One thing I love about the Eddie Smock is that once you understand how all the pieces come together, you can adjust the layout and design to suit not only your available fabric but also your preferences. For this hack, I used View 1 (the long-sleeved, dress version) as the base and I modified the neckline from a scooped neck to a v-neck, adjusted the layout to shorten the sleeves, and replaced the side ties with an elastic back. I also shortened the dress to work better for my height (5’4″). The steps below will walk you through the process of making these modifications to your Eddie Smock. You will need the original Eddie Smock pattern to complete this hack, along with a piece of elastic that is about half to two-thirds the length of your waist.
For this hack, I used 3/4″ elastic to gather the back. I chose this width because that’s what I had on hand and I didn’t want to use a wide elastic. You can choose to use whatever width suits you. The placement of the elastic casing can also be adjusted. I was able to make the whole dress first (with the exception of finishing the hem) and then decide exactly where I wanted the elastic to go. Once the dress was finished, I was able to pin the elastic over different portions of the back panel to decide where I wanted my elastic gathering to be.
After selecting my size (Size B), I began the process of making my desired changes by shortening the front/back and side panels and swapping out the long sleeves from View 1 with the short sleeves from View 3. I used Adobe Illustrator to do this, but you could draw the layout to scale on a sheet of paper or use Inkscape (a free vector drawing program). I first shortened the front and back panels to 42″ (taking 4″(10.2cm) from the length). Then, I adjusted the side panel length and hem width based on the instructions in the instruction booklet. If you don’t need to make any length adjustments, you can skip to swapping out your sleeves.
To shorten the sleeves, I simply used the sleeve measurements from View 3 instead of the measurements from View 1. This left me with a sizable gap in the pattern layout. I used this area to my advantage and placed the pocket piece under the sleeves. Due to the width of the sleeve, the pockets didn’t need to be pieced together as in the original layout. I decided to keep the original length of the pockets, but this length could be adjusted if you wanted to. Also, because I used the short sleeve option, the cuff pattern piece was eliminated.
For the final adjustment to the layout, I eliminated the side tie pattern piece and made the remaining portion of the layout the continuous bias binding. Note: A long, skinny piece of fabric will need to be used for the elastic casing. This could be a scrap piece of fabric or it could be incorporated into the layout. I didn’t add this piece to my pattern layout because I used a scrap piece leftover from squaring off the fabric used to make the dress.
Once the pattern layout is finalized, you can make the necessary adjustments to the neckline template. After printing and cutting out the template for the front neckline, I took a piece of paper and placed the template in the top, right-hand corner. Then, I traced the template leaving me with a starting guide for adjusting the neckline. Next, you will want to determine how much you want to lower the neckline — 1/2″(1.3cm)-2″(5cm) depending on your preference. I chose to lower mine by 1.25″(3.2cm). Mark this point along the right-hand edge of your paper (the fold line edge of the template). Now, adjust the width of the neckline slightly — 1/2″(1.3cm)-1″(2.5cm). I widened mine by 1/2″(1.3cm). Again, mark this point.
After your height and width adjustments are made, you can change the neckline from a scooped neck to a v-neck. Begin by marking the edge of the button placket, 1.25″(3.2cm) over from the center of the neckline, and transfer over your new low point of the neckline to this edge. You don’t want to include the width of the button placket when re-drawing your neckline. To create the v-neck, you will connect this point to the new width point using a gentle curve. You can use a curved ruler to do this or if you don’t have a curved ruler, you can print one. Don’t just draw a straight line connecting the two points, as it will not look quite right on your body once sewn up.
Next, you will fold the paper on the button placket edge (at the 1.25″(3.2cm) point) and then fold it in again by 1/4″(0.6cm). This mimics how the button placket is created. Once folded, flip the paper over and trace the v-neckline. You will do this for both portions of the button placket (as shown below).
Finally, once the front neckline adjustments have been made, you will need to make the same width adjustment to the back neckline.
Now that all the pattern adjustments have been made, you can begin sewing your modified Eddie Smock. When sewing your garment you will follow the written instructions with a few minor changes to the process as follows below. I’ve noted when a step is skipped and when changes have been made to a particular step. If nothing is noted about a step, then proceed as written in the original directions.
