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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Summertime Adventures :: Art Smock

Next up, Sunni at Love Affair with my Brother and her adorable kids art smock!  I remember wearing a backwards shirt as an art smock as a kid, but this is much more stylish.  I think Silas needs one of these.

One thing my girls love to do in the summertime is paint. I drew up a very simple art smock and finished it in just about an hour. This smock is sized for 3-6 year olds. 
I used Erin McMorris Weekends laminated cotton. I love that the roses look like a vegetable stamp. I thought it would be perfect for an art smock.
I won't go into too much detail about working with laminates. I will say that it is easier than you think! I used a walking foot and had no issues making this. No special feet, no tissue paper, no masking tape. You can see what Kathy @ Pink Chalk wrote about laminates here for more info.

You will need:
1/2 yard laminate cotton
2 packages of pre-made double fold bias tape or 4.5 yards of your own bias tape

In regards to the pattern, I'm sorry for the terrible way it looks. I'm just not that skilled with my scanner!  You will need to print out a normal copy and a horizontally flipped copy for each piece. Match up the hatch marks (not all of them scanned well) and tape your 4 quadrants together. It is a very basic shape and will be very forgiving.
Lay out your laminated cotton and use pattern weights to hold it in place as you cut. Do you like my improvised pattern weights? I was sewing outside! 
Pins are not your friend when using laminates.
Add 5/8" seam allowance to the top of the shoulders ONLY!
With right sides together (RST) sew a 5/8" seam joining the shoulders.
Open your seam and finger press it flat. Using a zigzag stitch, sew over the seam allowance on each side.
Now to make the ties. Cut (4) 10.5" pieces of your bias tape.
 (I cut 8.5" ties, but I found it tough to tie bows with those.) 
For each piece, fold one end in 1/4". Sew down the long, open side of your double fold tape, and with needle down, turn and sew across the end.
Measure 11" down from the shoulder seam, and place your ties on both sides of the front section and both sides of the back section. Pin in the seam allowance to hold the ties in place.
Using at least a 3 yd piece of bias tape, start at the center bottom of your back piece and sew 1/8" from the edge of the bias tape. I sandwiched the laminate in the bias tape and joined it all at once. 
*Technically, there is no front or back piece. Just choose your favorite side for the front! 
Sew all the way around. I backstitched over each tie for security. 
To finish it off, you can use the pretty way, or just fold over 1/4" (mine's closer to 1/2" there), pin in place and sew over all the layers. 
Make sure all your edges line up properly and sew!
 I would not use this technique on a quilt, but it's perfectly fine for an art smock!
When you get to the end, needle down and pivot to sew off the edge.

(not pictured) You will finish the neckhole the exact same way.
Before you finish the neck, try it over your child's head. You may need to cut a slit on the back for any kiddos with especially big noggins (for holding all those brains).
In such instances, cut a 2" slit in the center back of the neckhole. Using bias tape origami finish the slit and neckhole.

Now, tie it on your baby and go make a mess!

Sunni has a bunch of other great tutorials and inspiration at her blog {I think I may need to make her Ruby Hex Quilt with my Ruby jelly roll!}.


  1. That is so cute! What a great idea. I wore backwards shirts, too!

  2. Oh, that smock is really cute. It has a lovely vintage look to it, too :) :) Oh yeah, I did the backward shirt/smock thing as a kid, too :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)


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