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Let's All Learn About Smocking To Avoid Further Existential Despair

By Genevieve Burgess | Social Media | December 11, 2018 |

By Genevieve Burgess | Social Media | December 11, 2018 |


For the sake of my own sanity, I don’t follow the Twitter account of Mr. Donald Trump. It is already difficult enough to have the intellectual understanding that he is the President, and entirely unqualified for that role, I don’t need to see it paraded in front of me by choice. However, every so often one of his tweets blows up and I have to look at it. As is the case with this masterpiece right here:


Does it make me angry that the tantrum-throwing, barely-literate doofus who typed that out and hit “send” is the leader of my country? Oh yes. Does it also present an opportunity to spread the news that “smocking” is actually a delightful design feature and textile craft that you can do? It does! Some people already know this:

And my personal favorite textile joke:

But to clarify, smocking is a gathering technique that gives non-elastic fabric a stretchy quality. It’s an old technique, and a practical one rather than a decorative one. It’s been used since the Middle Ages and can be seen in cuffs, bodices, and necklines in garments from that period on forward. However, as time went on and we developed elastic and other stretch fabrics, it has become a decorative feature. This is some actual smocking that I have done myself, by hand:

That particular pattern of smocking was used on several of the costumes worn by Daenerys on Game of Thrones and I got the instructions on how to do it from the website of Michele Carragher who did a lot of the embroidery for the show’s early season costumes.

Where did that particular piece of smocking end up?

Any other textile artists out there with projects of your own to share? Of smocking or any other types! Anything to distract us from the fact that the most powerful man in America can’t spell the word “smoking” and all the awful feelings that come along with that realization.

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Genevieve Burgess is a Features Contributor for Pajiba. You can follow Genevieve Burgess on Twitter.

Header Image Source: Blinder Films/Chic Films/Revolver Films/Westerly Films