My 18 month old has recently developed a fascinating with pens, pencils, crayons… anything that leaves a mark really. She loves having the opportunity to scribble on paper and it now means she will hunt down a drawing instrument within the house and attempt to scribble on something or other. Uh oh!
As a creative person myself, of course I want to encourage her creative expression, but it can be messy business! So thus the search for the ideal smock tutorial began…
Pinterest, as always, was my go to starting point. I am only a relatively new sewer but was determined to create something functional to protect my daughters’ clothing before we gave her free reign of her creativity.
I stumbled on this fabulous tutorial at Smashed Peas & Carrots. Don’t you just love that blog name? There is even a printable pattern available.
Only problem was my printer was not playing nice and it printed out just over half the size I’m guessing it should be. So instead of getting cranky at the printer, I just hand drew my own version using the mini print outs as a guide. It worked!
This is a super easy project to make, even for a beginner sewer like me. I have in fact made 4 of these already, as they will make great gifts for some of the other little creatives-in-the-making that I know.
All you need is the following:
Total of 1 yard of fabric in two coordinating colors – I used 4 fat quarters for my first one.
Scissors or rotary cutter
Vintage Tie Apron pattern
You will need more than fat quarters if you want to make a bigger size but it’s perfect for the toddler size in the original tutorial.
Now let me tell you, it is really hard to get an 18 month old to stand still for a photo. She used to be such a great little model… before she was mobile. Now, its a race to try and get any sort of photo that hasn’t got a side of blur 😉
But you get the idea…
I made a couple of changes after the first one. It seemed to have a really long back panel compared to the front panel. This may have just been my failed pattern print out attempt, however I created the next few with more length in the front panels to even them out. I also made some of the ties thinner, using up fabric straps.
You could potentially also use ribbons for the ties, although I would suggest sealing or stitching over the end to prevent fraying. The ties were possibly the most time consuming part but overall, a quick project still.
The pattern is sized to suit around a 2 year old, which is just perfect for me. But I did make at least one of them bigger, simply by adding an extra inch around the sides of the pattern and tweaking it around the shoulders so it didn’t add extra bulk there.
I also used some bleached calico on the insides of a couple of mine so they aren’t reversible as such, but it means they are even cheaper to make, while still being double layered.
You could also consider using laminated cotton or similar to make them water proof. Plenty of options.
This was also my first chance to use the button hole foot on my sewing machine. How freakin cool is that! So quick and easy. Love my sewing machine!
Anyway, head on over to Smashed Peas and Carrots for the original tutorial, or create your own inspired version like I did. Such a useful and fun project for the little people in your life!