Free Sunflower Smocking Graph: Les Tournesols

sunflower smocking

Les Tournesols sunflower smocking design by Laura Jenkins Thompson

Laura Jenkins Thompson’s Pascale pattern is a true classic. The darling French-inspired design was first introduced in the January 2002 issue of Sew Beautiful magazine and has been featured dozens of times since. Part of this simple, timeless design’s versatility is the fact that you can make it so many different ways. Sixty-four different ways, to be exact, when you factor in the different necklines, sleeve and bodice choices.

In 2012, we asked Laura Jenkins Thompson to work up yet another version of Pascale to mark the pattern’s 10th anniversary and celebrate it’s release as a stand-alone pattern in the Sew Beautiful pattern collection. She stitched bright yellow sunflowers against a beautiful sapphire blue silk for this version, and you can find the graph and instructions here for her sunflower smocking design named Les Tournesols.

Follow the directions below to recreate this smocking design!

Pascale by Laura Jenkins Thompson

Sunflower Smocking Design Materials:

    • Materials List for Smocking
    • Smocking Instructions
    • Floss
      • Anchor Embroidery (stranded cotton) in the following colors:
      • #254 celery green
      • #255 lime green
      • #297 bright yellow
      • #339 reddish brown
      • #133 blue (or color of fabric)
    • Needles:
      • #7 long darner (for all smocking)
      • #10 milliner’s (for French knots)
    • Strip of silk organza for back of pleating (depth of smocking by width of fabric)
    • Sulky KK2000 temporary spray adhesive for fusing organza to dupioni
    • Quilting thread in two contrasting colors for pleating guide threads


  • For all smocking use #7 darner, and for French knots use #10 milliner’s needle.
  • The design overlaps itself to create the illusion of a field of growing sunflowers. Stems on the left and right sides are shown on the graph to help align flower groups to left and right of center group.
  • All nine sunflowers are created with the same stitches.
  • It is important that you carefully refer to the graph as well as the photograph to help in the cable placement used to create the flowers and leaves.
  • Four strands of floss are used for picture smocking.
sunflower smocking

Smocking graph

1. Pleat fourteen rows. (if using silk dupioni, interface pleated area with a strip of silk organza). Lightly spray back of organza strip with KK2000 and fuse to wrong side, top edge of front skirt block. This plumps the pleats and prevents them from collapsing.

2. Tie off to width of full bodice waist (side seam to side seam).

3. Backsmock across Rows 1 through 10 using two strands of blue floss (#133) (or color of fabric).

4. Cable across Row 11 in celery green floss (#254).

5. Find center valley. Continue in celery green to form “grass” above and below Row 11 using stacked cables and two-step cable combinations according to graph.

6. Work shortest sunflower first using four strands of bright yellow floss (#297). Move over two pleats to the left from center valley on Row 9 and start by stitching fourteen cables beginning with a down cable (indicated by black cable on graph).

7. Follow graph to complete petals above and below the fourteen cable stitches.

8. Using four strands of reddish brown floss (#339), fill the hole to create center of sunflower with two rows of five stacked cables.

9. Repeat flower instructions for middle [left] sunflower beginning just above Row 7 starting on black cable indicated on graph.

10. Repeat this for top sunflower beginning on the Row 3.

11. Complete each sunflower by forming French knots around each center using two strands of celery green floss.

12. Using four strands of lime green floss (#255) form stems: Begin at base of each flower, work two satin stitches over two pleats, and then continued down to the “grass” base by working satin stitches over a single pleat, which is the one pleat on the right.

13. Create leaves using four strands of lime green floss referring to graph and photograph for placement. Begin each leaf at stem and work outward.

14. Complete left and right groups of three sunflowers on each side in the same manner.

The digital Pascale dress pattern is available in the Martha Pullen online shop.

Happy Sewing,

3 thoughts on “Free Sunflower Smocking Graph: Les Tournesols

  1. Carol Steansson

    love this smocking pattern, and love the Pascale as well, Thank you So very kindly for this free graph and I think I have the pattern from my magazines.


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