Online Workshop: Smocking – Sat 16 October 2021


** SOLD OUT **

10.30am – 1.30pm (including 30min talk by Alison Toplis)
Location: Online
Suitable for: Beginners

Following the popularity of our smocking workshop, we’re thrilled to bring a second date! Join us in this live online smocking workshop where you will learn smocking techniques using ready-pleated fabric (which comes as part of the kit you’ll be sent).

The technique of smocking can trace its British origins back as far as the Middle Ages. During the 18th and 19th centuries it was most commonly found on labourers’ smocks, feted for its ability to be both form-fitting and flexible. The technique and garment have since become more or less synonymous, but of course the technique itself can be used in any garment for shaping or decoration.

See below for a detailed description of the workshop.

Out of stock




Online workshop and talk

About this workshop

Our 3-hour workshop will cover different pleating and stitching techniques … whether you have plans to use small smocking details (such as on a sleeve, waistline or cuff), or maybe you’re plotting a more ambitious full-size smock, our workshop will give you all the history and methods you need to take the craft forwards into your sewing projects. ZTC conservator Hazel Arnott will be leading the workshop and we’ll be joined for a talk and Q&A session by guest speaker Alison Toplis (dress and textile historian and author of Hidden History of the Smock Frock: Deception & Disguise). You’ll also get the chance to look through historic smocking examples from the ZTC study collection, plus beautiful smocks from Royal Pavilions Museums Trust (aka Brighton Museum).

Price includes all the materials you’ll need for the workshop* as follows:

  • 1 x ready pleated ramie fabric
  • 4 x different coloured skeins of stranded cotton
  • 1 x needle
  • 1 x piece ramie fabric to practice pleating
  • Hints & tips sheet

* Please note that there may be a small extra charge for p&p to non-UK addresses.

You’ll also need the following:

  • Scissors
  • Notepad & pen

Hazel Arnott (Royal School of Needlework, National Trust and long-term ZTC team member) will lead the workshop and we’ll be joined by guest speaker Alison Toplis (dress and textile historian and author of Hidden History of the Smock Frock: Deception & Disguise) for a 30-minute talk + Q&A session about the history and tradition of patchwork, followed by a delve into the ZTC study collection to look at some historic examples.

The workshop is designed to be a ‘sew-along’, with participants trying out different stitches on the ready-pleated fabric found in the kit. Although you’ll be working on this fabric as a time-saving measure we’ll also be showing you  how to pleat, so you can use the extra fabric from the kit to practice your pleating after the workshop.

About the tutor

Following a BSc in Archaeology from the University of York, Hazel undertook an apprenticeship in hand embroidery in 2002 at the Royal School of Needlework. In 2007 she completed an MA in the Conservation of Textile and Tapestries in Historic Interiors from the Royal College of Art/Victoria & Albert Museum in association with the Historic Royal Palaces. After working for the National Trust, Hazel joined Zenzie Tinker Conservation in 2009 staying for two years before working in Australia. Hazel returned to the UK in 2014 and rejoined our team.

How to book

Just click on the ‘Add to basket’ button above and go through the checkout process – we can only accept Paypal at the moment, so do drop us a line to let us know if you’d prefer another method ( or if you experience any problems checking out. When you’ve booked, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a link to the workshop. You’ll receive a link to a downloads page with patchwork templates and a guidance document nearer the workshop.

Suitable for …


Terms & Conditions

You can view the Zenzie Tinker Conservation terms & conditions here.

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