Monday, December 20, 2010
Guest Post: ShisoMama's child sized apron tutorial!
Readers, we are so lucky today: Mimi from ShisoMama just sent us a fabulous guest post, a tutorial for a child's apron! This is a perfect last minute Christmas gift idea, especially if you have some experience sewing and have the supplies on hand already. If you aren't familiar with her blog (and I am sure that lots of you out there already are!) be sure to check it out, as well as her wonderful shop.
My son just started kindergarten this year, and there has been a
steady onslaught of birthday parties! I usually try to make something
for his friends instead of buying something, and I've been making
these aprons/art smocks as gifts. I guess it shows my own biases, but I figure every kid likes to cook or make art every once in a while,
right? After a few different designs, I've decided I like this one
the best, because you can adjust it to fit a variety of sizes (it
works well for my 2 year old and my almost-5 year old). It's so fast
and easy you can even try to make one as a last minute Christmas
present! I use coated cotton - it's water-resistant and there are so
many great designs out there now for boys and girls (I just saw some
great Echino today at the fabric store that would make such a cute
Here's what you need:
2/3 yard of fabric will make at least 2, depending on the width of your fabric
2 yards of 3/4" twill tape - did you know it came in all kinds of
exciting colors now?
1" single fold bias tape
1/4" double fold bias tape (optional, for your pocket)
Start by drafting a basic pattern on a large piece of paper - we always have some kraft paper at home, courtesy of Ikea, but newspaperwill work as well in a pinch. Fold your paper in half lengthwise and start with a basic rectangle shape. Then draw in the curve, which you can do freehand.
Cut out your fabric and get ready to sew.
When sewing vinyl or coated fabrics, I use this little trick because I don't have a teflon foot. I cover the bottom of my regular foot with tape, which helps move the fabric and prevent the usual "stickiness" of those fabrics. You'll definitely want to do this if you're using coated cotton.
Fold over the edges of the straight apron sides 1". I always use my Hera folder and clear ruler to make fast work of marking straight seam allowances but don't worry if you don't have one of these folders.
Press down the edges with the folder or with your fingers. (You can't use an iron if you're using coated cotton, or else it will melt!)
Fold your seam allowance in half again so that the raw edge is encased. If you want to skip this step and don't mind having a less finished look, you can just turn it up once and pink or serge the edge instead.
Now repeat these steps for the top and bottom of the apron so that all the straight edges of the apron have been hemmed.
Open your 1" bias binding and sew it to the curved edges of the right side of the apron, turning over the edge of the binding at the start and end for clean edges. Clip the curves and turn the bias tape to the wrong side of the fabric, flattening the seam with your fingers.
Stitch your bias tape down to the wrong side of the apron on the unattached edge, creating a "channel" for your twill tape.
Now add a pocket. There are so many different pockets out and you can choose whichever one you like. Here's the pocket I made, which I bound with bias to provide some contrast.
Fold down top of the pocket 1/2" and stitch.
Open up your 1/4" bias tape, and stitch to the sides and bottom of your pocket, folding over the edge of the bias tape at the beginning and end so that you have finished ends.
Topstitch the pocket into place along the binding. I like to use masking tape to keep the pocket in place.
This pocket is pretty big, so I sewed it into 3 sections. You can sew it freeform if you're daring, or use your handy masking tape again to help sew a straight line. Make sure you reinforce your stitching at the top of the pocket, because those will be stress points.
Finish the ends of your twill tape by folding twice to encase the raw edge and stitching. Using a large bobby-pin, thread the twill tape through both channels of your apron and adjust the tape so the ends are even and there is enough room for your child's head.
Voila! Now teach your kid how to make dinner so you can kick back with a cocktail, will ya?