Saturday, August 28, 2010

Still Appreciated


I love to smock.


My grandmother signed me up for smocking lessons the year after I graduated from college.


Just what every 22-year-old wants to do on a Tuesday night. Smock.


Those lessons changed my life.


I had no baby to dress, none of my friends had babies yet. But I became addicted.


Smocking led to sewing lessons, because hey, what are you going to do with a bunch of smocked fabric panels lying around? You are going to learn to sew and stick them in pillows if you don't know any children.


And then when people have children around you, even if you don't know them very well, you are going to make those children smocked clothing. By hand.


You are going to spend your money on high quality fabrics and spend a lot of time at Knit One Smock Too and watch a pregnant colleague's jaw drop when she opens your gift at her baby shower.


And then you're going to be embarrassed that you have just given her a priceless gift that took lots of planning and time and ripped seams and covered up mistakes and squinted at grids and counted pleats, but you are just so grateful that someone had a baby so that you had a reason to smock.


Now really, I knew how to sew with LOTS of guidance from when my mom helped me make a flag for my middle school Spanish class. It was one of those big colorful flags that people hung outside of their house during the 90s (and possibly still today). I totally impressed my teacher with my fabric depiction of a quetzal, a spanish bird. But that was not the right way to start my sewing career. It was very tedious and not a very motivating first project for a young teen.


Anna Jane's beautiful face made the smocked bubbles and dresses and swing tops look like a million bucks, even when the handiwork wasn't perfect (and it never was).


And the boys wore smocked clothes as well, and since this is the south, that's okay.


I wish I had taken photos of all of those dresses and outfits and pillows that I made over the years. They could fill several albums.


But I am thrilled to see that Anna Jane's clothes are making the rounds again...



  1. Amazing. Why weren't we spending our time sharing this love about 14 years ago? Oh yeah - we were doing much different things with our time. So glad to be reconnected with you during seasons of sewing and mommyhood!

  2. Oh my, I have tears in my eyes as I look at your beautiful works of art. I remember you sewing each garment and think of all the fun and crazy workshop nights, the conversations, the deadlines, the friendships formed.
    I also remember calling you at the dorm to register you for that first class. I had to convince you that your grandmother had really signed you up for SMOCKING and I wasn't some crazy sewing stalker! What a joy and privilege it has been to be your teacher and your friend. Much Love, Martha

  3. I may need to hire you pretty soon! ;)

  4. Just beautiful. I'm also in awe of your work and how talented you are!!

  5. Wow! That is amazing. Thanks for sharing!