Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pattern Review: Little Picasso- A Simple Play Smock

Front view

Little Picasso Pattern- You can find it in my shop!
Description from back of pattern:

These simple painting or playing smocks are cut from two squares and sever rectangles total. No templates or patterns, just a few cuts will yield these sweet little apron styles msock great for kids of any age. This loose fitting, casual size fit ages 3-5 with simple strap and gusset alterations. Tips given for easy sizing up to 7 years old. A simple size chart is also provided for reference. Choose patchwork or plain styles, gathered or tucked...a fun afternoon project any way you stack it!

Material and material requirements:

This pattern uses quilting cottons.

Patchwork Smock:
1 Charm Pack OR 16 5" squares for front
1/4 yard for pocket back
5/8 yard for back
3/8 yard for pockets
1/4 yard for gusset
1/8 yard for straps
1/8 yard for facing

Soft Vintage Smock:
5/8 yard for front & back (OR 2 separate 5/8 yard cuts if you want different colors on front and back)
3/8 yard for pockets
1/4 yard for gusset
1/8 yard for straps
1/8 yard for facing

Plus two buttons for straps.

I used different fabric scraps for the different parts of the apron, which I always find fun. It is nice putting those nice scraps to use! The only part I didn't use a scrap was the back, which I used a fat quarter for. For the buttons I used two little green vintage buttons that I got awhile back from our farmer's market.

Pattern as described/shown?

Overall, I was very pleased with how this smock turned out. I made the patchwork version with the center pleat. I do think it turned out just how it was shown on the cover. However, I think this pattern is maybe a little more complicated then it is made out to be because you do have to "make" the pattern pieces yourself as you cut.

Juliana shows off her straps!

How were the instructions?

This is where this pattern falls short. I thought there were some definite areas that needed more explaining (especially if you haven't made clothing before) For example, she doesn't explain to clip the corners on the straps so that the points come out nice and smooth, and she doesn't give instructions at the end for a buttonhole an far down to place the buttons.

Shorter back matches the patchwork pocket front.

I also thought some of the measurements were off.
1)In the patchwork version she has you cut out two 5 1/2" x 18 1/2" rectangles for the back of the pocket. However, this did not match up when you added the front part of the pocket. So, I cut these out 5" x 18 1/2". I don't think this is a problem in the simple version since you just cut one big piece and fold it in half.


2) I also thought the gusset measurement was too long, but this isn't that big of a deal since you can just shorten it once you sew it all together and before you hem it to see where it needs to be.

Back of Smock

Difficulty of pattern?

This pattern wasn't difficult but because you have to cut and make the pattern pieces and the instructions were not the clearest I would not recommend this pattern for beginners. Since I have made similar things to this I didn't find it that big of a deal, and it still came together fairly quickly. It only took me about three hours. So, if you are familar with clothing, I think you will be able to see what needs to be done and where you need to "fill in".

Alterations made?

I didn't make any alterations to the pattern except for making the measurement changes that I mentioned above. I also used a fat quarter for the back which was 1/2" shorter than what the pattern called for, so I sewed on a little strip at the bottom to lengthen it.

I think this pattern could easily be made without the gusset. I don't know if it adds much to the pattern necessarily, except I think it gives it a cute patchwork look! However, if you want to skip a step this would be it. I also think you could make the whole thing out of patchwork if you wanted. She has you use a single piece of fabric for the back, but you could easily make a patchwork back for this as well.

Overall Impression

I really liked this pattern. I think it is super cute and pretty quick to make! I think next time I make it I could sew it under two hours. It is perfect for Juliana for her art projects and when she helps me make choc-o-latte cookies with me! She immediately stuffed some crayons in her little pockets at the bottom, and she was all set!


  1. Looks fantastic!!! Thanks for sharing your tutorial!

  2. Cute smock! The fabric combination looks very sweet.

  3. This is so sweet, Meg! I love the style of the pattern and especially the fabrics you used.

  4. I need a girl so I can make cute things like that! I love the fabric combo you used. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a link! -Allison

  5. Thanks for your posting. I was really kind of stuck at the pocket part because it was longer. Now I can go ahead and get this finished before Christmas for my friend's daughter! Thanks again! :)


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