Monday, May 30, 2011

DIY: Mock Smock Sun Dresses

Earlier this spring, I discovered mock smock and I've been whipping up sun dresses galore ever since.  Mock Smock material comes pre-smocked for super simple, but absolutely adorable, dress-making.   Even beginning sewers will be able to easily make these super cute frocks!  

How to make a mock smock dress:

  1. Measure around the widest part of your little girl's chest either with a measuring tape or with the actual material. You will need about 1 inch more material than her chest measurement. (At Jo-Ann's mock smock is sold by the inch, so only get what you need.)
  2. Fold your material in half wrong side out, and carefully pin. Be sure to line up all the lines of elastic threading (the mock smocking) where the seam will go.
  3. Sew a straight seam from the top to the bottom of the dress about 1/2 inch from the edge. Repeat 1/8 inch further over to the outside of your first seam. Then trim away any excess material outside of your double seam to make it look nice and neat.
  4. Some mock-smocking also comes pre-hemmed. If yours is, you can skip these steps. Otherwise, decide how long you want your dress to be and carefully cut you material about 3/4 of an inch below that, cutting off the bottom of the dress.
  5. Fold the dress up 3/8 of an inch all the way around the bottom (wrong side to wrong side) and press. Then, fold up again, folding right side up to wrong side and press.
  6. Stitch all the way around your fold about 1/8 of an inch down from the top. (I used a zigzag stitch on mine, but a blind hem or a decorative stitch might work just as well. )
Adding Straps:
If your material wasn't pre-hemmed you can use the excess material to make straps. Otherwise choose a coordinating ribbon or trim to use as straps.

To make fabric straps:
  1. Cut a long strip of material 4 times as wide as your desired strap width.
  2. Iron a strip of fusible interfacing 2 times your desired strap width down the center of your strap. Be sure to iron the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric.
  3. Fold strap edges to center and fold in half, lining up edges neatly and press.
  4. Sew a straight seam 1/8 of an inch from each edge of the strap.
Try the dress on your little girl and pin straps in desired location and sew.

  • The straps on these dresses will probably need to be shorter and closer together than you would imagine.
  • If you can't try the dress on to fit the straps, Four long thing straps could be attached so they can be tied to fit at the shoulders.
Cost: $4-$8 using Jo-Ann's coupons or sales

Time to Make: 45 minutes -1 hour each

I loved these so much I made one for each of my daughters!

These dresses were so quick and easy to make.  Once I started, I couldn't help but make a bunch of them. Here are some others that I've made recently:

Little Mermaid Mock Smock Dress

Minnie Mouse Mock Smock Dress

Dora the Explorer Mock Smock Dress

My three year old absolutely loves these.  If my local Jo-Ann's carried more licensed character mock-smock fabric, I'd would be all over it.

Craft Project 2/30  Day 14/351

If you decide to make one, please let me know, I'd love to see photos!
Craft Parties I'm Linking to:
A Crafty SoireeRunning with Glitter”Photobucket”Nothing But CountryJoin  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap 
 up           party!Somewhat Simple


  1. I'm looking forward to making some of these for my daughter, she will love them! Thanks for the idea :)

  2. where can I get the material?

  3. I have been wanting to do this and now I am determined to do it :) I am 8 months pregnant and I only have one more month and instead of buying 2-3 more cool shirts to get me thru this next month do you think I could convert on to fit me?

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Amy Fraunfelter

  4. This is so cute and looks so easy! My daughter and my nieces are close in age, and I am going to make them all matching dresses! I am so excited :)

  5. These dresses are sooooo cute and cool to wear in summer! I have 2 granddaughters ("big" sister is 5-1/2 yrs. old and "little" sister is 9 months). I'm going to check my Jo-Ann's for this mock smock material. My 5-1/2 yr. old granddaughter LOVES the Little Mermaid. THANKS SO MUCH FOR INSTRUCTIONS!!!

