Saturday, December 29, 2012

Nursery Smocks

We are attending a brand-new church - it is actually a church plant from a large church.  We've barely officially begun, and we meet in a local school.  Coming from a large church and starting basically from scratch, you can imagine that there are a lot of items on the wish list, but not a lot of money to fill the wishes.  One "desired item" was for sewers.  I looked at it and decided that it meant people who sew, not pipes to carry sewage, and I may have allegedly informed the kids' ministry director that I have been known to stitch the occasional seam.

She told me that her biggest sewing-related need was for smocks for the nursery volunteers to wear while on duty.  We talked about it a bit, and it sounded to me as though she basically wanted nursing scrub jackets.  Hmm...I think I've made a few of those (and that link only shows two - I'm sure I've made at least a dozen over the years).  She wanted three-quarter length sleeves and a flat cuff, rather than a gathered one, so I basically whacked off the bottom third of the sleeve length and then made a two inch finished cuff.  (In case you're wondering, I cut 5-inch long pieces the width of the end of the seam, plus seam allowances.  These were interfaced with lightweight interfacing, not in the seam allowances.  I folded them in half, right sides together, and stitched them at either end, then turned them right sides out and pressed the ends.  After the sleeves were sewn, I stitched the cuffs on, so that the finished ends were butted up together at the sleeve seam and sewed them using a 0.5-inch seam allowance.  This left me with a cuff that shouldn't wrinkle easily and basically has a finished slit.)  I also used Pam Erny's technique to clean-finish the edges of the facings, and I used double rows of topstitching on the hems and all the seams (except the side seams, as I recall).  I wanted these smocks to look a professional as possible.

The smocks were made from sheets from the thrift stores.  I knew that I couldn't afford to donate all the fabric that would be needed for these (and for upcoming costumes for the kids' ministry), and I didn't know what funds the church would have.  But I could buy fabric very affordably at the thrift store - some lengths of fabric, but mostly sheets in good condition.  I held each candidate up and eliminated it if I could see my hand through it.  Anything in decent condition and not a gross color (there are some seriously gross colored sheets out there!) was a good buy!

Below are shown the current stash of nursery smocks - there's one size S - that was the prototype, because that size was already traced.  There are 2 size M, 2 size L, and 1 size XL.  More will be made, but I burned out on sewing smocks and needed to get on with Christmas sewing!

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