Rosalind Atkins - Smocking and Dorset Buttons  Smoking

Coat style traditional smock with Dorset buttons
Meticulous hand smocking

Traditional English Smocking - History

  • used since the late 18th century for the production of practical, working garments in rural areas of Britain.

  • developed as a functional method of holding fullness whilst allowing some elasticity for ease of movement.

  • adds thickness to the garment, making it hard wearing and weather resistant.

  • latterly used for classic infants and young children's clothing. 

English Smocking

  • decorative technique of surface embroidery where stitches are worked in rows on a pre-pleated fabric, each stitch picking up just the top of every pleat.

  • each stitch is essentially a back stitch, making the work strong and resilient.

  • skilled procedure requiring precision and patience.

  • gives rich textural quality.

  • can be worked in one colour, as traditional for smocks, or patterns can be built up using many colours and stitches.

Traditional Dorset round smock

Traditional Smocks

  • I have over 30 years experience of smocking.

  • I make traditional smocks to order, often basing my designs on existing garments.

  • there are three main styles of smock: the round smock which is completely reversible, it was turned around if one side got soiled; the coat style, with a fully buttoned front opening and the hybrid, placket front with a short buttoned opening. For examples please see images in my portfolio.

  • all smocks are hand embroidered with Dorset feather stitch panels beside the smocking and finished with hand worked Dorset buttons.

Contemporary Smocking

sell a range of items featuring smocking from hair clips to covered photograph albums and sketchbooks and rag dolls, see below for examples.

Hand smocked postcard samplers
Book slip covers with hand smocked inserts

Kits and Workshops

  • Kits available for a postcard sampler to have a go yourself.

  • I have been teaching for about 20 years and throughout the year I offer workshops, either as a visiting tutor for embroidery groups or individuals.  All materials required and full tuition provided. Please check events for forthcoming workshops.

  • Beginners workshop - Postcard Sampler. 

  • Follow on advanced workshop - Smocked Slip Cover for a Book.  

Smocked hair clips

Hand smocked silk hair clips

Smocked ring cushion and clutch bag

Wedding accessories - hand smocked ring cushion and essential smocked silk clutch bag

smocked bib and socks

Hand smocked cotton special occasion baby bib and new born size socks with smocked cuffs

Smocked postcard and kit

Hand smocked silk postcard sampler with beads and kit to have a go yourself

hand smocked photo albums and box

Photograph albums with hand smocked silk covers and a smocked lidded trinket box