  6. I forgot to tell you that I found you today on The Frugal Girls blog and I just signed up to follow you on GFC. :-)

  7. I found you through Frugal Girls today too! I love them and saw the material the other day and thought "that couldn't be too difficult"! Thanks for proving it ;*)

    Laura, I live in a real small town and our Super Walmart carries several prints of it!

    Amy, I was pregnant last summer and three of my favorite "maternity" pieces were a long dress, short dress and long shirt of this style material and none of them were maternity! Now I am wearing them (non-pregnant) this summer! Great idea!

  8. Amy,I definitely think you could and I think they would be great post-pregnancy too especially for nursing at home.

  9. Great idea and with a long sleeved shirt and tights they can be worn into fall too!

  10. Hello. I would love for you to do a guest post on We are a coupons and deals website in the South. We love finding Frugal ideas and this definitely qualifies as one. If you cannot do a guest post on this particular topic I understand. I would love to just let my readers know how to do this by linking up to your blog.
    Ashley @

  11. Just so you know, they have the mock smock material at Wal-mart and they have longer printed (not Disney or anything, but just prints) material that would work for adult sizes. I want to make one for myself to use as a beach cover up :)


    I am a teacher and have a blog for my classes, so that's why it says "Mrs. Williams" Hahaha...

  12. Thank you for the instructions; I bought some of this material for my daughter but wasn't sure how to make the dress.

    Just one question: does the seam go up the back of the dress, or up one side?



    1. I put the seam right up the back of all the mock-smock dresses I've done. I have thought about cutting the material in two and sewing a seam up each side instead, but have never done it. I figure, "Why make extra work for myself, when they look great the way they are?" As long as you pin the material and sew so that the elastic of the smocking lines up pretty closely, it looks perfect with the seam in the back. As a matter of fact, the nature of the material itself, makes the seam pretty hard to see on the finished project. My daughters have put their dresses on completely backwards and I'm pretty sure, if I hadn't noticed and spun them around, nobody would have noticed.

  13. I can't wait to show this to my partner. She loves doing stuffs like this. I never knew there would be an easy way to do this.

  14. could you make it as a button front? i am pregnant and due before long and would love to be able to wear it while nursing i picked some of this fabric in a favorite print and was thinking that buttons would make it easier for me to nurse the baby. was just wondering if that would be feasible. thanks rebecca

    1. Would the buttons go where the straps attach or up the front of the dress/top, Rebecca? You could definitely do buttons at the straps or even straps that tie, so that you could slip the top of the dress down to nurse the baby. I'm not 100% sure as I have never tried it, but I would think that you could do button-front too, if you did a double set of buttons that allowed for a couple inches of overlap of the smocked material. My fear otherwise is that it would pull open between the buttons exposing you.

      Is this your first baby? First time breast-feeding? Through trial and error, every mom finds what is most comfortable and works best for her and her baby. Buttons were never especially great for me. I liked soft tanks and tops that I could just shift out of the way. I actually had a couple swim suit cover-ups last summer that were different fabric but very similar in style to the dresses above, no buttons, that I found to be super comfy and easy for nursing. The one was strapless and just held up by the stretchiness of the smocking. The other had halter straps that I usually ended up not using and just tying in bow.

  15. Did you have any problem with shrinkage? I read on Joann's site one woman washed it before sewing and once she completed it and her daughter wore it, she washed it again and there was more shrinkage. Thanks.

    1. I just pre-washed and machine dried the fabric once before sewing. I didn't notice any additional shrinkage when laundering the finished product. I did notice that the non-licensed fabric shrinks up more than the licensed character/logo fabrics, but fortunately the non-licensed fabric is also usually longer to begin with, so it all works out.

    2. I just pre-washed and machine dried the fabric once before sewing. I didn't notice any additional shrinkage when laundering the finished product. I did notice that the non-licensed fabric shrinks up more than the licensed character/logo fabrics, but fortunately the non-licensed fabric is also usually longer to begin with, so it all works out.


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