Fabric in Copenhagen and a Versatile Smock Top


I had a very nice weekend! Most of my Saturday was spent with a very good friend of mine, walking the streets of central Copenhagen, checking out some of the wonderful fabric shops, and just talking, talking, and talking. This doesn’t happen too often, and we could have kept talking for days, no problem. We didn’t have quite as much time before the shops closed as we would have liked to, but we definitely saw some shops that I will be returning to. We went to Stof 2000, City Sycenter, Handler Textiler, and Skipper Stoffer, and I think that out of these my favourite was City Sycenter – they had a large selection of different quality fabric, as well as a great variety of buttons, ribbon, bias tape, etc. I didn’t buy anything, because I just wasn’t sure, what I needed – however, I know exactly where to go when I come back.

***UPDATE*** I have had a lot of questions asking about online fabric shopping, so I have gathered some of the shops I like the best here. There should be some yummy fabric for everyone as well as some tips for fabric shopping abroad.

Yesterday, I made myself something. I have been wanting to do something with smock for a while, and upon returning to this smock tutorial (which is in Danish) I just decided to go for it. I wasn’t sure how it would work out, given that I haven’ done any smock before – only a few rows of it in this blouse. Therefore, I found some fabric in my stash that I haven’t been able to find a purpose for yet. It’s by the colour-loving designer Kaffe Fassett, purchased at Fabric.com.

Smock top

The construction is so simple – it’s really all about cutting a square of fabric, sewing a side seam, and then making rows and rows of smock. I finalised it with straps, and that was that. I quite like it, and what’s more, so does Ronja. Which brings us to the versatility…

That’s right – it fits her beautifully as a dress, so I’m thinking every second time I put it back after washing it goes to my closet – every second time to her closet. Take a look for yourself:

Smock dress

Looking down

Isn’t it funny that the same measurements I use for a top for me, can be used to make a perfect dress for Ronja? Anyway, I love smock dresses for children, so I’ll probably be making more summer dresses for the girls after this! 🙂


  1. Millie says:

    As usual you seem to be making what I want to make! I’ve found tutorials on Sugar City Journal and House on Hill Road (in English) for smocked dresses.This wouldn’t be a style for me though-everything has gone way too far south!It looks great on you though.Thankfully I have plenty of girls to make for. As always I’m very impressed and inspired.

  2. Jenny says:

    Astrid, I adore that fabric and it looks so cute on both you and Ronja 😉 Talk about versatile. PS – Brad and I are planning a trip to Europe for January and haven’t totally decided our itinerary. Any suggestions of must-see places?

  3. Medrie says:

    Now that’s what I call making the most of your fabric! Both you and Ronja look gorgeous in this top/dress.

  4. Amy Finlayson says:

    Wow! You did all the smocking yourself???? That’s awesome – and great fabric. I love that it works for a top or dress. I know a few people wrote to me that my size 8 sundress worked for them as a top, and I got a kick out of that.

    Now I need to read up on smocking… I always thought it required an actual machine to do it, I didn’t realize it could be done by hand. And so beautifully!

  5. Martin says:

    The Nature of Modeling. 😀

    Quote “I may be difficult that way, but I don’t want children to be posing in pictures. I’d much rather get a shot of our girls quietly (or loudly – I did say our girls) playing by themselves, totally consumed in whatever role they’re into at the time.”

    You don’t look like you are consumed in something, but its still a fine picture :D. And the dresses are fine, if I can say that as a man, without sounding too gay.

  6. Astrid says:

    Trudy – thank you – I never would have thought so either! 🙂

    Millie – awww – you are so sweet! Thank you so much! LOL – south is the way things are going isn’t it. Fortunately for me, there isn’t enough left for the journey to be too long… 😉

    Jenny – thank you! Wow, must-see places in Europe – that’s a bit of an area to be covering. Do you know where you will be going roughly? North, South? Mostly cities, mostly countryside? What kind of a trip is it? Give me a rough idea, and I will let you know, where I would go! 🙂

    Medrie – thank you so much, I’m always happy to see your name here! 🙂

    Amy – I did do it by myself, but I may be using the term smock loosely. I actually believe that the technique which is called ‘smock’ in Danish, is shirring in English. I did it on my sewing machine, with elastic thread in the bobbin. Actual smocking is something much more difficult that involves making tiny equal pleats by hand sewing. However, I think many people use the term smock for this technique as well – even in English – so I decided to go with something that my Danish readers would relate to as well. Oh, and thank you! 😉

    Martin – LOL! 🙂 That quote was meant for children! With me behind the camera… I thought about weeding in the pictures, but that wouldn’t be believable, so there you go – no other options than to pose. 😉

  7. Karen says:

    It looks fabulous on both of you! I’ll bet you thought it would be much, much longer before Ronja would be borrowing your clothes 😉

    I love the tutorial (even though I cannot read Danish) and how the top shirr-line is on a folded hem instead of a rolled hem, etc….much softer finish. I’m going to try that next time.

