The Painter’s Smock

My Mom had this long sleeved apron that she had gotten on one of her trips to Japan.  It was a simple style – open in the back with a button at the neck and a tie at the waist, two sets of two pockets in the front, and long puffy sleeves with elastics at the wrist.  Kind of like a painter’s smock.  It looked sort of like this one without the gathering at the neck, and not quite as puffy…

old smock guy

Almost every time I visited her, she was wearing that apron.  She wore it all the time.  And each time I saw her in it, I thought that a long sleeved apron would be a good addition to my shop.

Of course, I never got around to actually making it an addition to my shop.

That is, until last month when my Mom asked if  I would make her a new one for her birthday present since her’s was getting so worn.  “Of course!”, I said.  “Now I will know that I am giving you something you want!”  I have to admit, though, that as I was agreeing to make it, I was also wondering if the apron would turn out alright.  But, she gave me the original to use while making the pattern, and I have to say it turned out pretty nicely.


I used Joel Dewberry’s Atrium Cumulus in Mint, which you can still find at Hawthorne Thread’s as of this posting.  I loved this fabric the first time I saw it with its big fluffy clouds and little yellow birds.  I had purchased it originally for one of my Cobbler aprons, but I never cut into it because I thought it was destined for something better  🙂  When I started to draft the Painter’s smock pattern, I knew that  I would be using this fabric for it.  I have since used it for my Sailor’s Top, too, and I might still make a Cobbler apron from it as well.

Instead of using a button at the neck, I used bias tape as ties, which also made finishing the neck edge a snap.  It is difficult to see the two sets of pockets since I constructed everything out of the same fabric.  After I finished with my Mom’s version, I was pretty sure I wanted to add this style to my product line, but I wasn’t sure about what fabrics I wanted to use.   I decided to start with linen as the main fabric and use a contrasting cotton for the small pockets and bias tape.  I think it gives the apron a fresh take on the traditional Painter’s smock.



2 thoughts on “The Painter’s Smock

  1. Merikay Branch says:

    Last night and this morning I worked on a copy of your sleeveless cross/back dress with smaller arm holes. I had a roll of brown craft paper to make my pattern. When the rolled craft paper wants to stay rolled while I’m trying to hold it flat to make a pattern…I just put it on the ironing board and iron the roll out of it.

    Before I tackle the dress I’ll get an old worn out sheet to cut it out. Then if I need to tweat it a bit or rip it up and start over – I’ve not ruined an nice piece of fabric. I’ll keep you posted on its progress.

    • Arianne says:

      Good idea with testing your pattern on an old sheet first. I like to do that too, but sometimes I am just too lazy and want to get started on the “real” project first and then end up regretting it once I have finished. Interested to hear how your project turns out.

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