I found this artist smock and loved her creative idea but decided to come up with my own version. Here is how you do it. Take a man’s button up shirt.
Then cut up each seam on the front of the shirt. This will be up both sides and across the shoulders. You should have a front panel that is now separated from the back of the shirt.
Then repeat, by cutting off the seams on the back of the shirt. You now have two panels, a front and back. The back of the shirt, will become the front of your smock and the front of the man’s shirt will become the back.
Cut off the entire collar (front and back) and unpick any buttons used for buttoning the collar down. Save the buttons that button up the front of the shirt. These will be the buttons on the back of your artist’s smock.
I then took two lengths of ribbon (measure on child before determining how long you would like it to be. I attached my ribbon to the front (button-less) panel and then wrapped the ribbon around the back and tied it in the front of the smock. You can choose to make it so that your ribbon ties in the back if that is your preference. If I remember correctly, I made my ribbon 2 peices at 30 inches a piece.
*Take the new front panel and iron a 1/4″ seam around the entire shirt panel. Fold over another 1/4″ seam and pin in place. Take one ribbon and place it inside the seam and pin it in place. I placed mine right in the armpit of the original shirt. This is where the shirt material comes out into a peak on the side.
Sew around the entire panel. When you come to sew in the ribbon, sew it into the seam and then also sew a square in the top of the ribbon to secure it to the panel.
Repeat the same process beginning with the star now on the new back panel. (You will want to make sure that the top button is about 1/4 to 1/2 inches below your FINISHED seam line, so that it does not pull apart at the top).
Pin the front and back shirt panels with the right side of the material together at the shoulders only. Sew together using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Now you are basically finished. Only the shoulders of the smock are sewn together. The sides are left open so that the smock can just go on right over the head. When you tie it, the sides just naturally tuck in around your kid.
I did however add a few flourishes so that it did not look so plain. I carefully unpicked the pocket that was originally on the front of the man’s shirt and just sewed it onto the new front of the smock. I also added a pink iron-on flower that I had left-over from a previous project. Ta-Da! An adorable artist smock for your budding artist.
Stay tuned for a recipe for some homemade paints and a homemade easel to complete your artist’s ensemble.
**If I were to make a boy’s version, I would sew the tie onto the back panel and then wrap it around the front so it can tie in the back.