Monday, November 17, 2008

Art Smock Tutorial or The Tale of the Throwaway Shirt

So I had some mens shirts lying on the floor of our closet because they would not be worn. I thought about sending them to the thrift store...but I would rather find a new use for something. I'm a little short on time these days, but as I put the girls down for their nap and ran to my closet for something, I saw the shirts and picked one up and said... "You will be an art smock today"...and I went to work. Now, this is the way I did it. Doesn't mean you have to do it the same. Especially since I did it so quickly I failed to match the seams and got the cuffs a little off...but, it's an art smock! However, I already have new ideas for cuffs and closure on the back. A fun gift idea when you add some paints! Do I know any crafty kids...hmmm...

First you start with a button up shirt. I had a men's XL in a heavy twill fabric. I like this because the heavyweight fabric will not soak up the water that gets spilled as quickly as some other shirt fabrics.Then I laid my tape measure on the back side of the shirt. I figured cutting it so the body was 13 inches wide was good, so I plopped it in the middle and cut on the left side all the way up to where I thought was a good place to cut over for the arm. I stopped about 2 inches in so I could cut off the cuff.Then I got out a shirt that fit my child and measured out the arm. I cut my shirt based on an 11 inch arm lengthSo, I placed my measuring tape out and placed my cuff along the arm of the shirt and cut to the cuff. I gave myself about a half inch for seam allowance.Next I folded the shirt over in the middle and cut the other side to match. (Note that I did not iron this shirt prior to cutting, thus it turned out a bit, if you have a bit more time I do recommend ironing)Now I have a very skinny and long shirt with no side seamsTurn it over and cut off the collar just below the final seam.I also cut off a tiny triangle portion of the collar area so that the button would be near the top.Now I need to make it a proper length for the little lady. I'm lazy. So instead of hemming I chop out a middle section and sew the bottom back on.

Now it's time to take it to the machine (of which I have no pictures of sorry, but it's sew simple!) Just turn your mangled mens shirt over on itself so right sides are together and sew up the side and arm, now do the other seam on the other side. Sew your side seams on the bottom half and now sew it all together. (Make sure right sides are facing!) Attach the cuffs so that the where the cuff is attached to the old fabric is also your'll want to have right sides facing and raw edges together on this. If you prefer, just zig zag or serge for a simple cuff. For the collar I serged to give a rolled hem. It would look great with bias tape though.

Now it's finished...but wait, it looks like I have leftover shirt, so ...
I made a pocket and added some of Grandma's old yo-yo's because it was cute and fun.