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GIRL'S PLAY SMOCK (2-4 years)

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The project

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The sewing instructions

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BY CÉDRIC NEUSCHWANDER

 

Materials:

  • 60 cm of plain cotton fabric
  • 40 cm of patterned cotton fabric
  • 2 buttons
  • 40 cm of coloured ribbon
  • A few sequins or beads
  • Assorted thread, pencil, ruler, scissors and pins

Instructions:

Prepare your patterns

  1. Make a same-size copy of each pattern (A3), making sure to include the guide marks:
    - Pattern 1 - to be used once with the plain fabric (for the left-hand front panel of the smock)
    - Pattern 2 - to be used once with the plain fabric (for the right-hand front panel of the smock)
    - Pattern 3 - to be used once with the plain fabric folded over (for the back of the smock)
    - Pattern 4 - to be used twice with the patterned fabric (for the decorative edging on the right-hand front side of the smock, next to the buttonholes)
    - Pattern 5 - to be used twice with the patterned fabric (for the decorative edging on the left-hand front side of the smock, where the buttons will be sewn)
  2. Cut out the patterns in paper and pin them to the appropriate fabrics (since some patterns are used several times, make sure you choose a robust, heavy grade of paper).
  3. Carefully cut out all pieces of fabric. (Do not allow an extra margin for seams - all pieces are sewn together leaving a 1 cm margin, which has already been allowed for).
  4. Taking your patterned fabric, you'll also need to cut out:
    - 1 strip cut on the bias measuring 107 cm x 4.5 cm (for the decorative hem at the bottom of the smock)
    - 1 strip cut on the bias measuring 108 cm x  3.5 cm (for the edging that extends around the entire smock)
    - 2 strips cut on the bias measuring 30 cm x 3.5 cm (for the armholes) 

Sew the two front panels:

  1. Start by embroidering the motif on the front left-hand panel of the smock (Pattern 2) - you can choose a flower design, as in the illustration, or any other design of your choice. Sew a few sequins or beads for added effect.
  2. Make a 1 cm tuck on each side of Pattern 4, and place it on the guide marks of Pattern 1. Oversew 2mm from the edge to hold it in place.
  3. Make a 1 cm tuck on each of the three sides of Pattern 5, and place it on the guide marks of Pattern 2. Oversew 2 mm from the edge, paying particular attention to the angles.
  4. On the two small strips (Pattern 5 sewn on to Pattern 2) sew your buttonholes to match the size of your buttons.
    (Note: if you've chosen very large buttons, you'll need to lengthen the strips of tissue to maintain the right proportions, for a pleasing finished look.) 

Sew the rest of the smock: 

  1. Place the two shoulders together, right-side against right-side, (Patterns 1 & 3), sew 1 cm from the edge, and overlock the seam.
  2. Fold over and iron down the seam towards the back.
  3. Oversew twice, in the style of a seam on a pair of jeans.
  4. Repeat the same operation for the other shoulder (Patterns 2 & 3).
  5. Position your 30 cm x 3.5 cm fabric strip around the armhole, wrong-side out, and sew in place 5 mm from the edge.
  6. Fold the strip over to the outside of the smock, so that you have the same width border on both sides. Oversew on the right side of the smock, 2 mm from the edge.
  7. Repeat the same operation for the other armhole.
  8. Using the same technique, pin and sew the 108 cm x 3.5 cm fabric strip all the way along the edge of the front panel of the smock, extending right around the neck. Start at the bottom of the right-hand front panel (Pattern 2) and finish on the angle at the top of the left-hand panel (Pattern 1).
  9. Sew the inside hem of the left-hand panel following the guide marks on Pattern 1. At the upper corner of this panel (Pattern 1), sew a 20cm piece of ribbon (this will be used to tie the smock together on the inside. You'll sew a corresponding ribbon on the right-hand panel in the next step).
  10. Bring the sides of the smock together, wrong side out against wrong side out, and sew together in the same fashion as for the shoulders.Note: sew the other 20 cm piece of ribbon in place on the inside of the right-hand panel, following the guide marks on Pattern 2 (you can now tie the smock together from the inside.)
             
  11. Place your 107 x 4.5 cm fabric strip on the underside of the botton of the smock and sew into place 5 mm from the edge, fold over, and iron down flat. Fold the strip of fabric over to the front of the smock to form a 1 cm border, and sew into place 2 mm from the edge. Finish the angles by making a 1cm tuck.
  12. Iron your smock, and sew the buttons into place on the decorative strips.

 

Congratulations - your smock is finished!

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