Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Birthday Apron

My cousin’s daughter has a birthday coming up in December. To keep her birthday from being over-shadowed by Christmas, we try to have presents ready by Thanksgiving. This year we learned she is showng an interest in cooking and baking -- which I love! My sister and I decided to get her an easy bake oven -- can't believe I actually bought one -- and wanted something to go along with it. I’ve been curious about sewing aprons for a while now and decided this would be the perfect time to attempt one. First, she’s turning 9 so any glaring mistakes I made would not be super obvious to her and second, if I failed miserably, we still had the easy bake oven to give.

I looked through a couple books and read some techniques before deciding that I wanted to make a reversible ruffled half apron with a pocket. I took some measurements on myself to decide what size I needed to cut my fabric, and went to work! Since this is an apron and inevitably going to get dirty, I made sure to wash, dry, and press the fabric before cutting!

I picked two coordinating pieces of fabric and started by cutting out two rectangles from both -- I made mine 28"x16". I then cut out the pocket I wanted to attach to one side. There are many ways you can attach the pocket but I chose to line mine with some ribbon I had...

Sew two pieces together -- one right side facing one wrong side so when attached, the inner pocket would have a right side showing, although I don't think this matters or is even necessary…

Invert and press!

Once I had my pocket put together, I top-stitched it onto one of the rectangles. Next time, I think I'll add a pocket to both sides so it is truly reversible.

I then sewed the two rectangles together -- right sides facing one another. Make sure to leave the top completely open!

After sewing the three sides, I turned it right side out and pressed. To get the ruffle in the apron, I had to attempt a basting stitch once again, which made me nervous. Luckily, since my first attempt, I had discovered a quick reference guide for my sewing machine complete with a basting stitch! I went to work changing the settings on my machine and did a quick basting stitch along the top of my apron panels. I then tied the thread at one end of my stitch -- to keep it from pulling out completely -- and began pulling one thread from the other end. To my surprise, it worked a million times better than my first try! From the measurements I took on myself, I knew I wanted the top of my apron to be 20 inches long, so I ruffled the panel until I was left with that amount. I then tied the other end of the thread to keep the length from changing and distributed my ruffles evenly and to my liking.

All that was left was attaching the waistband and ties! I knew one length of my fabric would not be long enough for tying a pretty bow, so I decided to make one section 20 inches long -- to incase the top -- and each side would be one full length of fabric. I wanted my waistband to be about 2 inches thick, so I cut each piece 5 inches wide -- that gave me enough to fold over and hem.

First, I attached each of the three pieces along their short sides so I'd have one lone strip -- with the 20 inch one in the middle. I then folded in the two short sides about an inch in and pressed. Next, I folded the long strip in half and pressed.

I then unfolded the strip of fabric and folded each edge inward about ½ inch and pressed again.

Next, I folded along my first middle fold and pressed once again to complete my waistband and ties.
I centered the middle section over the top of my apron, pinned in place, and attached with a normal top-stitch.

Once the top was attached, I continued to sew along the ties, closing them together.

And that was it! I now have a very cute apron for my cousin that I hope she loves and inspires her to bake! I don’t have a picture of the reverse side, but it is the polka dot pattern without a pocket -- which I will be sure to add next time.

Hopefully Reese will be baking us some delicious treats for Christmas this year!

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