Vintage Smock Sew-Along, Part 1: Intro and Video 1

on May 5 | in Sew-Alongs, Vintage Smock Sew-Along | by | with 98 Comments

Vintage Smock Written Instructions, Vintage Smock Sew-Along Part 2, Vintage Smock Sew-Along Part 3

Today we kick off our Vintage Smock Sew-Along, a weekly component of Women’s Clothing Month. Our board member, Bethany from Bitter Betty Blogs, created the free PDF Smock Pattern (inspired by a vintage clothing pattern) and she carefully divided the project into three phases. Each phase has a corresponding video, also brought to you by Bethany, which we’ll share with you today and for the next two Mondays. The process, with clear instructions throughout, will help us work on many essential sewing skills for clothing (everything from bias tape to buttonholes!). There is also a corresponding board in the forum for questions related to the sew-along, so you should be covered every step of your vintage smock way. Ready? You’ll find a materials list below the video, and you can direct any questions to the forum here.

  • Before you watch the video: Print out the PDF Smock Pattern and gather your supplies.

  • You will need:
    Scotch tape
    2 yards of fabric
    bias tape (double fold)
    rick rack (optional, 22 inches)
    fabric marking chalk, pencil or pen
    iron & sewing machine

  • Vintage Smock Video, Part One covers:
    1. Putting together the pattern
    2. Making alterations
    3. Cutting front panel
    4. Cutting back panels
    5. Marking dart
    6. Cutting pocket and ties

Update: For those of you with dial-up access you can find the full list of project instructions here.

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98 Responses to Vintage Smock Sew-Along, Part 1: Intro and Video 1

  1. Eva Wong says:

    Please show some larger sizes…i.e. size 12 or 14. I love youe smock but have difficulty to adjust pattern to fit. Thanks

  2. Carla says:

    I really like it but….. the music is soooooo distracting and loud.

  3. puddlejumper says:

    just found your site… Love It!!
    Thx for written instructions for the apron like grandmother used to wear/smock. I’ve always wanted to make one. Now I’ll try. Can’t wait to choose the fabric. But first, I’ve promised our youngest granddaug some summery clothes. So, I’ll have to finish those 1st. Is there any freebies for size 6 – 7 young girls. Thx much, Glad to have written instructions because we’re on Sloooooooooooooow dial-up!!!!!!

  4. marsha says:

    I’ve been sewing for 45 years and you are the first to show me the correct way to sew on bias tape! This project is just what I’ve been looking for. I’ll be making matching mother-daughter smocks for my daughters-in-law and granddaughters for Mother’s Day. A million thanks for the clear, concise instructions.

  5. Tanya says:

    How do you put the pocket on if you make it longer to cover more of your legs?

    Thanks very much,


  6. fran says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your instructions are so clear, the clearest I’ve seen anywhere, and you make it look so simple and easy that I’m so ready to sew again.

  7. Raven says:

    What a fantastic video, thank you for sharing this tutorial with us. The cat is so cute when you are cutting out the pattern.

    Is it possible to adjust the smock so that it comes out smaller?

  8. Connie says:

    Love the smock. And the video and music are great

  9. Amanda says:

    I *love* video tutorials. This one is great. Thanks for sharing. I just have to decide what fabric to use for my smock so I’ll be ready for Part 2!

  10. Jenny says:

    Very Cool!!

  11. Katrin says:

    I never participated in a sew-along – but now I’m willing to give it a try.
    Thank you so much!

  12. Molly says:

    Great tutorial! Thanks.

  13. Geri Symington says:

    Your video was amazing – so clever and the instructions for the smock GREAT.

  14. Karen says:

    Your tutorial is fabulous!
    Thanks so much for sharing it along with the pattern.

  15. Mel says:

    This is really cool… and helpful!

  16. AnnaW says:

    Oh, I like it! Thanks for the clever video tutorial! I think I might have some fun material I’d like to try on this smock (need to finish some other projects first…) :u)

  17. wendy says:

    what a great pattern/tutorial!!!Thanks 🙂

  18. Ruth says:

    great tutorial!

