Sunday, November 02, 2008

Frugal hostess apron tutorial

I'm getting started on Christmas gifts (it's not that far off, you know!), and being as money is tighter than ever this year for us - and probably for you too - I'm planning on making most or all of my gifts this year. But if you've done handmade before, you know, as I do, that even that can start adding up quickly as you purchase your I've been looking for ways to use what I've already got on hand in order to lessen the cost of new supplies.

You know how I love aprons these days, right? I was totally inspired by this totally talented lady, who takes vintage skirts and turns them into adorable aprons. So, I went looking in my closet, and while I have no vintage skirts, per se, I certainly have some skirts that no longer fit me, and are merely taking up room in my closet in the hopes of one day in the future being worn again! I found this pink stripey skirt (Old Navy) taking up space, and knowing that my little sister is loving pink and brown these days, thought it would be perfect for her!

I'm going to attempt to take you along on this process - but please kindly remember that I've only been sewing since August - as in, less than 3 months - so when you see wonky seams and such, just look past them! :)

So, I started with the skirt, and since my sister is significantly smaller than me, I decided I would only need the front panel of the skirt.

So I used my seam ripper and ripped out the seams on the two sides, separating the front from the back.

Next, I stitched a 1/4 inch seam along each side of the front panel, which is the one I decided to use to make this apron. The edges of the fabric were already serged, so I didn't need to do anything else to finish the seams.

I chose this adorable Park Slope fabric (Free Spirit) to use for the ties and pocket. The length of your ties will be determined by the size of the person you are making the apron for, and whether you want the ties to be tied in the back or in the front. For this apron, I wanted the ties 30" long and 2" wide, so I added a 1/2" seam allowance and cut 4 pieces 31"x3".

Placing two pieces right side together, and making sure your prints match as far as direction, cut one end at an angle (I used the 45 degree angle on my cutting mat as a guide). Repeat for the other tie.

Using a 1/2" seam allowance, stitch all the way around the ties, starting on one side of the flat end, stitching the angled end closed, and ending at the other side of the flat end.

Turn the ties right side out, being sure to push out the tip of the angled end, and press ties.

Top-stitch all the way around ties, as close to the edges as possible.

Folding edge under, pin ties to the inside of the waistband on each side.

Stitch ties into place. (You probably don't need to overkill it here, as I did!)

For the pocket, I wanted to echo the designs in the fabric, so I placed a swatch of the fabric on my copier and photocopied it. I cut out the flower that was the shape I wanted for my pocket, then copied it again, enlarging it to the size I needed for my pocket.

After cutting out the enlarged flower, I used it as a template for the pocket. Since my template was the actual size I wanted (didn't include seam allowances), I used a fabric pencil to trace around the template about 1/2" outside the template. Then cut the fabric out.

Press a 1/4 inch seam all the way around the pocket, then press a second 1/4 inch seam on the top. Stitch all the way around it.

Finally, stitch the pocket to the apron (making sure you don't stitch across the top of the pocket!).

So that's it - a very frugal hostess apron!! I'd love to see pics if any of you give this a try!!


Sally said...

very cute! I'm sure your sister will love it!

Sally said...

I'm double excited because I really like this fabric...and I just looked, and there is a shop just down the road that sells the Free Spirit fabric!!!

Mama Parker said...

What a great idea! I always love the fabric that you select!!

Jodi said...

great idea & job! You made it look super easy, too! :)

.:Heather:. said...

looks great!

I also love the fabric you select!

You have great taste!

Kate said...

This is such a great idea! Thanks for the tutorial!

Andrea said...

Great idea!

Roy, Kristi, Hannah, Bethany and Abigail said...

Love it! So cute!

Shanna said...

For a beginning sewer, you did a fabulous job...and you have a good eye for color!

Blossom said...

This is a wonderful idea - what a great way to re-purpose a skirt!

I just popped over here from Sew Mama Sew...


suesueb said...

coming from sew mama sew. great tutorial! the apron came out so cute!!


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