When my daughter was tiny, my mother made (or now I suspect, organised to have made) a beautiful smocked dress. Like many many little girls, she looked adorable in it.

Many years later, and a few years ago (possibly 3) Mum gave me a kit to make 3 smocked Christmas decorations.

Over the last 2 months, I finally decided the polystyrene bell shapes were taking up too much real estate & it was time to complete them.

The Material to smock on, came prefolded  – all I had to do was the stitching part – sounded simple.

I read the instructions, re read them, tried to break them down into parts – probably should have re-typed them to break them up easier, and started.

These instructions were not aimed at the beginner, there was no labeling of what the stitches were and I was well confused trying to stitch a straight line on smocked fabric.

How far into the fold was my stitch to go? what stitch to use? 3 threads of this horrendous gold stuff? So, the first line of stitching I tried double running stitch, with the 3 threads as recommended – horrendous.

Second line I tried 2 threads – definitely better, but still tight. I persevered worked out on another row it was meant to be backstitch, added beads & got to the end.

Then I tried to put it on the polystyrene form. ugh! So annoyed, I threw the first trial away.

After Christmas I started on the second, had a look at a smocking book, which gave me a little more information, and away I went again. By this time I was low on gold thread, so I got some from my own stash and used thread heaven. still using only 2 threads. Winning!

Put it together – this too went well, it actually fit! Then the ribbon threading through the stitches – ok, took a bit of time to keep it flat, but that was ok. Finally the ribbon on top. Did the folding, popped it on & that is me. It is also meant to have little pins in each loop & glue, but I’ve had enough. I hate those pins and normally throw them out when they come my way, I NOT going to pay money for them to finish this properly, when I only need 8!

And so it is:


I will not be completing the third bell – but, if you would like to have a go please comment and let me know what crafts are “not for you”. I’ll draw a random person and post the last of the kit, including polystyrene forms x 2, ribbons, beads and gold thread as well as the cotton prefolded material x 1 & instructions. You will then have everything you need to make either a green or gold version (or a mix of the two).

In happier news I purchased these Frostings threads off a kind lady in the USA who saw my plea, and realised she would just never use them. These are my major purchase of 2017, although who knows, the year is young and I keep seeing things I want. In the meantime look at all the pretty and for more of a review check out what Mary Corbett had to say!


I will confess, this was a major purchase, but fortunately last year I had the good sense to create a “Craft” savings fund, and every pay I pop some money in there. It is now empty, so time to rebuild it again.

This year as part of my 100 day goal, I am improving my online presence and I have updated my Etsy listings. I still need to work on most of the photos, but I am a lot happier with my descriptions. Please let me know if you think of anything I could add to further improve.


Happy Stitching!


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