  19. Kristin Rose says:

    the pattern is beautiful! i can’t wait to make one of these smocks 🙂

  20. Katie says:

    I can’t wait to try this tutorial!!!

  21. Judy says:

    Thanks so much all! What a great tutorial…

  22. Susan says:

    Love the video! Really clear instructions, I can’t wait to try it.

  23. Brenda says:

    Thanks so much for making this tutorial available in printed form – my slow internet made it impossible for me to watch the video – but I’d love to try this smock!

  24. Elizabeth says:

    I had just seen a smock like this on SouleMama’s blog and was wishing to know where she got it. I was so excited to see a TUTORIAL on how to make one on your blog. I can’t wait to get started! I would also love to win some of the beautiful fabric from your online store.

  25. Georgia says:

    I’m lovin this pattern! I’m almost done with mine!

  26. EmmyLizzy says:

    I love it! What a great easy pattern to get started with.

  27. Arizona says:

    I can’t wait to get started on this!

  28. Shannon says:

    Wow! I love this pattern. The cat watching is very cute too. Thanks so much for sharing this, maybe I will get inspired to get sewing again!!

  29. I’ve never sewn darts before – very excited for the next video.

  30. anja says:

    Smocking! I’m stoked! I’ve always wanted to learn, and thought that a person would work much better than written instructions for me. Thanks.

  31. This smock is going to be my new “wardrobe stapel”!! I love it. It incorporated several things I haven’t done yet with my sewing maching. Video made it simple. Thank you!

  32. Katherine says:

    Oh, wow, the background music really made my day. I bought some fabric when I was in Japan that I really wanted to make into a traditional Japanese apron, but since I haven’t gotten around to making a pattern from the one I have, maybe I’ll use this to get me making something. When I got back from that trip I was inspired to start wearing aprons around in public because they are just so darn convenient, but I’ve fallen down on that. Clearly I need to make more cute aprons.

  33. Tara H. says:

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I don’t know how to sew with patterns yet, and think that this will be a good start. I am excited about my smock and can’t wait till it is finished.

  34. Chris says:

    Excellent tutorial as always. I am always inspired from your blog.

  35. RachelMM says:

    Bitter Betty rocks! I love the idea of making a smock.

  36. Tasha Early says:

    I’ve been looking for a cute smock/apron to make mom for mother’s day. Thanks!

  37. amelia says:

    so cute! I can’t wait to make this pattern!

  38. Jen M says:

    Super cute pattern! Thank you for sharing it and your expertise 🙂

  39. I love the idea of this smock-along. Such a great way to bring us all together!! Great job on the video, too.

  40. Becca says:

    How great is this!?! I can’t wait to have some time to follow the tutorial & make one!

  41. bec says:

    how cute and fun

  42. kellie says:

    Smocks are my favorite! This is a wonderful tutorial…looking forward to the next installment!

  43. Molly Dybiec says:

    Great video. Can’t wait to make my own apron. Thanks for all of your hard work. Molly 🙂

  44. Carrie Chilton says:

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve made a mini smock for my daughter and now I need one for me!

  45. karissa says:

    i am going to go start my smock right now. hmmmmm now for choosing fabric.

  46. Sarah K says:

    I love this smock! Looking forward to sewing one this month!

  47. Andi says:

    I can’t wait to get started! I recently inherited all of my grandmother’s fabric (oh where, oh where am I going to store it all?!) so I am sure there must be something that will be just perfect for this. Thanks for the great video!

  48. This design is really appealing – it doesn’t make you look like you should (necessarily) be in the kitchen, so it seems perfect for general craft work and gardening! Thanks!

    Also that’s a handsome cat.

  49. Margie says:

    I cannot wait to make one of these. Its just what I’ve been wanting!

  50. Sandra :) says:

    My fabric is picked and ready to go – I can’t wait to see what everybody else is doing!

