I'm Janimal, happily gainfully employed Momma to a sweet girl. Livin' it up in Atlanta with a great husband and a good job. Sometimes I make stuff and here's my spot to show it off! Life is good, so I'm sharing....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Smocket Pattern and Tutorial

A little while ago, I stumbled upon THIS pattern for a one pattern piece dress/smocktop on themayfly - the original post (she calls it a smocket) is here. Yeah, just one pattern piece. I had to give it a try!

I printed the pattern as instructed. Taped it together, cut it out in some cute fabric and some broadcloth for lining, and it was completed in just a few minutes. It looked like a bat all finished. With straps that criss-cross in the back and tie to straps on the front. Unfortunately, when I tried it on Delilah, the straps weren't quite long enough to tie. So I added snaps. I realized that I didn't place the snaps very well once I got it on her.

But that didn't stop me from making Delilah wear it. And I had enough fabric left to make her a skirt to match. And hairclip. Here she is showing off the criss cross back:

And besides the strap problem, once on her, the front was too long. Not long enough to be a dress, too long to be a shirt. Here's another action shot. (It's tough to get any shots that AREN'T action shots of an 18 month old!)

So unfortunately that free pattern wasn't exactly all I hoped. Just not the right fit for my kid, who at 18 months, is wearing 2T and 3T shirts but doesn't have the height to go with it. She's solid! This pattern didn't work for her as is, but it had so much promise! It was so quick and easy - a few adjustments might make it perfect, right?!
I tried again with a few adjustments. Here she is!

Want to give it a shot? Print the original pattern here. I would encourage you to cut the pattern out of whatever cheap fabric you have around, and wrap it around your child and figure out if you need to make adjustments too. Hopefully the original pattern will work for you, but since our kids come in all shapes and sizes, some adjustment might be necessary. Luckily, this is such a sweet simple design that adjustment isn't too hard. Here's how I adjusted it to fit my munchkin:

First, I addressed the length in front. It was waaay too long. I traced the pattern onto the lining fabric first (broadcloth). Then drew a line to shorten the front length:

Then I added about 2' to each of the straps. See here - the lower lump is the original strap line, I drew a longer lump over it. Not an exact science here...

Here is the finished pattern piece, in a very LOUD fun crayon patterned fabric I got from Fabric.com. Cut using the new adjustments.

Looks like a bat, right?!

And of course it needs a lining. So I also cut it out in a light white broadcloth. That's all the cutting. 2 pieces = easy!
Here is the lining laid on top of the main fabric. Right sides together.

It had to be pinned in place. I don't like pinning, but in this case it was necessary to keep the two pieces from shifting while sewing. Why oh why do I dislike pinning so much? (Perhaps because I am klutzy and manage to stick myself too often.)

This was pretty easy to sew around the edges, leaving a space for turning. But before turning, clip the seams. Those curves definitely require clipping.

Turn right side out, press, and there is the bat again! I decided to top stitch around the edge again. It only took a minute and I think finished it nicely.

The adjustment of the length and the longer straps make the new top look just right. Check out this back view to see the cute criss cross in the back.

Sweet little top for the Summer!

That was an easy peasy top. Not fancy, but cute and cool for the heat of the South. I think in the Winter I might experiment making it out of fleece or other heavier fabric using snaps for some easy warm layering.

I would suggest if you want to try this smocket pattern, just cut it out of a piece of cheap fabric or muslin first, and wrap it around your child, without sewing it, to see how it fits. From there you can figure out if you need longer straps, and how the length works with your little one. Now that I have my adjustments right, I can whip up this little smocket in just a few minutes.
Some embellishments might make this really fun. Add a front pocket, some custom embroidery. Mmmm....there are possibilities here!

Many thanks to MayFly for the original pattern.
One other thing to mention --- I am really looking forward to "Yummy Mummy" week on Delicious Ambiguity. Check it out next week!
Later skaters!



Show and Tell Green

make it wear it


  1. i love it- i bought a simplicity pattern and i had the same problems you did- very frustrating- i love the design so i am encouraged to make some adjustments- thanks jameehomemaker.blogspot.com

  2. love the fit of the adjusted one - great job - I want to make one now!

    thanks for linking up at SugarBee Take-A-Look Tuesday! - Mandy, www.craftedition.blogspot.com

  3. She is so stinkin' cute.

    I think the reason the top is so long in front is that it was intended to be an apron/bib type thing. But I love it as a shirt too, and your version looks terrific!

  4. I think you did a wonderful job, and your little 'model' is just precious!

  5. I love the way the adjusted one turned out, simple and sweet. I may try this one...adding it to my long list of sewing projects:)

  6. I featured you today! Thanks again - Mandy, www.craftedition.blogspot.com

  7. This is too sweet! Love the outcome of the shirt.

    Thanks for linking up with Sugar & Spice.

  8. Adorable! I so wish I knew how to sew :( Thanks for linking up your creative juices :)

  9. That is great. Thanks for the pattern!

    I have a weekly Thursday blog party especially for people to share things they've made to be worn. Stop by if you'd like!

  10. So cute! Just found you from Just a Girl. Will be making this soon for my little lady!

  11. Oh I love this! How wonderful is this? I can't wait you've inspired me I'm on a mission. Thank you so much for the info on this pattern. You did a wonderful job!

  12. Very cool. Thanks for sharing!

  13. How simple is that! Love it! I've posted a link. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Adorable!! And I love that it's just one piece!! Thanks for linking @Creative Itch's "Sew Cute Tuesday"!

  15. Thanks for linking up to Tot Tuesdays. This shirt turned out super cute! Thanks for the tutorial-if only I had a sewing machine! :) Please join me next week for another great party!

  16. I am your newest follower.


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