Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Apron turned Art Smock

Do you know that you can get fabric at the thrift store?  The price is so affordable ($0.25/yard sometimes) that it's perfect for a newbie seamstress.  I feel like I can practice without worrying about ruining a more expensive fabric.

The cheap fabric coupled with my recent artistic foray had me taking a shot at making an apron/art smock.  I've recently discovered that you can't be an easy breezy artist without making a mess; hence the smock.

I found a free (free!) downloadable apron pattern at Sew4Home.  It has a flounce and everything.  (Did you know that's what the little ruffly part is called? Me neither).  I can't tell you how cute it looks (you'll have to pop over to have a peek), but it just didn't work for me.  I tried the pockets but I couldn't get them to match so I gave up on them.

I tried to learn how to attach bias tape, but that didn't work either.  Instead, I just sewed together the front and back (right sides together), turned them, and then top-stitched all the way around.

I got to the buttonhole part and couldn't figure out how to make one on my sewing machine.  I almost got it to work, but not quite.  This is about when I regretted sewing the two sides together.  If I hadn't, I could have just slipped the neck and waist straps in between and sewed it all up.  Now I was stuck.

I wrote a note on Facebook to make sure my peeps would still love me if I could never figure out how to make a buttonhole. They said they would, so I moved on to Plan B.

I wanted to keep the adorable knotted ends so I dug in my stash and found these cute little grommets (also a thrift store steal at a quarter).

All I had to do was to cut a small 'x' in the fabric where the grommet pieces could pass through.  A word of warning, be careful not to cut these too large or the grommet will just slip right on through (not that I'd know anything about that of course).

I did what I refer to as the cheater version of the straps. Instead of sewing right sides together and then turning the strap right-side-out, I did the folding method.

Fold in half and press 

Open up.  Fold bottom up to the halfway point.  Press.

Fold top down to halfway point.  Press.

Fold bottom edge up to the top. Press.
Top-stitch all the way around.
Feed straps through and knot to secure.

I like the appearance of the grommets and they were really easy to secure.  I would definitely use them again though I will be trying to figure out the whole buttonhole business in the meantime.

I love the cute little flounce on this smock.

The tutorial is great but my sewing skills just weren't up to the job.  I improvised and made things up the entire way along, but in the end I at least have something that I can wear when I paint.

How is it that I took a good 20 photos and the only one that remotely turned out has a big piece of hair hanging in my face?  Hmmm?  Does this happen to anyone else?

This is where I'm partying:
It's a Party (A Creative Princess)
Super Sweet Thursday Par-tay (Fabulously Flawed)
Happy Hour Fridays (Happy Hour Projects)
Shine on Fridays (One Artsy Mama)


Carol-Anne said...

I have to confess that I would probably like you more, Terry, if I wasn't so jealous of your ability to sew!!!!

Oh the envy!


Love how this turned out. So professional looking!

Danni@SiloHillFarm said... are just trying to make me use my sewing machine again!! I'm thinkin about it!! I don't paint...but a smock would sure save my clothes from a lot of other stuff I do! Thanks for sharing this and for not being too technical!!!

Tina Bradley said...

I adore the idea of upcycling an apron to make it into an art smock! And, I can't say enough about my love of thrift stores! ;) T.

Pam @Threading My Way said...

Smart thinking substituting grommets for buttonholes!!! How you've done the straps is definitely not the cheater way to make them. It's a very valid and accepted way of sewing them. I have lots of commercial patterns that recommend making them the way you have. Great job on finishing the art smock, especially when it wasn't straight forward.

Adrianne Surian said...

Fantastic improvising, and I love how it turned out! I'm sorry the "real" way was such a challenge, but you have to look at it this way: not only did achieve what you wanted, but you also used innovation to make the job easier. That's a win with bonus points!

And an aside, I love, love, LOVE the photos. Hair and all. Serious artists can't be bothered by strands of hair in their faces anyway. :)

Lesley said...

Haha....I seriously couldn't sew a button hole to save my life and am constantly putting on snaps or Velcro instead!
Your smock looks maaarvelous, dahling.

Unknown said...

LOVE the grommets!! What a great idea. You would never know it wasn't what the pattern called for. And the cheater way you did your straps the the way I almost always do mine.:) You look gorgeous in your smock. I'm so glad you were able to figure out a way to finish it.(I end up scraping things that frustrate me)

Amy Bateman said...

I love the knotted ties on this pattern. Your smock looks fabulous. A flounce can make anything more fun. :)

Macey said...

Turned out awesome!!

Mindy said...

Well, the make it up as you go pattern is the one I always use. :o) I think it's cute. The picture too. :o)

Terri @ A Creative Princess said...

You are such a little cutie! Your apron looks great and by the way, I wouldn't be able to do button holes either if my sewing machine didn't do it for me!

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

I thought the string of hair was your sexy touch. lol Great job on the apron.

Lesley said...

I, of course, featured this. Not cuz I like you and because I want you to like me back. Because it's awesome.

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