Rosalind Atkins is a dressmaker and embroiderer living in a village close to Dorchester, the county town of Dorset.  She has been interested in many types of textile crafts since she was a small child but for the past 30 years has specialised in English hand smocking and making Dorset buttons.  She is a member of the Smocking Branch of the Embroiderer's Guild.

English smocking is a traditional, decorative technique of surface embroidery that has been used since the late 18th century.  It is a skilled procedure  which requires precision and patience, since for every row of smocking a stitch has to be taken in the top of every pleat across the row.  Smocking gives a rich textured quality which Rosalind finds especially effective when worked in Dupion silk which she uses for her special occasion garments for children and for gifts featuring smocking.

Rosalind started making traditional Dorset buttons to finish the heritage smocks she makes.  From the mid 17th century buttons were hand produced and formed an important part of the local rural economy prior to the development of machine made buttons in the mid 19th century.  There are many different forms of button including Dorset Knobs, High Tops, Singletons, Bird's Eyes and the popular Cross Wheels.  Rosalind makes sets of buttons to order for finishing special garments or customising a plain garment and also produces a range of gifts featuring hand made buttons.  She has also made buttons for television costume dramas, including the recent BBC production of Poldark.

Rosalind now has a well stocked on-line shop on the British craft selling site Folksy.com.

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