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!