Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kids' Art Smock made with reusable shopping bags: a tutorial

Last week, I gave away a handsewn oilcloth art smock
Did anybody notice all the bias tape binding on it? 
Would you like to make your own?

You can make this with any material (preferably something waterproof and wipeable).  Oilcloth can be hard to find and doesn't have a huge variety of prints (that I can find).  Laminated cotton is just super expensive for a project that is going to be used for kid's art!  So...I opted for those cute, cheap shopping bags they now seem to sell everywhere!

This smock has a pocket with spaces for all your "arting" materials.

For this project you will need:
one patterned reusable shopping bag
5 yards 1/4" wide double-fold bias tape (make your own following this tutorial!)

Step 1: cut off the sides of the bag

Step 2: cut the top and handles off the bag

Step 3: fold the bag, right sides together

Step 4: trace and cut out one front, one back and one pocket piece
(pattern here)
To print pattern, select "actual size" and "poster" to tile pages.  Overlap at least .5".

Step 5: sew binding to top of pocket (see here for how to)

Step 6: pin and then baste pocket onto front of smock
mark the pocket binding in fourths  (hard to see my pins in the photo!)
and sew straight down, making sure to backstitch at the top edge


This is the back side of the front - you can see the stitching much better - basting around the edge, and three sewn lines to create four pockets

Step 7: sew binding around back opening

Step 8: sew shoulders, making sure to backstitch at beginning and end of seam

Step 9: measure 7" from one end of bias tape
at the 7" mark, pin to one side of neck

Step 10: starting at end of bias tape, stitch bias tape together and then continue past pin to sew bias tape around neckline.  Continue 7" beyond back opening edge (where bias tape overlaps).

Step 11: Cut four 10" pieces of bias and sew along each long end
knot one end of each tie
sew to smock about 3" above pocket binding on front left and right
sew to smock back, matching placement from front ties

Step 12: starting at the bottom center back, sew bias tape around bottom, up side, around armhole, down front side, across front bottom, up other front side, around other armhole, down back side and finishing at starting point (see here for how to finish).  As you sew, make sure you encase the ends of the four ties.

It should look like this when done! 

 Now, try it on your little ones and see what they choose to create! 



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