Mr. Toad

Books We Carry:

"Smocking & Basic Sewing Books & DVDs"

A to Z Smocking is coming back into print.
Place your pre-order here, we won't charge your account until the book is available.

A to Z Smocking

Coming in December ... reserve your copy now.

We are so excited that this wonderful book on smocking is being reprinted. Same content as before but with a new cover and new binding. Contains every stitch you will ever use with smocking plus sewing tips, embellishments and much, much more.

Price $19.95
Quantity requested    

English Smocking by Children's Corner

This book is unique amongst all of our beginning smocking books in that it contains actual sewing patterns for a Basic Square Yoke Dress (sizes 1-6) and Armhole guides for a Sundress (sizes 1-8), a smocked baby's bonnet, and smocked collar.  Also included are seven original smocking designs with variations each for either a square yoke dress or bishop.  The smocking stitches are clearly presented in illustrations as well as written instructions.  Excellent value for your money.

Price $12.00
Quantity requested    

Smocking Daze I - Sandy Hunter $6.00

Four timeless original pretty smocking designs in one color booklet, published in 1985. Each design is shown on a garment, the design itself and a graph with instructions.

Includes three geometric designs for girls:

  • Periwinkle - suitable for bishop style
  • Leslie - diamonds and lattice filled with flowerettes
  • Ashly - Diamonds and Lattice
  • Hiawatha - old style picture smocking design for boys

Price $6.00
Quantity requested    

Smocking Daze II - Sandy Hunter $6.00

Four very pretty original geometric Smocking Designs by Sandy Hunter for the price of two! Each design is shown in color on a sample garment, design and graph. Easy instructions.

Designs include:

  • Kitty Kats, clever cats formed with geometric stitches
  • Flower Lattice - diamond lattice with cable flowers & ribbon weaving
  • Emily Claire - sweet baby design for bishop dress
  • Kimberly - Bishop design.

Price $6.00
Quantity requested    

Stacked Cables Step by Step - Sandy Hunter  $6.00

An excellent booklet on the subject of stacked cables. (Sandy is one of the original smocking designers from the early 1980's.) Her tips and techniques are clear and insightful without too much fuss and words. She concentrates on the stacked pyramid, which is a shape that is the basis for many advanced pictures. Once you get the pyramid down any other shape is easy.

Price $6.00
Quantity requested    

"How to Smock" - Grace Knott $16.00  

A republication and revision of a 1957 classic with 10 updated color geometric smocking designs created in Grace's tradition by her daughter-in-law. It shows you how to pleat by dots and how to use a pleater, along with smocking instructions and collar suggestions. A wonderful book and the geometric and picture designs included are delightful.  The smocking design on the cover is one of the smocking designs included. (Grace Knott designed some of the first smocking plates in the 50's. Bold geometric which sparked the smocking craze and eventually led to what you see today)

Please click on the link to see the lovely geometric designs of Grace Knott Smocking Designs.

Price $16.00
Quantity requested    

"Ellen McCarn On English Smocking" $12.00

This book is wonderful and in my opinion this is the book to get. One of the most definitive manuals on smocking with clear and concise directions and drawings. Includes seven design plates and 150 step-by-step illustrations and photographs. Covers beginning thru advanced geometric smocking.  An excellent guide for teaching yourself smocking as it is like Ellen is right there looking over your shoulder.   Ellen has been smocking and designing plates for more than 20 years.  This book contains the sum of her experiences.  Excellent publication.

To see Ellen's smocking designs please go to this page Ellen McCarn Smocking Design Plates.

To see Ellen's applique designs go to this page Ellen McCarn Appliques

Price $12.00
Quantity requested    

"Picture Smocking with Ellen McCarn" $12.00

A perfect companion book to the previous edition. This book tells you all you ever need to know about picture smocking. Comes with a stash of picture smocked motifs and geometric patterns for creating your own designs.  For more than 20 years Ellen McCarn has been delighting smockers all around the world with her picture smocking.  She shares her tips as well as some creative processes in this volume.

To see Ellen's smocking designs please go to this page Ellen McCarn Smocking Design Plates.

Price $12.00
Quantity requested    

EM English Floral Monograms

Delicate and lovely monograms for English smocking. These designs are appropriate for a yoke dress or pillow and a round neck or bishop dress or blouse.

