It helps to remember that this book is from the 50's. If you've looked at vintage patterns or clothes from that time you'll notice lots of little details. The smocked tucking is "especially suited to yoke treatments for dresses and blouses of plain fabric. It provides a texture contrast that, in itself, is rich and smart." Well, who wouldn't want to try that?
To make it you will need to make the tucks on the lengthwise grain of the fabric. The tuck scale on the Tucker will be set on 1 and the space scale will be set on 2. You'll be making lots of tucks.Tucks:
When you are through making all those tucks you'll need to get out your vintage Edgestitcher and attach it to the machine. Set the Edgestitcher so that the needle comes down in the center of the foot. You'll be using its edges as a sewing guide. Mark a straight line across the tucks. Sew across the tucks stitching them down flat. At the end of the row take the fabric out of the machine. Turn it around so you are sewing the tucks down in the opposite direction now. Use the Edgestitcher's edge to line up against the previous stitch line.
When you are completely finished steam the fabric from the back. Here is a shot looking straight down on the smocked tucks:
This technique is done before the pattern is cut out. After the steaming lay out the fabric with the pattern and cut. I made a small sample. To actually use it I would need to make a larger piece.
This photo is from a slight angle so you can see the textural effect:Is that not neat? Yes, it is!
The only trouble I had making it was when the Edgestitcher caught the tucks on the edge of Slot 4. I put a piece of tape over and around the slot and stopped the problem. And removed the tape from my foot when I was done.
If you don't have a Tucker or Edgestitcher but make tucks in a different way you can still try this out. You might have to mark for each row the Edgestitcher makes though. The tucks are about 1/8 inch and 3/8 inch apart.
I was in Target the other day and stopped to look at some throw pillows that had a tucking detail that was similar to this one. That's the fun of trying out all these things--you start noticing more details and coming up with new ways to use them--and new ways to use the feet.