Traditional Smocks

Smocking has been used since the late 18th Century for the production of practical, working garments in rural areas and Rosalind is keen to maintain the heritage of traditional English smocking.  Smocking developed as a functional method of holding fullness whilst allowing some elasticity for ease of movement.  The smocking also added to the thickness of the garment making the smocks hard wearing and weather resistant. 
 
Rosalind designs traditional smocks to order, often developing the design used for original smocks held in the textile collection at Dorset County Museum, Dorchester.  She has regularly entered her smocks into the annual exhibition organised by the Dorset Arts and Crafts Association and won awards for her work (see gallery)
 
The most popular style of smock that she is asked to make is a coat style, which is fully opening at the front and fastened with traditional Dorset buttons (see below left).  It features smocking on the fronts and across the back, at the sleeve head and wrists.  There is traditional Dorset feather stitch embroidery next to the smocking on the fronts and the back and on the collar and cuffs. 
The smock shown below left is based on a Dorset woodman's smock.
 
 
 
Another more traditional style is the round smock, where the front and back are worked the same making the smock totally reversible (see centre).   A third style is shown right and is a hybrid between the two previous designs, essentially a round smock with a buttoned front placket opening.
 
Rosalind usually makes her smocks in cotton or linen and could use fabric of your choice (if suitable).  If you would like to commission a smock please contact her to discuss your requirments.  Rosalind tends to charge an hourly rate for commissioned work, but as a guide an adult's coat style smock would cost in the region of £300 - £400.
 
Currently Rosalind has one smock available in stock to purchase immediately as detailed below.
 
 Drayman's Smock
 
The Drayman's smock is a short, front opening, coat style of smock worked in a heavy weight fabric of cotton/linen blend. 
 
The fabric is a light brown colour and the smocking and embroidery are worked in white cotton thread.
 
The smocking itself is kept quite simple and worked over deeply gathered pleats.  The pattern for the feather stitch and chain stitch embroidery that decorates the fronts and back of the smock is adapted from a design shown in the book 'Embroidery from Traditional English Patterns' by Ruby Evans (published by Batsford, 1971).  A simple line of feather stitch decorates the yokes, collar and cuffs.
The smock is fastened with hand made Dorset Cross Wheel buttons.
 
To fit approximately a 42" chest and length 31" from nape to hem.
 
Price.....£300
 
 
Comments