Price $5.00
Quantity requested    

One Stitch at a Time with Ellen McCarn

An excellent introductory booklet on the subject of smocking for one who wants to know more but isn't sure enough to invest a lot of money.

Contents include:

  • How to choose a project
  • Learning about supplies & materials
  • Basic smocking stitches and techniques including elementary embellishment
  • 6 geometric designs in graph form
  • Projects: Smocked Pillow and a Smocked collar Size 2, 3-4, 5 & up

Price $5.00
Quantity requested    

Lattice Smocking by Laura Jenkins Thompson  $12.00

If you have ever wondered how to make those pillows from the 50's and 60's this is the book for you.  Two different lattice smocking patterns are included adapted for the following projects  Laura's Lattice Dress, Royal Weskit Smocked Sleeve Jacket, Princess Insert Dress, Channel Jacket - Canadian Style, Lattice Envelope Evening Bag, Lattice Cummerbund Belt.  I'm dying to try some of this on velvet as well as doing it in miniature.

Price $12.00
Quantity requested    

Laura Jenkins Thompson's Smocking Plates - Limited stock as she seems to have disappeared.

"Calico Keepsakes" - Diana Bruce $7.00

This book contains nifty patterns for projects that combine smocking and quilting including a smocked tea cozy, pillows, slippers, apron, door stop, and a bag to name a few.  Also has beginning smocking instructions, a mini stitch dictionary, picture smocking hints and 7 original smocking designs.

This is an excellent book for beginners who don't have children to smock for.  Don't let the title confuse you it's a great book on smocking.

Price $7.00
Quantity requested    

Jane McPherson Neckline Blocking Guide $3.00

Just in case you've lost your guide or need a new one we have replacements available.  Use this for smocked collars or whenever you need a guide to a neckline.

Price $3.00
Quantity requested    

"The Pleater Manual" Sarah Douglas $24.95  (Sub-title: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of the Smocking Pleater).

This is THE definitive guide to operating a smocking pleater and working with pleated fabric. Written by an expert in smocking, Saran Douglas gives you more information than you ever would want to know about pleating and working with pleated fabric. Covers the basic subjects and then goes into a comparison of the popular brands of pleaters and advanced subjects like pleating on the bias and curves. Included is a glossary of terms, pleating directions for all types of fabrics and pleater maintenance instructions. The layout of the book is set up as lesson plans on every type of pleating, exotic or regular.  She certainly did her research well and it definitely shows. I recommend this book as a must have in every smockers library especially if you like to know the scientific (well almost) technical stuff of how a pleater works and the comparisons between the different pleaters on the market.

Price $24.95
Quantity requested    

The Busy Mother's Guide To Sewing Children's Clothes - Nancy Coburn

This book has been around since 1985 but is still the best.  It is perfect for beginners as everything you need to know about sewing garments (smocked and heirloom sewn) is here.  Includes more than 25 basic yoke variations, 18 collar variations and 19 sleeve variations.  Also has instructions for the construction of the basic yoke dress and the smocked Bishop dress.  Includes methods to prevent a "turtle-neck" and 3 easy bishop plackets.  It has some of the best clearly written detailed instructions with 215 illustrations and 103 photographs.  Using this book and the matching Basic Square Yoke Dress pattern you can make as many dresses as you like without fear of repeating yourself.

A must have for every sewing smockers library.

Price $20.00
Quantity requested    

Nancy Coburn is the designer for Ginger Snaps Designs Smocking and Heirloom Sewing Patterns as well as a wonderful series of beginning heirloom sewing books.  You can see all of her patterns and books on this page:

Ginger Snaps Designs

Click on book for table of contents.

A to Z Sewing for Smockers - $39.95 - In stock today!

From the pages of Australian Smocking & Embroidery magazine comes this 7th book in the A to Z series and wonderful it is.  Every question a sewer of smocking & heirloom sewn clothing could ask is answered in this book with step by step photographs and excellent instructions.  A necessary companion to A to Z Smocking.  Over 580 superb step-by-step color photographs, hints and tips from the experts, fabulous finishing touches for sleeves, collars & hems.  So if you missed out on the Mildred Turner Series or Elizabeth Travis Johnson's collective wisdom you will find their voices echoed in this publication. A must have for your sewing library.

