Saturday, November 6, 2010

Smock Tutorial

Last year, I created a smock pattern and created this little flannel number for Miss Scarlett.
With leggings and boots, Scarlett looked darling.

It turned out so well that I made a second version out of a stretch viscose with metallic thread. I also lengthened the pattern, turning it into a dress.

On a roll, I next created it in a cotton gingham with orange contrasting thread.

I love this pattern. It's easy and versatile. I've had requests for a tutorial for sometime so here is a long overdue step-by-step tutorial.

What you need:

1. Fabric
2. Thread
3. Elastic Thread
4. Doily or broach (optional)

First, you need to make a pattern . Below are the dimensions that I used to make for my size 2T daughter. You will need to adjust the measurements for smaller or larger children. I just used one of Scarlett's tees as a base and just guessed.

You will start with four pieces. A front and back (both identical) and two sleeves.

First, with the right sides together, sew both the sides together of the front and back, like shown below. Set aside.

Now, take the two sleeve pieces. Hem the bottom of the trapezoid. This will be the hem of the sleeve .

Next, attach the sleeves, right sides together, to the main body. After they are attached, trim the top to make it even for easier hemming.

Now, hem the top of the tee (including the top of the sleeves) and the bottom. It will now look like a baggy top.

It's time to cinch it smaller by shirring it with elastic thread. Shirring is very easy. You just wrap elastic around a bobbin and sew normally (with regular thread on top) and it gathers the fabric for you. HERE is a great photo tutorial to follow by Pretty Ditty if you feel the need for more hand holding.

I start about 1/4 inch below the top hem and sew all the way the top, including the sleeves. Then repeat the process (while pulling the fabric taut) another 1/4 inch below that for the second row. Continue for several more rows, until it achieves the tightness and look you want. The lighter the fabric, the tighter it will gather.

For this particular smock, I experimented and only shirred the body of the front and back and pleated the sleeves. It worked great but I think I prefer including the sleeves while shirring.
And you are done! It's easy, easy, easy, easy. You can use this pattern to make a top, smock, or dress. And feel free to add any embellishments. For most mine, I add a crocheted doily that I cut from doilies (ebay is a great resource).

As always, email me photos of your smocks! I'd love to see what you create.


  1. This is so darling! I especially love the red with black leggings and it!

  2. Thank you, thank you. I'm excited to try this!

  3. What a cute dress!! I love how versatile it is. I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  4. awesome and a great variation at the favorite peasant blouse I often made!!! deff. gonna try this.
    Only have to resize it a lot because my girls wear size 8 and 6... have to figure out how much I have to enlarge...
    love miranda

  5. That is SO cute! Thanks so much for this, I'll be linking.

  6. great tute!
    how cute that your little girl is scarlett and has red hair :)
    Love that name so much. I considered it for another girl (if we have one) but thought it might be too much since we already have a Ruby ... but red IS my favorite color :)

  7. So cute! I featured this tutorial in a kids summer clothing sewing tutorials post on my blog, The Handmade Experiment


  8. I love this! But...I'm new to sewing and I'm not sure how to go about figuring out sizing for a 4T. Any ideas? Thanks!

  9. Thank you so much for the great tutorial!
    I have made a top for my 18-month-old.
    Thanks again!

  10. I wanted to thank you for viewing my creation and leaving a comment!

    I made another one. This time a flannel dress, because I liked yours so much!


Question or comment? I'd love to hear it!