Sewing Vacations, Summer Savings & Smocking Fun!

How are you planning to spend your summer? If sewing and vacationing are on the list, I invite you to combine the two at one of our upcoming summer retreats! We’re having two licensing events this July in Palm Beach, FL, and we’d love for you to join us. The Perfect Mix: Sew, Serge and Embellish will be July 21 – 26 and Children’s Garment Construction will be July 28 – August 2; both will be held at the beautiful Innisbrook Resort and will be taught by Peggy Dilbone, Connie Palmer, Alicia Welcher, Martha Pullen and me.

We’re having a huge Friends & Family Summer Savings event in our online store this weekend – almost everything is 40 percent off! Fabric, notions, books, laces, you name it. All you have to do is enter coupon code FFSUMMER40 at checkout to receive your discount. This is a great time to stock up on anything you need for summer projects.


Sand Pail Smocked Playsuit and Smocking Design by Michié Mooney

Need a little summer sewing inspiration? Take a look at this adorable smocking plate designed by Michié Mooney, which was originally featured in our July/August 2006 edition of Sew Beautiful. With picture smocked sand pails stitched in colorful hues, it is pure summer fun! Follow Michié’s graph and instructions below to smock the sand pails on a design for your little one:

NOTE: Michié created the outfit shown here using her Creations by Michié Baby Playsuit #123 pattern, cotton print fabric and DMC Six-Strand Embroidery Floss in the following colors: #3805 dk cyclamen pink, #3806 lt cyclamen pink, #701 lt green, #703 chartreuse, #972 deep canary, #973 bright canary, #322 dk baby blue, and #414 dk steel gray.


Sand Pail Smocking Graph


  • Pleat eight rows.
  • Sand pails require 18 pleats each.
  • Four strands of floss are used for sand pails and shovel handles.
  • Three strands of floss are used for borders and top of shovel handles.
  • Backsmock Rows 2, 3, 4 and 5 with two strands of floss.


1. Across Row 1 and with dk baby blue floss (#322), begin with an up cable; stitch the length of the row. With deep canary floss (#972), stitch one cable stacking with every other blue cable, according to graph.

2. Across Row 6 and with dk baby blue floss (#322), begin with a down cable; stitch the length of the row. With deep canary floss (#972), stitch one cable stacking with every other blue cable, according to graph.

Sand Pails:

1. Begin center sand pail six pleats to left of center as indicated by the black cable. Smock pail with dk cyclamen pink (#3805) and stripe with lt cyclamen pink (#3806).

2. Work bottom half of sand pail; turn fabric upside down and finish top half of sand pail.

3. Follow graph for the number of cables in each row, noting that some rows contain half cables.

4. On Row 4, begin left sand pail 34 pleats to left of center. Smock pail with deep canary (#972) and stripe with bright canary (#973).

5. On Row 4, begin right sand pail 22 pleats to right of center. Smock pail with lt green (#701) and stripe with chartreuse (#703).

6. Using three strands of floss, work all shovel handles in dk steel gray (#414) with a six-wrap bullion stitch.

For more smocking fun, check out our 24-row and 32-row Read pleaters – using your FFSUMMER40 coupon code, you can save over $100 on each of the pleaters! If you already have a pleater but need some design inspiration, treat yourself to issues of Australian Smocking & Embroidery and Sew Beautiful. Hurry, the sale ends June 7!

Check out the new June designs our 2015 IEC members received this week! This frame is available in two sizes and can be stitched with or without a wing-needle-filled center.

We pray for the men and women serving our nation in harm’s way, and for each of you.

Much Love to You All & May God Bless,
Kathy McMakin