From the introduction: "Have you ever been frustrated by sleeves that won't sit properly or a hemline that droops?  What is the difference between a sleeve cuff and a sleeve band?  Does the stitching show on your piping no matter how hard you try to avoid it?  How do you trim a collar so that it has a perfectly curved edge?  The answers to all of these questions, plus many more, are contained within the pages of this book, the perfect companion to the A-Z of Smocking."

Price $39.95
Quantity requested    

A to Z of Heirloom Sewing - $39.95 - In stock today!

A wonderful book dedicated to every facet of heirloom sewing that will satisfy every heirloom sewers' craving for the how to's of working with delicate laces, swiss embroideries and the many fine fabrics featured in Sew Beautiful, Inspirations and Australian Smocking & Embroidery magazines. The editors of Inspirations Books has outdone itself by completing the series of A to Z Smocking and Sewing for Smockers with those delicate heirloom sewn touches that abound on garments presented in their magazines Inspirations and Australian Smocking & Embroidery. A wonderful addition to an already fine legacy.

From the back cover: "The use of delicate fabrics trimmed with lace, entredeux, ribbon and tucks are common characteristics of this beautiful technique. Perfect for adding that extra special touch to christening gowns, children's clothes, wedding dresses and delicate garments, this book has methods for every skill level.

"Filled with detailed instructions and useful hints, this reference book offers over 700 clear step-by-step photographs to help you achieve the perfect finish.

"Topics include:

  • Material and equipment
  • Garment care and storage
  • Working with lace and entredeux
  • Handworked edges and finishes
  • Construction techniques particularly suited to fine fabrics"

Price $39.95
Quantity requested    

New from Terri Wood - Pleating DVD

In this new pleating DVD by Terri Wood (see her Smocking Video) the quest for visual pleating information has finally been fulfilled.  Techniques covered in this DVD include:

  • Introduction of Different Pleaters
  • Care and Maintenance of the pleater
  • Preparing the Pleater for Pleating
  • Pleating a Bishop Dress
  • Pleating using a motor

30 minutes DVD

Price $39.95
Quantity requested    

Terri Wood's Smocking DVD

Terri Wood's Smocking DVD  ... a great way to take home the teacher after class.  Terri Wood is a former shop owner who translates her expertise knowledge to the world of video.  Divided into four lessons the video demonstrates the lessons in a classroom setting.  After watching this DVD, beginners as well as experienced seamstresses will have the ability to smock and construct a beautiful garment.  

Techniques Covered in this DVD include

  • Pleating fabric, preparing to smock
  • Tools Needed for Smocking Stitches
  • 8 basic geometric smocking stitches
  • Picture smocking,
  • Embellishing with flowers
  • Construction of a Bishop Dress step by step

Price $39.95
Quantity requested    

Smocking & Fine Sewing Techniques from the 19th century sources - Lacis Publications

Included in this volume are 8 booklets from the 19th century which cover the range of smocking (English Style), plain needlework, monograms, jeweled embroidery & knick-knacks.  If you love history and have wished that your great grandmother was alive to explain how to do all the embroidery techniques you find in antique stores than this is the book for you.  The sections on smocking have wonderful old illustrations of ladies and children in the smocked clothing of the period.  Also included are photographs of the smocking design and written instructions on how to complete the design (no graphs).  In the needlework section are instructions on all the basics of hand sewing including several types of hems, buttonholes, gathering and piping as well as info on how to sew on buttons (different patterns of stitches within the button holes), basic french handsewing techniques including rolling & whipping, tucks and sewing on lace.  In the embroidery section you learn how to feather-stitch, patchwork, quilting, honeycomb and braiding.  Including are many variations of stitches that are familiar to embroiderers.

Price $19.00
Quantity requested    

Beginning Smocking by Michie' Mooney

A wonderful brand new smocking instruction book which contains along with geometric and picture smocking instructions, 10 smocking designs and a smocked bonnet pattern.

Price $14.00
Quantity requested    

The Photo Book of Smocking Stitches - Right Hand Version $10.00

This wonderful book is back in print with step by step photographs of the basic smocking stitches.  It's a wonderful way to teach yourself how to smock when you don't have access to a teacher.

Price $10.00
Quantity requested    

The Photo Book of Smocking Stitches - Left Hand Version $10.00

Same book as above but with directions for left handers.

