McCalls 5695 Girls Smock:Pattern Review

Butterick 5695 Girls Smock

A lot of girl’s dresses repeat the same essential design over and over.  But this one had a square neckline, pleated smock and interesting sleeves.  I thought it would make cute school blouses and I could get creative using different materials for bodice and smock.


  • It sews like a standard girls dress.
  • You can use up remnants as I did.
  • The small bodice lends itself well to bits of frippery and all of those odd buttons you have stashed.
  • I didn’t include the sleeves so you can make a summer tank also, though it is not shown as an option on the pattern envelope.


  • The back is a little tricky.  Make a practice muslin of the tiny bodice only and think about how you want to do your back.  I didn’t follow the pattern instructions.  The pattern instructs you to tack the two together side by side but I thought the back was too wide for my daughter.   I overlapped the back pieces, tacked them together and then got creative in attaching the back smock.

Some Assembly Required:

I did construct the bodice as instructed but did not attach at side seams.  Those I left open so I could do flat assembly for the back and front smock. 

McCalls 5695 Girls Smock:Front View. The material comes across very dark and hard to see in the photo, but is very cute in natural light.

In attaching the back smock I had to deal with the overlapped facings.  I notched into the portions that were to lie inside the bodice so I could create an unbroken line of stitching.   I wish I could draw this out for you but it surpasses my abilities on Paint, the MS program I use.

McCalls 5695 Back View: I haven't attached the back button yet, but you can see the overlap. I also had to use three strips of calico to make the back as long as the front.


Denim for the bodice, purloined from the ill-destined denim dress Simplicity 2929, and leftover bits of quilting fabric for the smock.   The buttons were from a terrific haul of vintage buttons at the local thrift.

These buttons are very sweet in person. The photo doesn't do them justice. Unlike the plastic-y, patent-y look on so much contemporary RTW, these buttons have angled sides and a deeply concave middle that has a pleasing burnished shine. They are from the huge haul of vintage buttons found at our favorite vintage store and one of my favorite memories of my daughter is watching her help sort all of the buttons and exclaim over the ones she liked.



I think I will cut down the bodice to a size four even though my daughter is five years old.  Children’s patterns seem oversized and she won’t wear something that falls off her shoulders.  If I cut a size smaller I will have the option to overlap or to tack and close with a tie.  Also I could play around with having the closure in front.

Will I Sew it Again:

Definitely.  My daughter especially admires the little number in gingham on the pattern photo.  Also I think it is a great pattern to use up remnants.  The blouse takes such a small amount of fabric.

Advice to Others:

Take a gander at the back closure before cutting into the fashion fabric.  If your daughter is a hard fit for some reason do a simple test drive in plain fabric to see if the square neckline hits her appropriately. 

Overall Style Grade: A

Results Grade:A

Next Post: Tuesday, July 6, 2010: A Stash Bash and Bust for the Holiday Weekend


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karin van D.
    Jul 04, 2010 @ 00:31:03

    Cute little dress!


  2. Angie
    Jul 04, 2010 @ 10:16:44

    glad I found this as I started cutting a top out tonight. I’ve made so many changes already that it seems to not look like the pattern anymore…I haven’t cut the yoke yet so I’ll do a measure up of that one….even on the pattern photos it seems a bit wide.

    Great review, many thanks!


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