Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Making Painting Smocks

Over the summer, the school gave us an extensive list of school supplies to pick up. I literally went all over the city hunting down supplies and still didn't manage to get everything. Luckily, I put the word out to a girlfriend who helped me pick up two of the missing articles (who knew project style exercise books would be worth their weight in gold?). Thanks so much, L!

One of the items on the supply list was a painting smock. I had a look at what was available and then thought that I could make something just as nice - perhaps nicer - on my own. I found this gorgeous pattern and tutorial at Kellie's' Don't Look Now blog. The tutorial is wonderfully simple to follow, even at 2:00 in the morning when I do my best sewing ;)! I work best on a very, very tight deadline. Iain's first day of school being the deadline in this case). I copied the pattern pieces onto my USB stick and brought it to Staples. The pattern pieces were printed on 20 X 30 sheets at actual size. They printed beautifully and cost just under $10. Most everything else I needed was on hand due to many years of hoarding collecting bits and pieces of fabric and general sewing supplies.

I only made a couple of changes to the pattern. First off, I had some leftover nylon from when I'd made change pads for our first baby (Iain!) so I cut a solid piece to go under the front of Iain's new painting smock then basted it to the muslin I used for the front (and back) of the smock. This ensured that the smock is a little more water proof than when using just cotton.

The other change I made was to make up my own pattern for the front of Iain's smock. I found this super cute fabric at Walmart and couldn't resist buying it. Iain has been obsessed with going fishing this summer (and horrible parents that we are, we still haven't taken him out) so I thought that this fabric was perfect for him.

With that in mind, I designed a fish themed appliqué pattern for the front of his smock.


I am thrilled with how it turned out.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to get a picture of Iain modelling it before he headed off to school and the smock went with him.

When I decided that I was going to make Iain a smock, a friend of mine asked if I could make one for her daughter, G, as well. She and Iain are great friends so this also provided me with the opportunity to make G a 'Happy First Week of School!" present.

What a treat - sewing with pink! Due to the serious lack of pink in this house, the opportunity to sew something using pink was great fun.

I more or less followed Kellie's appliqué pattern for G's smock.

My appliqué technique needs a bit of work but I am pleased with how it turned out overall. This style of appliqué is inspired by Maureen Cracknell, whose blog is a constant source of delight and inspiration.

And an actual modelled picture. By the look of those sleeves, I will be repeating this process come Christmas!

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