Introduction to Hand Smocking with Working Cloth


Quantity in stock: 4


Various dates available 

Two sessions available - 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm

32 Bocking Street, London, E8 3FP

The workshop will take place in our workshop space just around the corner from Broadway Market. It's about 15 minutes walk from Bethnal Green tube station, 10 minutes from London Fields and Cambridge Heath overground stations.  


In this workshop you will learn everything you need to add hand smocked details to your handmade wardrobe! Smocking is an old-fashioned way of adding stretch and shape to woven fabrics. It's perfect for adjusting fit, adding detail, or building extra growing room into a garment. In this workshop you will learn how to prepare your fabric for smocking, and how to create a variety of smocking stitches. You'll leave feeling confident to use hand smocking techniques with your own handmade wardrobe. 

You’ll learn how to measure and prepare the fabric for smocking and sew several different smocking stitches.


During this workshop you will work on a sample piece to learn the essential skills of hand smocking. 
+ The function of smocking 
+ How to measure and prepare your fabric for smocking
+ How to pleat your fabric ready for smocking
+ How to sew several different smocking stitches 
+ Tips on how to incorporate smocking into your handmade garments

The skills learnt in this class with prepare you for adding hand smocked details to your handmade garments. 


This class is suitable for beginner sewists - anyone who feels confident hand sewing. 


+ Use of our Pfaff Expression 710 sewing machines in the classes. If you'd like to learn on your own machine then please do bring it along - please let us know the model in advance and bring your manual with you.
+ All tools and equipment
+ White embroidery thread for hand-stitching (if you want to use a different colour please bring this along)
+ Drinks and sweet treats to keep you going throughout the class.


+ Fabric. Two non-stretch fabric scraps sized 20x50cm. We recommend using cotton or linen for your first go at smocking. 
+ Thread in a contrasting colour to your sample fabric piece
+ If you want to use a different thread colour to white for your hand-stitching please bring along your preferred colour of embroidery thread


Lauren MacDonald is a multidisciplinary designer, writer, and the founder of textiles studio, Working Cloth. Her approach and aesthetic have been tempered through academic studies in material culture and textile science, vocational experience in the fashion industry, and an ongoing obsession with materiality, form, and function. Her practice is focused on traditional textile handcrafts and spans interaction design, installation, sculpture and stitched form. Her first book In Pursuit of Color: From fungi to fossil fuels: uncovering the origins of the world's most famous dyes will be out in February 2023. 


The workshop will take place in our studio around the corner from Broadway Market. We have a dedicated workshop room at the back where you can sew in peace and still see the hustle and bustle of the shop. It's about 15 minutes walk from Bethnal Green tube station, 5 minutes from London Fields and Cambridge Heath Overground stations. The studio is at ground floor level with no steps. It is fully accessible and has a fully accessible toilet.


"I had the BEST day, just a very relaxing space with no distractions. I also gained loads of confidence."


Check out our Workshop FAQs and if we haven't answered them, drop us an email at

If you'd like to be notified about future class dates, drop us an email. 

Payment plans are available!  Please email for more information.

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