I love crafting. I love my little girl. So, once she started coming home from the church nursery with artwork she had made, I knew it was time to mix crafting and Pen Elaine. We started slow, but I was always afraid of getting too crazy because all I had were bibs to protect her clothes, and I was afraid getting naked would not be the best for her sensitive skin. Really, I’m just making up excuses because when I saw an adorable little toddler craft smock in a store, I knew she had to have one ASAP.
I wasn’t willing to pay 20 bucks, but when I found a cheesecloth scrap at a fabric store for 3 dollars, I figured I could make it work. I tried to make this as simply as possible, so I chose to work with a single sheet of fabric, avoiding side seams.
Step 1: estimate size of starting piece/rectangle of fabric
First, I wrapped the fabric around her (fast and furious) to see how wide it needed to be to reach all the way around her body. Then I pulled out one of her shirts or dresses to gage the length I wanted it to reach as well as the size of arm holes.
Step 2: make cuts and sew protective edging
Next, I cut the arm holes, using a sleeveless jumper as a pattern. I also cut curved sides for where the ribbon would tie together at the back of the smock (this also allows the smock to curve out like a dress, more room for movement), and I cut a neck indention although the neck part had to be adjusted after I tried on the final product. To speed things along, I found what extra ribbon I had around the house to sew over the exposed arm holes, just to make them prettier and look more finished. I literally just pinned the ribbon over the fabric, folding the ribbon in half, and sewed it down after pinning it in place. I used the zig-zag setting of my machine. I don’t know that this was necessary since cheesecloth doesn’t fray, but in the store smock, they had used coordinating fabric as edging and trim, which I thought looked cute.
Step 3: sew on ribbon for tying closure and try it on!
Finally, I sewed two pieces of ribbon on each side to be used for closure. Then, I tried the smock on Pen Elaine and checked to see neck line came down low enough to be comfortable but high enough to protect anything beneath (think bib).
Ready to get crafty!