To begin, follow the cutting steps as directed using your updated layout and use the new neckline template to trace your neckline to the front and back panels.
Skip Step 3
Step 4: If your pocket pattern piece was adjusted to eliminate the need to piece your pocket together, skip Step 4b.
Step 5: The image below shows how the new neckline and button placket will be pressed in place.
Step 6a: When making the neckline facing using the front neckline cutout, your piece will look different due to the v-neck adjustment. Instead of matching the wrong sides together, match the right sides together so that the box pleat will be on the wrong side instead of the right side.
Step 6b: When pressing the edge toward the wrong side, make sure the tip of the V is folded in to conceal any raw edges.
Step 6c: To determine how long to make the back pleat, measure down the length of the new neckline along the center of the back panel.
Step 6f: You may choose to adjust where the hang loop is positioned. In this case, I decided to place the hang loop at the neckline edge as shown below.
Step 8a-c: I chose to sew the panels together first and then finish them together. Since the side ties are not being used, you do not need to add the openings as directed in Step 8b.
Step 8d: Press the seam allowance toward the side seam. At this point, ONLY topstitch the seam allowances on the back panel. The front seam allowances will be topstitched at a later step.
Skip Step 10
Step 12: Follow the instructions for View 3 – the short-sleeve version.
Step 15: When finishing the neckline, I used the same instructions as given for the original neckline, but because of the angle of the neckline I made some adjustments at the button placket edge. The following is what worked for me, but it is not perfect. When pinning in place, I hung the bias binding over the edge slightly. Once sewn and pressed to the wrong side, the edge of the bias binding was very close to the edge of the button placket and I was able to continue as directed.
It may have been better to insert the bias binding using the traditional method so that you can align the angled edge with the edge of the button placket better than how I have done it. Play around with it a bit and see what works for you.
Step 16: Because the front panel seam allowances have not been topstitched yet, you will finish the hem after the elastic casing has been inserted.
Skip Step 18
How to add the elastic casing
The final step is to add the elastic casing. To begin, you will need to determine where you would like to insert the elastic casing. I chose to place mine at the same point where the side ties would have been inserted; starting and ending at the front panel/side panel side seam. By starting and ending at the seam, the seam allowance can be folded over the end of the casing and topstitched down to conceal the ends.
Once the placement has been determined, you will measure how long your casing needs to be by measuring from one endpoint to the other. For mine, the length was 36″(91.4cm). Next, determine the width of the casing. Take the width of your elastic and add 1″(2.5cm). My elastic was 3/4″(1.9cm) wide so I cut my casing 1.75″(4.4cm) wide by 36″(91.4cm) long. Then, press each long raw edge toward the wrong side, by 3/8″(1 cm).
To attach the casing, begin by marking a straight guideline from one endpoint to the other. To do so, I first marked the point where each side tie opening would have been, 16.5″(41.9 cm) down from the shoulder edge as shown in the instructions. Then, to find the point at the center back, I measured from the first points I marked (16.5″(41.9 cm) down from the shoulder) down to the hemline. I used this distance to measure up from the hem at the center back. Then I was able to connect all the points to have a straight guideline. With the guideline established, I pinned the casing in place and topstitched along both the top and bottom edge of the casing, leaving both ends open.
Now that the casing has been inserted, you will need to determine the length of the elastic. I didn’t want mine to be too tight, so I just measured on my waist, at about the point where the side ties would be inserted, from side to side. I marked the elastic at this point but didn’t cut it yet. Then, using a safety pin, I inserted the elastic into the casing. Once the elastic was in the casing, I pinned each end and tried it on. At this point, I decided to tighten it up just a bit. You will be able to play with it to determine just how gathered you want the back to be.
Once I was happy with the length, I cut the elastic, making sure it was still pinned in place. Then, I folded the seam allowance over the ends and topstitched it in place. This secured the ends of the elastic. Finally, I didn’t want my elastic to twist in the casing, so I also stitched it down at a couple of points on the back.
Lastly, I finished the hem as directed and was done!
If you have any questions about these modifications, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email – email@example.com. I would love to see any Eddie Smocks that you make – please share using the tags #EddieSmock and #GoldfinchEddieSmock – make sure to also tag @goldfinchtextilestudio.