  51. whitney says:

    Love this! It is so hard to wait for Monday to learn the next steps! I was thinking it wouldn’t work for me, 5 months pregnant. But I think it will actually look pretty good! Thanks for the idea, and love love love the instructional video!

  52. stephanie calkins says:

    I am super excited to try this!!! Your tutorial is wonderful! I have been wanting one of these for cooking for a long time…thanks:)

  53. Kim B. says:

    Thank you for your time on this – and the PDF pattern!

  54. Dana says:

    I loved the video! Nothing like step by step guidance for a new project! This is always a fun site to visit…especially on Fridays! 🙂

  55. Claire says:

    So fun! I would love to make a smaller matching smock for my daughter. LOVE vintage clothing, so I would be excited to see more patterns of this kind.

  56. Sarah says:

    I don’t think I can participate in the smock-along but I am definitely bookmarking this for a future project!!

  57. Jessica says:

    This is adorable! thanks for the pattern!

    I can’t wait to see the smocks everyone makes!

  58. Cindy says:

    I can’t wait to try this! Thanks.

  59. Chelsea says:

    I am so excited to get started on one of these for myself. I remember holidays at my grandmother’s where all the many cooks were wearing one. The pockets were soooo handy!

  60. Emily says:

    So cute! I will have to try this when I am done with my infinitely frustrating jersey knit skirt!

  61. Amber says:

    So great! Excellent video!

  62. Ros says:

    Loved this tut!

  63. R B says:

    Great job! Thanks for all the hard work you put into this!

  64. BethAnn Rivers says:

    wow! I love this pattern!! I am a new momma and a new wife. I am just learning everything myself.. the hard way… how come there aren’t more women out there teaching younger women these things???!!! Anyway this pattern is just the thing i need to get my house clean! (Atleast for the first week anyway).
    Thanks Again!!

  65. Stacy says:

    I am excited to jump in on this! I love aprons and am just starting out my own collection.

  66. Joy says:

    I am so glad to see this project!
    Just the other day I was lamenting my lack of useful aprons and
    mentioned what great smocks my grandmother used to have.
    I looked for them in stores but didn’t find anything I liked. Now I
    can easily make my own!!

    Thanks for the great project and for the easy to follow directions!

  67. Becca says:

    Wow! I’ve wanted to make something like this for craft days with the kids, or baking days, and here it is for free with easy instructions! 🙂 How lucky for me. Plus, I get to do something that includes darts… for some reason, I’ve never tried darts. If this works for me, the world of tailoring will open up a little farther!

  68. Joanna says:

    What a great video. I also liked the music and when I read it’s from a video game I thought A-ha! I can show this to my hubby and say, see, our hobbies DO mesh! LOL!!

  69. Jill T says:

    Great tutorial. I’m getting started this weekend!

  70. nettie says:

    this is wonderful!

  71. Sue says:

    I actually printed out the pattern, chose some pattern from my stash and am ready to cut it out. Great video, love the pattern, love the collective spirit.

  72. Thank you so much for doing this!!! I have been looking for something like this for awhile. Can’t wait to sew along with you!!

  73. bethany says:

    Kari.. The music is actually the sound track to the Katamari video game. I couldn’t resist it… and it sure makes things move right along.

  74. 2paw says:

    The Labradors and I are sewing along!!!!!! How very exciting!!!

  75. Kari says:

    I love the smock but really LOVE the music! I recognize the Japanese in it — who are they?
    thanks! can’t wait to see the next video.

  76. Sandy says:

    This is my absolute favorite apron style, I think I own at least 8 vintage smock aprons. I can’t wait to make one and see how everyone else’s turns out as well!

  77. Kate says:

    Thanks so much for the written instructions and not forgetting those of us in rural areas who are broadband-challenged.

  78. Concha says:

    thanks so much, I’m really excited!! can’t wait for the following videos!!

