Dragonscale Smocking

As you know I've been a little Game of Thrones obsessed lately!  So it wasn't a big surprise that I wanted to try my hand at the Dragonscale Smocking that Michele Carragher used on Daenerys's blue tunic.  The JoAnns near me is going out of business so when I found this blue batik cotton for 75% off I thought I'd buy it and make the tunic.  I followed the directions on Michele's website and was very pleased with the results.

I do have a few things I learned about this type of smocking that I wanted to pass along. 

  • First of all I think the hardest part is actually making the grid!  The smocking itself is amazingly easy.  I had to be a little careful to make sure I was smocking the right point but overall this was really simple to do.  
  • Following her stitch direction is important, it leads to less tangles and a much more uniform "scale" appearance.
  • Pressing the finished smocking is crucial, it looks very puffy and not all that "scaly" before pressing.

Pressed top, unpressed bottom
  • The quilting cotton's thinness worked in my favor, I was able to gather the points very tightly because the fabric was so thin.
  • I experimented a bit with different sizes of grids and come to the conclusion that Michele's suggestion of 1 cm is a good one, when I went larger the scales looked a bit messier, also if you are using a thicker fabric a larger grid will result in a larger puff of fabric to press which could end up being bulky.
  • I followed her lead and smocked individual strips which I will apply to the finished costume later on.  Not only does this mean I have a nice small project I can work on on-the-go but I'll be able to apply the scales to the costume in a way that is most flattering on my body.
  • Once you get the hang of the pattern this goes very fast and is rather mindless, in much the same way that hemming is, which can be boring or relaxing depending on your mindset. 


  1. Your smocking is awesome! I'm hoping to make this costume as well!


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