Something to know
: this tutorial has been modified to improve the shape of the garment and the clarity of instructions. I will continue to update this tute as new possibilites present themselves. If you are revisiting this post, feel free to take or leave any of the changes as you see fit. Please leave a comment if you have a question (or something nice to say - I like that too).
chest and arm measurements
measurement of desired length of bodice and sleeves
light-weight fabric (the heavier the material, the boxier the shape!)
Step 1: size and cut bodice and arm blocks
These measurements used here are general guidelines - I suggest you play with the measurements yourself to see what suits the wearee best. These take less than an hour to make, so it isn''t very time consuming to make another in order to tweak your pattern. Do not use your best material first time out. And remember, use lightweight fabric (woven or knit) for the best drape.
The measurements below refer to the total unfolded size - fold fabric in half when cutting pattern.
For children, the general rule is to add one inch to the bodice width (at the top of the pattern piece if it is to be A-line) and two inches to the bodice length for every size increase. The arm width should be increased by half an inch for every size increase (the length being dependent upon personal taste more so than formula).
Size 2 - 19.5" chest
Bodice (width of neckline by length) 14" x 14"
Arms (width by length) 12" x 7"
Size 3 - 20" chest
Bodice (w x l) 15" x 16"
Arms (w x l) 12.5" x 8"
Size 4 - 21.5" chest
Bodice (w x l) 16" x 18"
Arms (w x l) 13" x 10"
Also, cut one strip of elastic to the chest measurement minus 2" (or fit and adjust). Cut two more strips at the arm measurement plus 2.5" (this includes a 1/2" or so you need to double over tape to sew closed).
For adults, well, I''m not sure because I have never made one for a big people. But I will soon and will update when I have a formula to share.
Step 2: shape bodice and arm blocks
Here are the general shapes of the cut (in a A-line shape; a straight shape is fine too and the following photos accompaning were done using a straight bodice.)
The total area (blue and white sections) of the pieces above represent the folded bodice and arm pieces. The blue section is the shape of garment you want - cut away the portion represented by the white area.
Fold bodice and arm pieces in half. The armhole cut is the same size for all pieces so I suggest stacking up the folded pieces to cut. Shape the bodice and armhole pieces as indicated by the blue and white pattern guideline above. Make note that the top of the armhole should slightly slope in towards the center of the bodice (the photos below do not represent that slope very well).
For a size 2, the armhole cut is about 5" x 2", with a angled cut starting at about 4" mark. If you go for an approximate shape you should be fine. For every additional size increase from a size 2, increase the cut by 1/2" (or find a good fitting existing garment and use that armhole as a guide).
Step 3: sew together
Put one large piece and one sleeve piece together at the arm hole and stitch along cut.
Stitch other sleeve on the same way.
Stitch sleeves on to the other large piece.
Stitch side seams all the way from sleeve end to bottom.
If you desire, serger or zig zag neck/sleeves/bottom to prevent fraying.
Step 4: add elastic
Fold under top (and press ) to make a casing for your elastic.
Stitch almost all the way around, leaving a small opening to feed your elastic through:
Overlap ends of elastic together and sew together so it will lay flat. Adjust elastic in casing and then finish sewing casing closed.
Do the same for the sleeves.
(btw, I used 1/2" elastic for this, because it was all I had at the time, and it was way too big and stiff. Stick to 1/4")
Fold under bottom and hem.
- add a belt
- use shirring instead of elastic in casing, like so:
- shirr the chest and back areas
- move your casing in 1/4" to make a ruffled edge along neck and sleeves
- extend A-line into a dress
- add some small ties to the side seams to pull behind back and tie
You''ve seen the shirts and now you can make your own pattern...
You can buy the pattern and have it delivered to your email, all ready to go. Visit my shop to see the Oh Suzanna Smock
for an easy to use pattern in girls'' sizes 2-7, complete with clear instructions and plenty of illustrations.