins and embroidery needles out of the reach of children.