    Speaking of “next times,” next time I come to Dk, let’s be sure to hit the fabric shops?

  8. Jenny says:

    Hi again 🙂 We’re definitely wanting to go to London, Rome, and Paris. And hopefully somewhere in Spain but not sure where in Spain?

  9. Karen says:

    So cute Astrid…it looks gorgeous on both of you.

    I’ll have to go and have a look at the instructions, I’ve never tried smocking before. Hopefully I can make out the Danish instructions with my limited Swedish!

  10. dana says:

    BRILLIANT! These smocked tops have been floating around. Now I really must try. And how fun that it fits both of you. Maybe Lucy and I will have to trade too 🙂
    Very cute on both of you!

  11. Lisa says:

    What a gorgeous and versatile outfit! How sweet that you can both wear it. My grandmother used to make me little dresses with shirring like that when I was young.

  12. Anne Dorte says:

    Hej. Super fin top. Jeg har selv brugt samme stof, men i brunlige nuancer. Jeg er altid vild med cirkler. Lyder som en dejlig dag i københavn. Jeg bor lige i nærheden, men kommer alligevel ikke altid afsted. Synes dog jeg kender butikkerne som min egen bukselomme efter at have brugt dem i så mange år.

  13. Astrid says:

    Everybody, thank you so much! 🙂

    Its_Lily – LOL – actually, I’m already not doing so good at it… 😉

    Karen – I like the tutorial too – this method works great! And actually, the two top rows are on the folded hem, to prevent it from folding down. You bet we will go fabric shopping – when was that again? 🙂

    Jenny – there are so many beautiful places, and it can be hard to choose. However, I would definitely recommend Amsterdam, which in my opinion is such a beautiful city. My brother lives there, so I do go once in a while, but I never seize to enjoy it. In Spain, Barcelona would be a great place to go – then you will be able to see some of famous architect Gaudi’s masterpieces, which are just amazing!

    Karen – otherwise just let me know, and I’ll help! 🙂

    Dana – it’s sooo easy – go ahead and give it a try! 🙂

    Lisa – I do believe I will be making shirred tops and dresses for the girls as well! It is a sweet style for a little one. 😉

    Anne Dorte – Uhh – jeg tror, at det er godt, at jeg ikke bor tæt på. Det ville vist blive dyrt… 😉

  14. Jeannet says:

    Hej Astrid.

    Næste gang du komme forbi disse kanter er du altså nød til at gå ind hos stofdillen der ligger på hjørnet af jagtvej og åboulevarden.
    Det er en fantastisk butik med rigtig mange stoffer til rigtig gode penge. De fleste af stofferne kommer kendte designers restlager hvis man kan sige sådan. Blandt andet fra Bitte kai Rand, Tiger of sweden, dolce & gabbana og til priser mellem 35,- 0g 60,- pr meter.
    Også tak for din søde kommentar ovre hos mig selv. Af en eller anden grund kan jeg ikke svare tilbage. Der kommer en fejl meddelelse. Der opstod fejl på siden med en lille gul trekant og message 1 took 31 ms.
    Og da jeg ikke lige frem er nogen ørn til det her ved jeg ikke lige hvordan og hvad jeg skal gøre for rette fejlen. Pisse irriterende rent ud sagt. Nå men fred være med det.
    Dine smock bluser/ kjoler er skønne ligeså mog´dellerne i dem.Jeg er selv ret besat af smock og har syet en del buksedragter her i foråret.

  15. Jacqui says:

    You are so funny! How cool, it fits you both! Only 4 years old and you’re already fighting over what’s in the wardrobe!
    It’s gorgeous. I just found a supplier for Kaffe Fasset quilting fabrics here in Japan. beautiful.

A penny for your thoughts?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.