Friday, September 17, 2010

Oxford Shirt Art Smocks - Tutorial

When I found out I was going to be teaching art this year, I knew I needed to come up with a easy way to make some smocks that could protect my clothes! I decided to use striped men's oxford style shirts as a short cut to quicky sew something together. Once I figured out what I wanted to do, it took less than an hour to make each smock.

I picked up a bag of 11 men's shirts at Encore, our school's new resale shop. They were having an end of season sale, so I got the entire bag for six dollars! I bought large sizes so I could get maximum coverage.

I found two shirts that I wanted to combine that were similar in size. For the top, I decided to cut off the collar so that the smock would fit comfortably over my clothes. (You could choose to leave the collar on, if you wished.)

I rolled the edge under, and used a zigzag stitch sew it down. Nothing fancy, just fast and durable. This is how it looked when I was done:

Then, on the top section of the smock, I drew a straight line across the bottom edge and then cut it to even out the edge.

Be care to avoid running into the buttons when you draw the line- try to trim either a couple inches above or below the button so you have a clear area to sew your seams.

For the bottom part of the smock, take your second shirt and draw a line just under the sleeves. Once again, be careful that you don't run into any buttons.

Put the right sides together, and sew the top and the bottom together. If the sizes of the two shirts don't exactly match, make little tucks along the seams - no one will notice!

I pressed the seams down, and then top stiched along the edge of the lower shirt.

Then I had to figure out an easy way to make a pocket! I used the cuff and part of one of the sleeves. I carefully took it apart at the seams, and pressed the edges underneath. Then I sewed the cuff onto the smock to make a pocket. I did two lines of stitching to help make it durable. It is a cute and practical touch! I sewed the buttons back on top the buttonholes because I thought it added a cute touch.

So that's all it takes to make these smocks. They are now my signature art room look, and provide my clothes with lots of protection from paint and mess!


4K@Richards said...

Such a great idea - love the use of the recycled classic oxford shirts - will share with our art teachers - thank you!

Jeanne said...

Karen - you are so creative. I love the smocks you made out of men's shirts and hope to stop by the art room someday to see you using your creativity with the students!

Jen said...

THAT is just stinkin' adorable. I especially love the use of the cuff for a pocket! What a beautiful and useful idea!!!

Liz said...

I need a few! Thanks for the tutorial.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this great idea! My picky middle school daughter needs a cute mock for art class & we've decided this would be perfect. Shirts have been selected- sewing it together tomorrow!


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