A day smock and an award

A day smock and an award

Miss A attends a girls school where all the students wear a uniform.  They also have a rather old fashioned rule of wearing a ‘day smock’ over their uniforms for Prep and Grade 1 (the first two years of school) to protect their uniforms.  This might seem a little over the top, but last year I had had to mend cut holes (from scissors) in the front of Miss A’s smock.  I’d much rather be mending a cotton smock than her 100% wool winter pinafore!

During the last school holidays Miss A and I decided that her mended smock was looking a little tired, so we looked through my stash and my ‘big scraps’ bag and Miss A selected a cheery foral fabric with a blue pocket.  School uniforms are set colours, and thankfully Adelaide’s is predominately navy blue and not some awful colour, but there is no restriction on smocks.  And when you’re six, the more flowers and the brighter the colour the better!


The pocket is lined in a cotton voile (because I could) and I used a technique I learned recently while bag making that ensures no lining is visible on the outer edges of the pocket.  I think the pocket is a little large and positioned too high, but Miss A is happy and really that’s all that matters.


The day smock is a lengthen version of the Petal Top from Emma Hardy’s Making Children’s Clothes.


On a totally different topic, the very clever Amy from sew Amy sew has nominated me from a Liebster Award.  Amy is relatively new to sewing and blogging, but boy that girl has got the goods.  I’m very jealous of her fabulous Laurel and I love her recent Bow Tied Blouse.  It’s my second nomination for this award, but I loved Amy’s questions, so here goes…

1.  Why do you sew?  For the pure love of it.  It’s a creative outlet and I like being able to make clothes that flatter (well, most of the time!) my unique body.

2.  What gets in the way of your sewing time?  I’m a wife, a mum, a business partner (working a day a week), chief food gatherer & cook, domestic goddess, a volunteer (Australian Breastfeeding Association & St. Kilda Mums) and I do need to sleep.  Need I say more?

3.  What is in the background when you sew?  I sew in the spare room at the front of our house.  I either hear traffic noise and the occasional tram clunking down the nearby shopping strip or my girls playing or disagreeing.  No music or TV for me!

4.  Project you are most proud of?  My mustard Lily Linen Dress.  Are you sick of hearing about this dress yet?


5.  Biggest project fail?  Simplicity 1969 and I are not friends.  I can’t believe I’m posting this photo again (note the unhappy face!).


6.  Tea or coffee?  Neither.  I’m addicted to mineral water.

7.  Sewing aspirations or goals?  I joined Karen’s 2013 Sewlutions and I made the following pledge… “I Blogless Anna, will sew a jacket and/or coat with a lining in 2013.”  No movement on this yet, but the year isn’t even half over!

8.  Favourite tool?  Do you know what changed my sewing life?  It was this magnetic pin caddy.  In fact, I have two – a pink one on my ironing board and a purple one in between my sewing machine and overlocker.

9.  Favourite pattern?  Isn’t it often the case that your favourite pattern is the last one you sewed?  My current favourite is the Washi Dress.

10.  Describe a happy memory that tells us a bit about you?  I grew up on a grain and sheep farm in North West Victoria (Australia) where we had a lot of freedom to roam the farm.  We swam in the dams, made make-shift rafts, tried to catch stray cats in the haystack and woodpile, built cubby houses and rode push (and motor) bikes.  I shared these adventures with my three brothers (one older, two younger).  There was of course school in the nearby local town, playing field hockey on Saturdays and helping out of the farm.  I remember my childhood fondly, but I’m now a city girl through and through.

11.  Who do you want to win The Great British Sewing Bee final next week?  I must confess I haven’t watched any episode yet.

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  • Cute smock! And congratulations on your award! Love your mustard LIly linen dress! Very couture.

  • Love that smock. As a former teacher of primary school children at private schools, I wish some of the schools I taught at had the same policy. It would have saved a few awkward moments when a child had messed or torn their pricey uniforms – the parents would look daggers at you, as if it were your fault you didn’t prevent it. Sigh.

  • The smock is a great idea and your daughter’s version is very sweet. Judging by my own daughter’s collections, I don’t think pockets can ever be too big.

  • Congratulations on the award, and love the day smock! What a cute idea. Stella could SO do with one or two of those to wear over her school uniform. Lovely pocket too!
    I really enjoyed reading your answers to Amy’s questions – and that you led me to her blog! Another one to add to my burgeoning reader.

  • I love the mixing of florals on this gorgeous smock. Looking at this one I can remember one very similar my Mum made for me when I was a tot.

    Did NOT pick you as a farm gal!!! It’s so nice reading your answers to my questions. I have been thinking about the pin caddy, now you’ve sealed it for me.

    • So you can’t see my throwing a fleece of wool in the shearing shed? A skill I still use today when a doona needs to be shifted from the floor to the bed! The farm is still there (leased to our neighbours), but my siblings, parents and I all call Melbourne home. The pin caddy is ace. The pins just jump right in. They are so well trained.

  • I so didn’t know you were a farm girl!! Or that you had 3 brothers!! Me too! The art smocks around here are all Lightning McQueen and Mater. Not a flower in sight. Love that Lily dress. Mine is hanging out in the ironing as it takes so damn long to iron…

  • This smock is super cute! I love the fabric – too adorable!

  • I’m so happy that you feel your Mustard Lily Linen Dress is one sewing project you’re most proud of. It is a fantstic dress you’ve made there and I love the colour you chose for it. Colette

  • Re: your most unpopular item (the simplicity top) – why not use the same pattern, just make it a bit longer into a tunic with narrow ties from the side seams that you can tie up into a “belt”? I’ve noticed myself that if a top looks too blocky, I can wear it ok if it is made longer (a bit past the crotch area) but add shape with ties either at the hip or just under the bust.