How to do a picture-smocked train scene sewing tutorial


Hey everyone, so here is a video explaining
how I mimicked this picture-smocked train scene. I saw this on pinterest, and I can’t find
who holds the copyright, but by all means, if someone does hold the copyright, I will
gladly take this video down, I just didn’t see the smocking plate out there when I googled. So with that disclaimer out of the way, here
is my recreation of this little train. I pleated my fabric using whole spaces. I started with the center cart of the train
and did this out of a blue shade, DMC 775. Of course, use whatever colors you wish, I
just know that if I don’t put the colors that I used, I’ll get questions. If you are new to picture-smocking, it is
typically done with four strands of floss. This gives a little extra bulk that is helpful
in filling in the gaps. Avoiding gaps is the name of the game with
picture-smocking. So on the back side, I tie on by going through
two pleats and through them again to create a loop. Then I tie on by wrapping my needle around
the loop once or twice and pull tight. Then I took my needle up in the half way-ish
pleat. By no means did I count the pleats, just eyeball
the half way mark. I did the cable stitch so I would have three
stacked on top of four stitches like so. Then I took my needle back to that half way-ish
mark and repeated the cable stitch, four stacked on top of five stitches, to the other side. And I had this cable stitch when I was done. Then I went down a line and did another cable
stitch. This time I did three sets of columns. Each column had one stitch stacked on two
stitches. And this went on for four rows. Then I tied off using that same loop manner
as before. So moving onto the base of this cart. I went up on one side of the previous stitches
and did a row of cable stitches all the way across. And I repeated this for five rows and then
tied off. Then I moved onto the cart that would be immediately
to the right. I just skipped five pleats or so… definitely
not an exact science here. And I don’t know what shade this pink is…
sorry. I got a bunch of these boxes filled with floss
from other sewers who didn’t want them anymore. I went one row up from the brown section on
the previous cart and did a cable row with eight stitches on top and seven on the bottom. From there I went to the side of the fourth
stitch and back down on the other side of the fifth stitch. I did this a few times to establish a little
chimney or something on this cart… not exactly sure what it’s supposed to be, but it’s
on the smocking plate, so there you go. Ha, moving on… I repeated that same cable series four more
times so I would have a total of five rows. These five rows filled the same space as the
brown on the previous cart. Then I took this 727 yellow color to use as
the base of the cart immediately to the left of the center cart. I did a cable stitch starting at the bottom
of the cart, again, about five pleats away from the center cart. The cable stitch has eight stitches on the
bottom and seven stitches on the top. I repeated these stitches, rotating my work
as needed, until I had three rows total. Then I got this 840 brown color and did a
row of cable stitches with just one less stitch that the yellow section of the cart. So this first row has seven stitches stacked
with six stitches. Then the second row has one less stitch than
the previous, or six stitches stacked with five stitches. Moving onto the next cart to the left, I went
back to that pink color and started level with the blue color and working my way towards
the top of the cart, I did a row of cable stitches with five stitches stacked on five
stitches. And I repeated that same five stitches stacked
on five stitches for the next row down. And once more, to make a total of three rows,
did another five stitched stacked on five stitches. After looking at this cart, I realized that
I missed a stitch, so here I’m adding that in to make a total of five stitches in that
line. So then I have three rows of cable stitches
all with five stitches in them. Then I did one more row of cable stitches,
but this time with five stitches stacked on four stitches. Then I moved onto making the columns for this
cart. There is a column on each end of the cart,
if you will, and each column has a cable stitch of two stitches stacked on one stitch. This goes on for four rows since that gets
me to my next pleating thread, making these columns level with the blue columns from the
center cart. To finish this cart off, I start on the right
side of the cart – the side of the cart closest to the caboose if you will – then
I do a row of cable stitches across the top. These stitches extend a little bit, I guess
for a little overhang, so you’ll have a total of seven stitches on the bottom stacked
with seven on the top. And then I tied off the pink and tied on that
brown color to make the front of this cart. I started at the bottom of the cart and did
four cable rows of four stitches stacked on five stitches. These stitches join to meet the pink stitches
like a little puzzle, if you will. Once those four sets of cable rows are done,
then I took my needle up to the middle of that first stitch in the first row and went
around that one pleat a few times. To finish this cart, I took a darker brown
color. Honestly, this is a bit on the too dark side
I think, but it was the closest color in my stash, so I’m going with it. I finished this little chimney off with a
cable stitch of two stitches on the bottom stacked with one on the top. And again, two stitches, but this time I put
my needle down and come back to fill in the spaces on each side of that single stitch. So it gives this little rounded look, if you
will. Then I tied off and that cart was complete. Moving onto the last cart of the train, I
went back to this lighter brown color, 840. Again, I skipped about five pleats or so and
then did a cable stitch with eight stitches on the bottom and seven stacked on top of
those. And I’m starting at the bottom of the rest
of the carts so all of these are roughly level. Now I’m starting on the front side of the
cart and creating a column. This column is made with four rows of cable
stitches, started with two stitches stacked on one and just repeating that two stitches
stacked on one four times. Then I repeated those same two stitches stacked
on one stitch four times for the second column. The second column is just past the half way
mark for the overall cart width. To complete this cart, I did a row of cable
stitches across the top that goes the full width of the cart. I started two pleats away from the first column
to give a little overhang. So then I took the pink color and did a cable
row that connected the carts of this train. Simple as that. Then there’s these little smoke puffs trailing
off. These are done with one stitch stacked on
top of two stitches, then take your needle down and come back up to do one more stitch. You’ll have this little cluster of four
stitches for a smoke puff. And then on the top and bottom of the insert,
I did a three-step trellis. So this starts with a horizontal stitch, then
divide the space until the next pleating thread into thirds, taking one stitch at each third
mark, and then finish the trellis with another horizontal mark. Just rise and repeat. So finally onto these buttons – aren’t
they adorable?? They are super tiny and I’ll link them below. Okay so to do the bullion stitch on a button,
first you’ll sew the button on like normal, just a straight stitch. Then bring your needle back up thru one of
the holes, and send it back down the other hole, except this time, leave a bit of a loop. You’ll take your needle up again and use
the loop to wrap around your needle. Make sure that the threads are wrapping neatly. You want all the threads to be laying flat,
if you will. No twisted threads here. You want to wrap enough times that the bullion
is long enough to cover from one button hole to the other button hole. Then I pinch the wraps with my thumb and forefinger
as I slide my needle out. Adjust the bullion over, pull tight, and send
your needle back down. There you go… just keep repeating, there
are two buttons per cart. And finally, the last thing is the very front
of the train. I started this three pleats over from the
cart, worked a cable stitch of two stitches on the bottom and three on the top. And then there’s one more stitch on the
row above that.. just kinda sitting there. I know, that’s a wonderful description,
but look at the image. Then I went from that one stitch just sitting
there at the top and did a trail of thread to the front of the cable stitches below it. That rounds off the front of the train and
I’m calling it done. If you are still with me and enjoyed this
video, please let me know. It was a pain in my dierrier to film and edit,
so I’m not sure I’ll do any more smocking plates unless the response is amaaaazing. I hope this video was helpful. If you have any questions, please leave them
in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them. As always, I appreciate y’all for watching
and I hope to catch ya next time.

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