  79. Ah, Bethany, Babe… you do rock. Thanks for sharing the garment-sewing-goodness. Smile on.


  80. Carla says:

    Love it!

    I’ve lost my sewing mojo lately, but this has inspired me to dust off the cobwebs and bring it back out to play.

    And such a useful item too!

  81. kathleen says:

    I vote for no tunes while you’re talking. Pretty please. Many technically oriented people (of which sewers are some) have auditory processing disorders and have varying degrees of difficulty filtering out background noise.

  82. katie says:

    Fantastic! And groovy music to get you in the mood! I wish I could cut as fast as Betty does…

  83. fiona says:

    thank you so much for the promise of written instructions

  84. Debra says:

    Love the video!! Very clear and concise. Can’t wait to sew 🙂

  85. Jenna says:

    Great tutorial! Thanks so much for all the work you are putting into this. I’m feeling a tad bit of a moron – let’s just say that after sewing since I was 5 wih my grandmother, I just learned a MUCH easier way to place dart lines. I see less need for profanity and strong drink in my future.

    And at last, something I have all the material for – I can stick to my fabric diet and still make this. (Several actually. My SIL, niece, nephew, and good friend are all requesting their own based on the vid.)

  86. bethany says:

    written instructions are all written.. We’ll try and get them to you really sooon!
    And Milo (my cat in the video)… says thanks for the sweet comments!

  87. Karen aka Grammy Mac says:

    You totally rock! This smock reminds me of one that I can remember seeing my mom wear in pictures when I was little. I’ve been sewing since I was in the 6th grade and I now have 10 grandchildren, so I’ve been sewing for a few years. Your video is very clear and easy to understand for all, including the beginner. I’ll be making several for gifts and for myself. Thanks for doing this for all of us.

    Sew On!

  88. Elsie says:

    Slow dial-up here too, so no video 🙁 I second the request for a few written directions – even just an order to sew it together! I have an old smock apron like this and it is my favorite. I have often considered trying to cut a pattern off it to duplicate it in a more flattering colorway. Thanks for doing it for me.

  89. Amy Hachem says:

    This video and smock are both rediculously cute! I’m in 🙂 … now to pick out the fabric …. decisions decisions! lol

  90. hb says:

    i love the cat watching. lol.

  91. Nancy says:

    Great video!! My daughters would love these smocks.

  92. Kristen says:

    This is absolutely brilliant! I’m just now relearning how to use my machine (because let’s face it, 6th grade home ec was a looong time ago) and have been dying to make a smock or two or twelve. And the video is fantastic and extremely clear in the directions. And again…absolutely brilliant! Woo!

  93. Wendy says:

    Great video! (Love the cat checking things out!. 😉 ) I’m excited to try this, it’s a pretty cute smock. Glad the pattern is pieced so that we don’t have to run to the copier to blow it up. I’m personally not good with bias tape on this type of project, so looking forward to seeing tips on that part.

  94. fiona says:

    yipee, something for me!!!
    only I only hve a slooooooooooooow dial up connection, one of the joysof life in rural france, would it be possible to have written instructions pleaaaaaassssssssssssssse????????????

  95. perfect! my girlfriends and i are just getting ready to start a fabric stash game… a buying probation of sorts. i think this may be the first project i tackle! 🙂 thanks!

  96. mamasutra says:

    I am so excited about this! Great tutorial, so clear, and I loved the music! Off to the fabric store…again!

  97. Mia says:

    I can’t wait to try this out! I love smock aprons and since my husband would like more homemade dinners (ha!) this’ll be a good excuse to sew- “But honey, I need to protect my clothes before I start cooking more!”

    Thanks again, and excellent video!

  98. Maddie says:

    You rocked it!.. and I love the music to go along with it. The only thing I would mention is that for the those who are super plus among are not always tons bigger in the neck so a differnent kind of pattern modification would be needed but it was and is obviously out of the scope of a you -tube video!… I am on my way to scout through my stash for two yards for this super project.

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