Friday, November 27, 2009

reversible child's apron tutorial

Remember in June when I showed you this stack of fabric and told you a tutorial would be coming soon? Well, the definition of soon is really relative, don't you think? During our first ventures in canning in June, I thought it would be nice for the kids to have fancy-schmancy aprons to wear. I totally winged it and now you are benefitting from that since I photographed the whole process.

You will need:
  • 1 yard for the front
  • 1 yard for the back
  • 1/2 yard for ties ties and ruffle
  • 2-3 inches of velcro

This is more fabric than you will actually need, but I like to err on the side of too much fabric and make something else out of the scraps. You can get by with 3/4" of fabric for the front and back. You can even do it with a half yard if you unfold the fabric and fold it the other way. When you buy the fabric it is folded in half with selvedges edges opposite the fold. To use a smaller amount of fabric, refold the fabric so the cut edges are opposite the fold and the selvedge edges are perpendicular to the fold. Or go wild and just buy the whole yard!

I started off with a child's size apron the kids have. The lady at Joann's told me about this pattern making fabric. I thought I'd try it for this project. I love it. I don't remember what it's called, but I bet if you tell the fabric cutters what you are looking for they will be happy to help you. It feels like interfacing without the iron-on bumps. You can pin it a bunch and it doesn't rip like pattern paper.

Anyway, I folded the apron in half and marked out half an inch from all the straight sides for the seam allowance.

Connect all the dots and cut out the pattern piece.

I thought the top of the apron we had already wasn't wide enough. I measured on the kids to see what I thought it should be, extended the width, then drew the arc from the edge of the top to the edge of the lower part where the tie goes.

What do you mean you don't have a child's apron laying around to trace? Well, hopefully these measurements will help you.

This drawing is not to scale in any way.

Cut two on the fold. I layered the two fabrics (front and back) and cut out both at once.

Then cut your strips for the ties and ruffle. You will need strips measuring:
  • neck straps - 9 1/2" x 2 1/2" - cut 2
  • waist ties - 21" x 2" - cut 2
  • ruffle - 22" x 5" - cut 1

For the ruffle, fold the fabric in half long ways, right sides together, and stitch the short ends closed.

Clip the inside corner, turn it right side out, and press. Use a turning stick to make sure the corner is nice and crisp.

Using the longest stitch on your machine, stitch at 1/4" from the raw edge. Leave long tails of thread for pulling. Fold in half long ways and place a pin to mark the center.

Pull the strings to gather the ruffle.

Find the center of the bottom of one of the apron pieces and mark it with a pin. Now pin the ruffle to the right side of the bottom with raw edges and center pins matching.

Pin the end of the ruffle slightly over 1/2" away from the side of the apron front so it will not get caught in the seam when you sew the front and back together.

Sew the ruffle to the bottom of the front piece of the apron with a 1/4" seam.

For the neck straps and waist ties, fold in half long ways, right sides together and stitch both long sides and one short side. Clip corners, turn right side out, press, and top stitch.

Matching raw edges, attach the neck ties to the top of the apron front slightly over 1/2" from the edge with a 1/4" seam.

Matching raw edges, attach the waist ties to the side of the apron front slightly over 1/2" from the top of the side with a 1/4" seam.

After the ties have been secured to the apron, I like to use a safety pin to hold them in place while I sew the apron pieces together. This way they don't accidentally get caught in the seam which would require seam ripping and nasty sailor talk.

Safety pin the edge of the ruffle out of the way too. Be careful how far you fold that corner down, though so doesn't get caught in the bottom seam.

Make a little apron sandwich by placing the back of the apron over the front, right sides together. Pin.

Stitch all the way around with a 1/2" seam, leaving a hole for opening. I like to leave my hole midway up one of the sides. A 4" hole is usually nice for turning. Clip the corners and notch the armhole area.

Turn the apron right side out and use a turning stick to make the corners crisp. I also run the turning stick along each seam to make sure it is turned out well. Press. Topstitch.

Sew the velcro pieces onto the neck straps. Sew one facing the front and the other facing the back.

Ta-da! You are all done. These aprons make the perfect gift. Heather has taken them to three birthday girls this school year.

Of course, we couldn't part ways without the obligatory model shot. Don't mind the fact that the kids are in their jammies and have bed head. This size apron easily fits kids of several sizes/heights. The pattern can easily be adjusted by adding or subtracting an inch (or whatever) to the bottom or side.

The kids love to wear their aprons when we are canning or anytime they cook with us. When they put them on I hear them deciding out loud which side they will wear that day. Hey look, jammies again. We enjoy jammie time in our house!

So what are you waiting for? Go make a cute apron for a little girl for Christmas! Or birthday! Or just because! If you make one, I'd love to see it.

This post is being linked to Kimba's Do It Yourself Day.


Valerie said...

I love those! How pretty :) I've been wanting to learn how to sew but have been scared for some reason and then I see pretty these like those aprons and It makes me want to learn even more

Anonymous said...

Good day! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I'm absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

Feel free to visit my web-site: acoustic guitar chord