Let me show you how I did it in 3 EASY STEPS!
The other thing you will need is a package of double fold bias. I bought the little stuff, 1/4 inch. If you are making a mat, buy 2 packages.
Lastly, you will need a tiny bit of Velcro.
2. Fold in half lengthwise, and then fold in half width-wise. Mark the center of the smock with a pin.
3. Open it back up, (just the width-wise fold). Find something round you can use to trace the neck hole. In my case, I found the bottom of a garbage can that looked like it could serve me well. You need to have your hold large enough to slip over your child's head with ease. Test on scrap fabric if needed. Place half of your circular item in the center of your smock, on the fold, and trace.
4. Cut on your markings. You now have the shape of your smock.
Before I continue, if you want to avoid corners use that same rounded item and round out the bottom corners also. Your results will be as shown below. I did prefer this method when it came binding time.
Step 2: Bind
1. If you will notice on your store bought binding, one side is ever so slightly not as wide as the other. Place the smaller side up, so then you always know you are stitching the back as well. Start anywhere on your smock - anywhere except a corner. Put the binding in place as you sew along. Also, be sure to increase your stitch length a bit. This gives a more professional top stitching look.
2. When you get to corners, angle them and simply stitch right over.
3. When your ends meet up, clip on an angle and fold the raw edge inside.
4. Stitch and back-stitch closed.
Don't forget to bind the neckline as well.
At this point, your smock should look something like this.
Step 3: Closure
1. From the folded top, measure 8 inches down. Pin on both sides to mark that 8 inches.
2. Place a small piece of Velcro under each pin and stitch in on securely. Do this for both the left and right sides of the smock.
3. You could stop there but I decided to sew on a button to cover the Velcro stitches on the outside. The button is purely for looks.
Now wasn't that easy!
If you have some leftover oilcloth, you have to make one of these mats. I think I've enjoyed this more than the smocks.
Your dimensions can be whatever you would like, but mine came to 24 x 18 inches, and it seems to be perfect for holding artwork and paint plates.
You can square the corners,
Or round them.
But probably not as much as you will.