Froo loves to do arts & crafts. Boo still eats crayons. My mom told me that I should get Boo to do more sit-down activities to focus his attention and to develop his fine motor skills. (What she really said: “Train him to use crayons so he won’t have ADHD in school.”)
We found these cute birdhouses in the $1 bin at Jo-Ann the last time we went. I think they look lovely in their natural state. Froo insisted that we paint them and put them in the backyard beside the birdbaths (bowls filled with water and leaves) that she put outside. So I told her we could paint them as soon as I made some art smocks. She’s been waiting patiently and now they are done.
The art smock pattern comes out of the “oliver + s little things to sew” book by Liesl Gibson. It is my favourite sewing book.
I’ve only made the explorer vests so far and they are worn almost everyday by Froo & Boo. I used fabric from the Sarah Jane “Children at Play” collection and lined the vests with fleece to make them nice and cozy. This next picture was taken in March 2012, in our old Burnaby home. I miss our floors.
The mornings in the Bay Area are quite chilly, so Froo & Boo wear the vests until they get dressed for the day.
The finished art smocks. It is surprisingly detailed for what seems a simple project. The seams are all encased French seams and everything is professionally finished. For both art smocks, I pulled out fabric from my clear tote bins and I had all the notions on hand. I think this means I have too much fabric.
The raglan sleeves were made with a Japanese Lecien print that was on sale at superbuzzy. I only bought half a yard of each colour, thinking I would use them in a future project. The next time I buy cute fabric to save for later, I think a minimum of 1 yard is required. I didn’t have quite enough for Froo’s pockets, so they were made from leftover fabric from her fly a kite quilt.
I still had second thoughts about using this fabric because I didn’t have quite enough for Froo’s sleeves, so the direction of the print on her smock is vertical, rather than horizontal, as on Boo’s. I don’t think Froo noticed, yet. That girl notices everything.
Boo’s art smock was made from a herringbone fabric that I used to make a Wiksten Tova dress. It is 100% cotton and much heavier than quilting fabric. It has a bit of sheen to it, adding texture and depth.
Froo’s fabric is from Moda Cross Weave. I bought a remnant at Peapod Fabrics in San Francisco after a day of exploring the California Academy of Sciences. Since it is woven with two colours, the fabric has almost an iridescent quality and it’s super soft.
I used leftover double-folded bias tape from the explorer vests for the neckline of the art smocks.
I made Boo’s in size small and Froo’s in size medium. They fit perfectly. Boo seemed to be really focused.
Froo was really happy to finally paint her birdhouse.
I think the focused concentration lasted for almost 5 minutes. Woo hoo! It can be done.