A smock for a gargoyle

This is yet another of the pintuck smocks that I made this summer. It's slightly less successful than the previous two for various reasons. This voile (part of Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush range) is actually one of my favourite fabric prints ever so when my mother bought this little stack for me as a birthday gift (from Ray-Stitch, I believe) back in March I was delighted.

However, once I'd made it and tried it on, my husband broke it to me that I take on the look of a gargoyle with such a busy pink print close to my face. I think I already knew this as when I presented myself to him I probably I had that lip-bitey look on my face that said something akin to: this is horrid, isn't it?

So you might think this top, which makes me look like a gargoyle, wouldn't have had too many outings, but strangely it's had lots. By the end of every summer holiday I've always added at least half a stone's worth of ice-creamy hedonistic fun to my frame (and, tiresomely, I begin every autumn by working to shed this same half stone) during those last days of summer this top provided welcome tent-like cover and felt like a perfect lazy-Sunday smock...sort of like wearing socially acceptable daytime pyjamas. And oddly, my husband forgot his original words and one day when I appeared downstairs wearing it (not wearing any face in particular, but perhaps most importantly not wearing the 'it's-horrid-isn't-it?' face) he said: what a beautiful top, you look lovely, as though he'd never seen it before. When I reminded him it was the Gargoyle Top he said that he had no memory of such a garment, making me think that in future I must always take care to arrange my face to suggest positivity as he's obviously swayed by such things. I'm unsure of what my 'yay!-I-look-like-such-a-fox' face would look like, but that's what I shall be aiming for.

Twitter friends tell me that I'd love a pintucking foot, rather than creating all these tucks by hand. Do you have one? Does it make pintucking so much easier than measuring them all out by hand? Or do you still have to measure them out before tucking? Do you know of any super tutorials to demonstrate the difference or how it's done?

The other area in which I don't think this print works with this top is that all those carefully tucked pintucks are lost in the busy pattern. You can see the difference below as the dobby fabric seems a much better canvas for them.

I now think I'd love one of these smocks in a fine needle cord for Autumn.

In case you're wondering, this is what I wish I had done with this fabric - the perfect style for the print and it would have kept the fabric far enough away from my face to leave me looking, if not foxy, at least just like myself rather than a ghoul on a fountain. This print is still one of my favourites, by the way. I feel as though I have unfinished business with it.

Florence x


  1. Really love that innocent crush fabric - you are exceptionally good at those smock tops! The dobby definitely lends itself to the pintucks though.
    Hope the weeks going well with the children back at school X

  2. When I make pintucks with my pintuck foot, it creates a very different look. See here http://duringquiettime.blogspot.com/2009/03/how-to-pintuck.html
    I think that shirt looks great on you, by the way, so keep wearing it!

  3. Lol, oh dear! I think I also have a certain face when I'm really not convinced by something, and I'm not sure whether my friends are humouring me when saying they agree, it's awful, or they really do agree. I did have a friend recently telling me to stop pulling 'that face' instantly when I tried on a dress in TK Maxx, she obviously has a steelier resolve that your husband ;o)

    I do love those shirts though, although alas, I fear I'd look about 5 months pregnant in one

  4. "I must always take care to arrange my face to suggest positivity" really cracked me up!

  5. As always you make such beautiful things.... I've just bought a pintuck foot and only launched one exciting adventure but it's such fun and so easy. You also need a twin needle. And you can pintuck in curves, swoops and all sorts of random pattern made stitching. Super fun, I recommend it. I'm about to write a short post on my blog, and buy my mum one for her birthday!

  6. Gargoyle? No way you could ever look like one! I think your new smock top is very pretty.

  7. Ooh, looking forward to seeing a needlecord version! I hate making pintucks, but absolutely love the look they give. Must research the whole pintuck foot thing further. Or possibly wait till you buy one and share a review :)

  8. Beautiful tops...definitely not gargoylish! Pretty.

  9. I hate to say it, but I think people tell you what they think you want to hear. (And we do want to hear it most of the time!). Sometimes they haven't really got a viewpoint so try to say what they think is the right thing. Plus, and I know this is sexist I just don't think the majority of men have the same sense of taste as we do (I think they get deprived actually, their colour choices are limited, no wide range of patterns etc, both for their own attire and for their personal space - it is drummed into them that certain things are not suitable for them as it is too feminine for boys etc, from a very young age. Girls have much freer choices in this area. I sometimes think they get married just so they can have cushions and pink walls. No wonder they find it hard to appreciate floral!) Anyway, take no notice of your husband in this instance. You are in no danger of resembling a gargoyle!

    I'm OK with sewing machines but I don't think I would like to go too far myself with feet, I like to think I still have something to do with the making process. I would personally feel a bit robotic doing gathers (on a special foot), pin tucks etc using a machine. But then I am fond of hand swing also, so keeping my hand in so to speak is important for me.

    Very pretty top and pretty on you too, I'm glad it's getting lots of wear.

  10. Still haven't actually tried my pintuck foot, but I think Amy's right and it's a different sort of tuck it makes - smaller than yours. Pretty sure you'd only have to mark the first one, because the foot has grooves in it to keep the subsequent ones parallel.

    It IS a pretty top and I reckon Mr T's second opinion was correct! But if you're still not sure, how about wearing a plain scarf with it?

    And I do hope you're not doing any silly diets - did you see this: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/health/the-10-foods-that-most-affect-weight-gain-loss-150010 ?

    I am waiting for your pintucked smock pattern PDF!

  11. this blouse is so eautiful, hughs Anja

  12. Oh- it is lovely! I have that same fabric sitting and waiting. Maybe I'll send it to you and you can whip one up for me too!

    And I have to say- I think it looks wonderful on you. It brings out the rosy in your cheeks and smile. : )

  13. Lovely tops i would definitely buy them :)

  14. Husbands and their words of wisdom eh?? This post really made me smile - Thank you!


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