How to Sew Lattice Smocking

Lattice smocking is a type of fabric manipulation where your hand sewing folds on the back of your fabric to create a beautiful design on the front. This technique requires a lot of prep work, plus you’ll need a ruler and fabric marker or chalk. I’ll be using a pencil to make my marks easier to see. Please note, this technique will shrink your fabric quite a bit so if you have your finished size, you should double it to get your starting size. For example, I started with a square that was 20 by 20 inches and it ended up becoming 10 by 10 inches. You’ll be drawing your stitching grid on the wrong side of the fabric. You can use any measurement you want to create your grid lines.

In my demo, I’ll use 1”. So first I’ll draw parallel lines 1” apart going across the whole section where I want the smocking. Next, rotate your fabric 90 degrees and draw the next set of parallel lines 1” apart. You should end up with a grid like this. Starting at the top box of the first column, you’ll draw a diagonal line from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. Skip the next box and repeat for the third box down. Continue this same pattern for the length of column 1, skipping every other box. For the second column, you’ll skip the first box and start with the second box. The diagonal line will go in the opposite direction, so from the top right corner to the bottom left corner. Continue doing this for the whole second column, again skipping every other box.

For the third column it’ll be a repeat of the first column. And the fourth column will be a repeat of the second column. Just keep repeating this pattern until you run out of columns. You need to have an even number of columns. Put some all purpose thread on a hand needle. I like to use enough thread so I can at least get to the bottom of the column. Tie a knot at the end of your thread. When sewing, you’ll be working in pairs of columns. So, I’ll do column 1 and 2 together and then do 3 and 4 together and so on. I’ll start at the top of columns 1 and 2 So I’m working here. You can see I flipped my fabric around just so it is easier for me to work with. Were going to be taking one diagonal line at a time. So I’ll start here then go here and here and here. And I’m always starting at the bottom of the diagonal line.

So after I finish this diagonal I’m going to start down at this bottom point right here. So I have my needle and thread. Again, I’m looking at the wrong side of the fabric because that’s where my grid is. I’m going to grab just a little bit of fabric. You want the smallest of stitch. Because we don’t want to see this on the right side if we can help it. Just pull this through. You see my knot right there. Then I’m going to do it again. That same exact stitch. Just to kind of anchor my stitching. All right so now that I have it stitched down here at this bottom line, I’m now going to grab this top corner.

So the diagonal line is just sort of giving you the direction that your going to be sewing, you are not actually going to be stitching on the diagonal line. So once I have this stitched, I’m going to gently pull. So the fabric goes toward my first stitch. Then I’m going to Either grab your stitching or grab a little bit of fabric, again a small stitch Create a loop, you are going to go through that loop. And basically create a knot. So that’s going to hold it in place. Now I’m going to be working on this diagonal section. Let me move my fabric a little bit further down. Again I’m starting at the bottom of the diagonal. I’m going to grab just a little bit of fabric, a really tiny stitch.

And I’m not going to pull it. Because we don’t want this to come up to this point, we want it to stay flat, so in order for us to make sure that doesn’t happen. I’m going to go underneath my thread with my needle. You want to make sure that this whole area, this whole thread stays flat You’re creating a loop going through that loop. You don’t want to pull to fast, you might create a knot where you don’t want it. And now I have a knot right here. So now this is secure and it’s not going to bunch up. This section to here, so now that I have my stitch down here, I’m going to do the same exact thing I did to my first one. Grab a little bit of fabric here at the top.

gently pull it so it goes toward that bottom diagonal. So it was like this and them I’m pulling it. And then go underneath my threads. To create a loop. Tie a knot by going, bring your needle through that loop. And this is what you are going to do for the whole length of column 1 and column 2 So now that I did that. Column 2, I’m going to go back to Column 1. Grab a little bit of fabric at the very bottom of that diagonal Hold this so now I can go underneath that thread. So you do this whenever you are starting a new diagonal. Again, cause we want to make sure That this doesn’t accidentally get pulled up. So now I’m grabbing top corner of my diagonal.

Gently pull it so it comes together And then I’m going to go underneath the threads or grab a little bit of fabric if you want. Just so you have something secure. Go through the loop. Tie a knot. And then I’m just going to just go back to column 2 now at the bottom of the diagonal. I’m going to do this until I get to the bottom of the columns. When I get to the end of column 1 and 2, I’ll tie a knot and cut it off the excess thread. Then I’ll repeat the process with column3 and 4 and so on. When finished, your fabric should have a beautiful design like this. You can press it, if you want the folds to be more pronounced. This is a unique way to embellish your projects.

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