30 May 2006

dolly's smock is cuter than mine

This is my first contribution to Tie-One-On, Angry Chicken's monthly apron challenge. The theme for May was a "Smock to wear out" and I was really excited about this given Twin and I have long had a yen to make moo-moos. You know, loose-fitting, tent-like, completely unrestrictive but also somehow cute summer wear. In theory, at least, tent-like and cute are not mutually exclusive. So the smock challenge seemed like a good chance to make a moo-moo-like garment.

I should caveat this by saying I don't think my creation really counts as a smock. It's not open in the back and goes on over the head. I was going to try to alter the pattern to button in the back but feared that if I went off-pattern, I would end up with a great big mess. I almost ended up with a great big mess just trying to follow the pattern exactly, so this was probably a wise decision.

I used an old pattern from the 70s I got off eBay. I knew I wanted a yoke-style smock—I was inspired by the 70s Vogue Sewing book I borrowed (i.e. stole) from Mom. The book is not only the greatest resource for basic sewing info, it is also endlessly amusing. In the section on pleats, it reads, "The Perky Pleat: There's nothing like the snappy swing of pleats to put a lilt in your walk and a gleam in the eye of a passing gentleman..." So THAT'S the secret. Why did no one tell me sooner?

Alas, I'm not completely happy with my smock. I think it pushes my cute factor over the threshold into the realm of obnoxiously cute. All the pink didn't help. The general shapelessness of it didn't either, I think.

I used a pillowcase that I found at a thrift store for the front and back. It wasn't quite wide enough so I added a bit of white at the sides. I have since discovered that the pillowcase was vintage Vera—and I went and cut it up for a shapeless, slightly wonky smock. Oopsy. The gods of vintage linens may smite me down for such blatant sacrilege. I can only plead my complete cluelessness as humble defense.

Dolly saw the smock Amy made on Angry Chicken and liked her interpretation of the smock so much better than mine. So I made Dolly a smock a la Angry Chicken. I used the scraps from my quilt in progress and have to admit it turned out absolutely adorable. See, Dolly has no issues with cute overload. 8" plastic dolls apparently have no ceiling on cuteness. Twenty-something women, however, dressed in pink who still play with 8" dolls, well, that's when cute begins to turn into something else.


Jennie said...

There's no ceiling on your cuteness. You're adorable. And you're keeping your inner child alive, which is a good thing.

Oh my god, that Vogue quote is hilarious.


Shari said...

hi julie,
i love the pillowcase you used. very cool. i really want to learn to sew. perhaps this summer. cheers! shari ps: dolly and her smock are super cute as well. :)

Maitreya said...

Both of them are great!

tender arts said...

Oh, Julie! Your smock and Dolly's smock are so cute! I have an alter-ego Cissette named Betty whom I am just beginning to sew for! So now you know a 40 something woman who plays with dolls! I am yearning for a sweet little Wendy like yours so that Betty can have a little sister or daughter. Yours is a real beauty. Thank you for making me feel not so crazy!

Laura McCarty said...

Okay, the link from craftzine to your sewing machine cover got me in the door, and two hours later I'm still here! I'm fascinated by your sewing ability, but when I stumbled on Dolly, that's when you got a permanent spot in my favorite craft bloggers list. Thanks for the inspiration.

Laura McCarty said...

Oh yeah, and you can check it out at http://auntlola.blogspot.com/!