Smock an Alternating Cable Stitch

Cables, outlines, stems and waves – there are so many lovely smocking stitches we can combine to create beautiful smocked designs for our garments. Today, we’d like to share a step-by-step tutorial for the alternating cable stitch from our friends at Australian Smocking & Embroidery magazine. Also known as cable picot, this is an attractive stitch that can be worked in a single color or two colors for varying effects.

Example was smocked with two strands of DMC satin stranded rayon.

1. Base row of cable. Work a row of cable.

2. Bring the thread to the front on the right-hand side of the first pleat, a needle’s width below the first stitch of the base cable row.

3. Take the needle back through the first pleat from right to left.

4. Pull the thread through. Work two cables (an over cable then an under cable).

5. For the third cable, keep the thread below the needle and angle it to emerge on the left side of the same pleat, a needle’s width above the base row.

6. Pull the thread through.

7. Work two cables (under, over). With the thread above, take the needle through the next pleat, angling it to emerge on the left side of this pleat below the base row.

8. Pull the thread through. Work two cables (over, under). For the next cable, angle the needle through the pleat. Emerge above the base cable row as in step 5.

9. Continue alternating between three cables below the base row and three above. End off the thread securely.

For more inspiration, don’t miss The Best of Australian Smocking & Embroidery. This special issue includes eight multi-size patterns, tips, techniques and much more!

Sew On, Sew Well, Sew Beautiful,
Cyndi and Amelia

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