Many of you were interested in learning how I did the hand detailing on my mimosa dress recently.
The technique came from this wonderful vintage book called Stitching for Style by Nelle Weymouth Link.
I’m a sucker for books that focus on small details, and this one is pretty stunning. Published in 1948, this book is entirely illustrated with line drawings depicting fabric manipulation techniques you can do by hand.
These first few diagrams show how the Rose Trellis design is done, which is what I used on that particular dress.
The actual stitching pattern is relatively simple. As I mentioned, the only real challenge is figuring out how many you can fit in a defined space, and how much fabric will be gathered up.
Here are several other flower-themed ideas from the book (columbine, cyclamen, narcissus). If you’d like to see how to do all of these, it’s worth hunting down a copy of the book.
These “battlement tucks” are different from most of the smocking and smocking-esque techniques shown.
These “cobblestones” are perhaps my favorite. They look like fish scales to me.
There are so many more ideas in this book, it was hard to choose just a few. I’m planning to try the “narcissus smocking” above on a dress I’m working on. And Caitlin has been playing around with a couple of the techniques not shown here, so look for a couple tutorials soon.
Stitching for Style can be found on Amazon, but I suppose it’s rare because it’s currently very expensive. Check your local library!