One of the oldest and most popular smocking stitches, the honeycomb stitch has been used by countless generations of smockers to add a unique touch to beautiful smocked garments. The stitch is worked from left to right in consecutive rows and is very elastic, creating a pretty lattice “honeycomb-like” effect when stretched out. Only the small “seed” stitches show as the wave stitch is on the wrong side, and two pleats are used for each stitch: an “old” pleat and a “new” pleat. Follow the step-by-step tutorial below from Australian Smocking & Embroidery to master this ageless smocking technique:
1. Secure the thread and bring it to the front between pleats 1 and 2. Take the needle back through pleat 1.
2. With the thread above, take the needle from right to left through pleats 2 and 1.
3. With the thread above, take the needle to the back through the right hand side of pleat 2, slide through the tube and emerge on the left hand side of pleat 2.
4. With the thread below, take the needle through pleats 3 and 2.
5. With the thread below, take the needle to the back through the right hand side of pleat 3, slide through the tube and emerge on the left hand side of pleat 3.
6. Continue working across the row in this manner.
7. Work a second row beginning a full space below the first.
8. Work the required number of rows. Remove the pleating threads and block to the required size.
Discover more smocking techniques in Australian Smocking & Embroidery magazine. Each issue of AS&E is full of multi-sized patterns, smocking plates, stitch how-to’s, construction tips, endless inspiration and more!