This smock will be used by the older children only, so keep this sizing in mind if you want to make the smock for a child younger than 5 years old. You'll need to shorten the elastic band, shoulder straps, and overall length of the main skirt to fit a younger child.
The smock is pulled on over the head and requires no fasteners. The buttons are simply decorative.
1 yard/meter of fabric
22 inches of 1/2 inch elastic
2 large, coordinating buttons
yard/meter stick and fabric marker
1.) Using your yard/meter stick and fabric marker to cut the fabric to the following dimensions:
1.) With right sides together, sew together the main skirt panels leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Leave an opening on one of the 48 cm sides to turn.
2.) Turn main skirt panels and iron, folding opening under 1/2 inch. Topstitch around three sides of the skirt, leaving one 45 cm side without topstitching. This will be the top - the part you will attach to the chest band.
3.) With a single strand of thread and a hand needle, hand stitch loosely along the top edge of the skirt. Do not knot the thread at either end. Pull gently on both ends of thread to gather.
4.) At this time, make the elastic band casing. To make the casing, simple fold the strip in half (long sides together) with right sides together and stitch down the long side with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Turn and press. Topstitch along both long edges. Insert elastic using a safety pin. Secure elastic at one end by stitching over elastic (in casing) several times. When the other end of the elastic appears at the other edge of casing, remove safety pin, continue pulling on elastic with fingers and sew back and forth several times to secure within casing. Set aside.
5.) Make the shoulder straps. Fold strip in half lenthwise, stitch a 1/2 inch seam down the long side. Turn and press. Topstitch along both long edges. Repeat for other strap. Set aside.
6.) With each chest band, fold over the long edges 1/4 inch and press.
7.) Attach the top of the gathered skirt to the back chest band (you choose which one is the back - it doesn't matter.) The total length of the gathered skirt top should be 12 inches or 30 cm. Center the skirt in the chest band and pin. Using a longer stitch length, carefully sew the skirt to the chest band, making sure to catch the 1/4 folded edge of the chest band in the seam.
8.) Attach the shoulder straps to the back chest band. Pin them to the chest band, about 5 1/4 inches or 13 cm apart in the center, and 1/2 inch from each edge of the back chest band. About one inch of each shoulder strap edge will be caught in the seam. Click on picture for a larger image. Make sure the straps are not twisted before you sew. They should look like these:
10.) Attach elastic band. Fold under short edges of shoulder straps and press. Pin the elastic band in place. Stitch in place, backstitching several times to reinforce the seam. Repeat to attach the other side.
11.) Hand stitch buttons to the front of the chest band directly underneath the shoulder straps.