from One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins

I made two of these delightful little smocks for two delightful little girls. For their second birthdays. My daughter chose the fabric (one of her few words is dot, and she is an expert pointer), and I liked it because it isn’t too girly and is fairly neutral- it won’t clash with whatever the artiste happens to be wearing when she decides it’s time to create her masterpiece.
Well, you know me, I can’t follow the directions from the get-go. Originally the pattern suggests several paintbrush-thick pockets, but being an artist myself, I figured that these girls might want to tote something a bit larger to their easels. Perhaps like the little pack of washable crayons I included with the gift?
Like I said, I made two smocks. The first one was frustrating, at best. This is another pattern that you might have trouble if you’re a beginner to sewing. There are two side panels, and the front piece with the pocket, and then the two back panels. The edges are all encased in bias tape, which isn’t all that tricky in general, unless you have two pieces coming together at a very sharply curved edge, like you do here. Are you catching my disgruntled mood here? Good. Because the finishing of the side panel edges was never addressed in these instructions. Or, if it was addressed, it was very unclear, and in the mish-mash of instructions for encasing the edges of the front and back panels. I tried to follow them, but decided to just follow my gut and go around encasing the edges in the way that made the most sense to me, which went pretty well, and in one piece. On the first smock, I didn’t encase the bottom of the side panel before attaching it to the front and back… but I did on the second, which made it a lot easier to encase the front and back edges. With both smocks I ended up having to do some hand stitching at the points where the seams curve and meet. Another thing that I did on the second smock was a French seam on the seam allowance on the shoulders connecting the front to the back. It’s just so much more tidy, and I do have this book to thank for teaching me to sew them, with the collapsible tote that I made a few months back.
Overall, I’m really happy with the outcome of the smocks, and I can’t wait to see them in action. However, I’m taking a break from bias tape for a while, and I’m going to give this book a well-deserved rest. Perhaps distance will make the heart grow fonder, and I’ll later pick up the book and push through another project because the promise of such a cute project is worth a little bit of strife.