Price $10.00
Quantity requested    

How to Make Handmades for your Baby

First published in the '50s, this treasury of design ideas for christening dresses, button-on suits, rompers, sacques, bonnets, day gowns and dresses is a must have for any seamstress' library. Many techniques and embroidery designs are given along with illustrated instructions. Paperback. Black and white. 94 pages.

Price $16.00
Quantity requested    

Perfect Party Dresses

The first of the special editions from County Bumpkin. If you are already lonely for the inspirations that ASE Magazine brought you then this book of dazzling smocking designs is for you. There is no better way to celebrate life's special moments than with a party and, as every girl knows, every party demands the perfect dress. From birthdays to weddings this beautiful collection of stunning garments, in sizes 2-10 years, is sure to provide something spectacular for every special occasion. The twelve dresses and three petticoats, created with gorgeous fabrics, exquisite embroidery and sublime finishing touches, will make every little girl's dreams come true.

Price $29.00
Quantity requested    

Frances Jones' Smocked Monograms Booklet

Smocked alphabets are one of the trickiest projects to attempt and often times don't succeed but this booklet gives you all the tools you need to accomplish your goal. These letters use a bar stitch which is worked over 2 pleats, perfect for simple monogram projects. Though not recommended for raw beginners but if you're up for a challenge go for it!

Price $15.00
Quantity requested    

Ellen McCarn's Christmas Ball and Stocking with Candy Cane Letters

Another delightful booklet from Ellen McCarn with complete instructions and pattern for making a stocking to hang on the mantle for each member of your family. Decorate your tree with namesake Christmas Balls. As usual the instructions are very clear that even a beginner to smocking can follow.

Price $6.00
Quantity requested    

Muestras y Motivos - Frunces-Smock - Spanish Smocking Magazines

Muestras y Motivos - Frunces-Smock 7

Wonderful magazine from Spain featuring bullion smocking to the max. The quality of the designs are excellent. Includes patterns and smocking stitch illustrations as well as the smocking designs in graph form, however the instructions are in Spanish. Contains 4 dresses, 7 baby outfits.

Price $18.00
Quantity requested    

Muestras y Motivos - Frunces-Smock 8

Wonderful magazine from Spain featuring bullion smocking to the max. The quality of the designs are excellent. Includes patterns and smocking stitch illustrations as well as the smocking designs in graph form, however the instructions are in Spanish. Contains 4 dresses and 8 baby outfits.

Price $18.00
Quantity requested    

Muestras y Motivos - Frunces-Smock 9

Wonderful magazine from Spain featuring bullion smocking to the max. The quality of the designs are excellent. Includes patterns and smocking stitch illustrations as well as the smocking designs in graph form, however the instructions are in Spanish. Contains 6 dresses and 4 baby rompers.

Price $18.00
Quantity requested    

Muestras y Motivos - Frunces-Smock 12

Wonderful magazine from Spain featuring bullion smocking to the max. The quality of the designs are excellent. Includes patterns and smocking stitch illustrations as well as the smocking designs in graph form, however the instructions are in Spanish. Contains 2 dresses, 2 boy's outfits and 6 baby outfits.

Price $18.00
Quantity requested    

Muestras y Motivos - Frunces-Smock 16

Wonderful magazine from Spain featuring bullion smocking to the max. The quality of the designs are excellent. Includes patterns and smocking stitch illustrations as well as the smocking designs in graph form, however the instructions are in Spanish. Contains 7 baby outfits.

Price $18.00
Quantity requested    

To view more issues click here after placing your order on this page

Perfecting Picture Smocking by Laura Jenkins Thompson

Back in print after so many years, Laura has expanded this 2nd edition with more tricks and tips for picture smocking as well as covering the basic steps of smocking. What is especially delightful about this book are the hand illustrations Laura made for each step of the smocking stitch covered. Excellent publication.

Price $18.50
Quantity requested    

Adapting Commercial Patterns for the Smocked Insert by Diana Bruce of Creative Keepsakes

This wonderful booklet is back in print. It takes you step by step through the process of planning and executing adding in a smocked insert into a commercial pattern with detailed instructions that are normally missing in commercial patterns. Adding a smocked does have challenges but you're in good hands with Diana as she patiently explains everything. *-- this may be out of print or in reprint, we can't get an answer yet.

Price $4.50
Quantity requested    

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