A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I did a lot of smocking and heirloom sewing. Over the years, my skills have gotten rusty and smocking has fallen so far out of favor that even the venerable Sew Beautiful Magazine is ceasing publication. One of the problems is that smocking hasn’t adapted to a more modern aesthetic. The other is that smocking plates with popular characters can’t be sold due to copyright, so there is little incentive for an experienced smocker to design one unless they are feeling very generous.
That leaves it to those of us who are amateurs. With some smocking graph paper in hand, I took some colored pencils and drew out Yoda. If you have ever done picture smocking, you should be able to follow the graph. Yoda’s cane was stitched going across two pleats down the length of the cane. This will mean doing a few half cables to fill in his cloak. It isn’t colored in that way on the graph, but, since it is free, who can complain?!
Originally, Yoda was going to be inset in the yoke of this Oliver and S Class Picnic Blouse, but in a size 3T, the yoke was too short to accommodate him, so he became a pocket. For a good tutorial on how to do a smocked insert, click here. The pocket was made by inserting the smocking into a piece of Kona cotton, putting another piece on top of it right sides together and stitching almost all the way around. It was turned inside out through the opening that was left in the stitching, the opening was stitched closed and the pocket stitched on.
The lack of an embroidery machine meant hand stitching the words, but I may unstitch them because they look a bit too sloppy for my taste.
Here’s the “smocking plate” that I drew up. Feel free to print it out and give it a go. As Yoda says, “Do or Do Not, There is no Try.”
This Disney Look for Less again cost $0. The green fabric was from my stash and was won in a giveaway several years ago. The yellow was leftover from a quilt. The Oliver and S pattern was one I already had and the smocking materials were on hand already as well.