How To Make a Smock Dress

Smock dresses stem from smock frocks that were a popular type of outer garment in England back in the 18th century. From the smock frocks of 18th century England emerged the smock dresses that came sometime after the 1920s. These smock dresses were worn by women and children, and they came in all sorts of designs – flower prints, hippy inspired dresses, smock dresses with balloon sleeves and those with bust buttons.

Today, smock dresses are still largely popular and are also being manufactured by signature designer labels like Top Shop, Zara, Debenhams, and Dorothy Perkins. If you are a fan of smock dresses but are not willing to spend so much money buying them from designer labels, here is how you can make your very own smock dress.

  • Choose a dress design. Find a smock dress design or pattern that you would like to follow. You can usually find these designs online or in fashion magazines or catalogs such as the ones published by Vogue.
  • Prepare your materials. Once you have picked out a design that you will follow, prepare all your sewing needs. Purchase the cloths, sewing needles, and threads that you will use. Use well-sharpened scissors to ensure that it will cut smoothly across your cloth as you cut out the pattern for your smock dress. Ready your measuring tape and sewing machine, and make sure that you have attached your threads and needles to the machine correctly.
  • Make a clean cut. Once your materials are ready, take your measuring tape and determine the size of the smock dress you are making according to the pattern you are following. Trace the pattern on a large sheet of paper (large enough for the actual size of the dress) and cut it with a sharp pair of scissors, leaving a space of about inch around the border. Once you have cut your paper pattern, pin it to a double layer of the actual cloth that you will use and once again cut the cloth following the paper pattern. Make sure you follow the measurements and cutting instructions for the dress sleeves, as well as the neckline, cuffs, and belt (if any).

    Note that it is practical to pin the paper pattern to a double layer of cloth so that you will not have to repeat the cutting process twice.

  • Start sewing. Once you have all the pieces of the dress cut out perfectly, you can now start sewing your smock dress with your sewing machine. Follow the stitching instructions in your pattern to make sure that your smock dress will be sewn perfectly. Do the same for other designs that come with your smock dress pattern such as the elastics for the sleeves, neckline, or the waist.

Smock dresses are fun and comfortable to wear. They are very easy to mix and match with other pieces of clothing and accessories, and they can be designed for and worn in different occasions. Sewing your own smock dress is a great way to keep you in style without spending too much money. Happy sewing!


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