Thursday, November 08, 2012

Fabric Manipulation: Honeycomb Smocking

Salam all...

Currently having my first listen to One Direction's new album Take Me Home. Has a lot of beat. The songs are more towards the kind of band I first thought they were. So, okay I comment on the r-rated songs, lol.

Moving on to why I'm actually writing a post tonight, a project that I completed a while ago but never got to post it because the client wanted to gift it to a friend, so it was her request for me to wait a while before posting it online.

This is the Quran cover she ordered. She didn't have ideas for her own design, so she asked me to design for her. She asked for something unique and elegant but in her budget. And I created this.

It's my first attempt at honeycomb smocking, a type of fabric manipulation. Something I haven't done since I stopped working with silk satin. If you try google-ing handbags or wallets produced by designer labels, notice that most of them are made of plain coloured, textured fabric but they still have a high feel of elegance. It made me realise how elegant handmades created from plain fabrics are, with a bit of manipulation. Fabric manipulation can turn a plain fabric into something just as eye-catching as patterned fabric.

Consequently, I decided to do some tutorial hunting on really unique types of fabric manipulation. Here are some favourites that I found.

1. Honeycomb Smocking by Tumbling Blocks

This is the tutorial I used to make my Quran cover. Its quite easy to follow as compared to other tutorials on the net of the same type of smocking. 

2. Weaving by Happiness

This technique looks so intricate, you wont believe how easy it is done. Just a little bit of measuring a bit of sewing and a bit of patience, you'll have yourself a unique manipulation effect, works best on plain fabrics.

I love polka dot fabric. I will always have stocks of them, if I run out, I'd buy some more the next time I go to a textile store. Although polka dots are a fun pattern by itself, when you keep making things out of the same patterned fabric, like me, everything just looks similar. So I was definitely excited to try this when I found out about it. A way to still sew with my favourite patterned fabric but giving it a little twist.

This idea is so simple, that if you're a regular seamstress, even just by looking at it, you can figure out how its done. But, the reason it is in my favourite list is because its still a very fresh idea, something that never crossed my mind. Its a great way to keep the elegance you get with a plain fabric but still add peeps of colour using fun patterned fabrics.

5. Flower Smocking from

Yes, the tutorial is all in Chinese but the pictures are very detailed and easily understandable. Takes a lot of patience but very unique and so worth it!

Hopefully, I'll be able to try these techniques out soon. Another thing to add to my 3-month to do list,

7. Try fabric manipulation techniques on my handmades.



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