Canadian Smocking

Since I picked up this pillow at the thrift shop, I’ve done a bit of research. I purchased a pattern on Etsy to make one like this.

I found that this type of smocking is called Canadian smocking. I found other similar patterns and YouTube videos. I had to try it. So I chose a simple pattern and went to work. The first step was to draw a grid on the back of the fabric.

This is the pattern I tried.

The diagonal lines indicate the direction of the gathers.

I was amazed that it really worked!

This is what the back looks like.

Next I tried to pleat the edges with pins so I could stay stitch around the outside edge.

I added fabric around the edges.

And voila!

I used a leftover piece from upholstering my rocker for the back.

The hand stitching was slow going so I worked on it in bits here and there. It’s definitely a project I would try again some day.

Have a good one!

Linking up with Sew Can She


About katyquilts

I am a wife, mom of four amazing adult kids, and a former librarian. I love making everything from traditional quilts to art quilts. I am thankful to God my Father and Creator for the gift of creativity!
This entry was posted in Crafty Things, Finishes, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Canadian Smocking

  1. Lovelyn says:

    Please show me the sewing direction

  2. Very beautiful! I’ve never heard of that technique before!

  3. abydolinger says:

    That is amazing! Great result for your experiment!

  4. Shasta says:

    This is so beautiful! My mother also did something similar, but I’m not sure what they called it.

  5. Kathy D. says:

    Beautiful job. Is there ANYTHING you can’t do? 🙂

  6. Chantal L. says:

    Wow! This bringing back so much memories; old gold shaggy carpet, oversize beige sofa with big brown print of … was it a farm? Anywho! When I saw the picture of the grid, I remembered the squared mom did to make her pillow. You need to gather each corner of a square in order to make one “puff” and then she sew a “pearl” in the creases. It was a dark raspberry velvet. Oh yeah! It went so well with the rest of the stuffy living room, lol. Love what you did. Congratulations on the fantastic pillow. ;^)

  7. Rochelle Summers says:

    I remember when my Mom made a few of these pillows oh so many years ago. She used corduroy and I think she was making them for the church bazaar. I don’t recall her doing this more than once….but then she had 7 little helpers to distract her!!

  8. Monique D (B-Maransart) says:

    J’aime beaucoup tes versions du “smock canadien”. Je vais aller voir les vidéos qui pourraient me donner des idées.

  9. lois92346 says:

    I was so tickled to see this. My grandma made a couple of the round ones back in the 50’s. I marveled at them then and I marvel at them now. Excellent work, Katy!

  10. Lisa says:

    Wow, what a great pillow you made! I remember those kinds of pillows from the 50’s and early 60’s.

  11. Loris Mills says:

    Great job! You sure keep your sewing interesting. This is lovely!

  12. The red pillow brings back so many memories! I think my grandma had a green one. Anyway, your version is so lovely. Now I’m curious so I may have to go watch the video. You sure whipped it up quickly for something that looks so complicated! Nice finish, Katy!

  13. I had a pink satin round pillow with the fabric roushing like the red one you have pictured. A neat technique. Isn’t it fun to find textiles like this? What is old is new again!

  14. Val W. says:

    That is one fancy pillow. Framing the smocking was a great idea, instead of having to contend with all that bulk on the side seams of the pillow.

  15. Mary Carvajal says:

    Wow Kathy well done. In the 1970’s, when this type of pillow was popular, my father cut out a pattern for me in Formica. I still have it. I will have to take it out and try to do it again. I will have to try and find directions on the internet.

    One more time, thank you for you inspirion.

  16. blackeyedsewsan says:

    That really IS amazing! Susan

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