Or more realistically, A What Not To Do Tutorial, otherwise known as a Comedy of Errors.
I use tutorials quite a bit in my career and am immensely grateful for them. I decided, since I have been planning to make this apron anyway, why not make a tutorial at the same time? Sure! Great idea!
First, have your husband take a couple of the kids to the vet and to buy a two row sweet corn planter. Then get the baby down for her nap. Have the biggest sister read to the little brother.
Gather your materials. You’ll need
An iced coffee.
Depending on if you contrast fabrics or make it out of the same one, you’ll need about a 1/2 of a yard of fabric. I used leftovers from other projects. A couple of fat quarters would be perfect for the apron, but you’ll need a standard 45″ width for the apron ties.
You’ll also need several inches of double fold bias tape. I happened to have some that came in my sewing machine table drawer from when I bought it at an auction several years ago, so that was handy. I have never used store bought bias tape before this project. This should be fun!
what you really want is your fabric to be about 12 inches long in the end. You need a few inches for seam allowance and sticking the apron up into the waistband. I did 17 because I wasn’t sure how much room I’d need for the clothespins. (mistake #1).
I ended up folding up a few inches because after I used it the first time, it was too long for my hands to easily reach the clothespins. I made it 16 inches wide, because that was all I had left of the bird fabric and I really wanted to use it. (mistake #2) And of course, I didn’t want sideways birds while I’m here hanging up clothes, on the farm, with no one to look at me but the cats and kiddles, because that would just have driven me nuts every single time I used it. But if I were you I’d make it at least 20 inches wide. Fat quarters are 22″ and that would be just perfect!
To reiterate, ideal cutting measurements are 22″ wide by 14″ long. To make the pockets, nip off a corner of the top fabric while it’s folded. I went down about seven inches and curved in almost a right angle. This plan worked out!
Pin your bias tape to the top fabric pockets. Sew.
If you miss some of your bias tape (mistake #3), make sure you go back over it. This is easier to do before your apron’s all assembled (mistake #4).
Now you’re going to sew your apron pieces together and flip it right side out.
Normally, when you do this procedure you put right sides together. Thusly.
DO NOT DO THIS! (mistake #5)
You want the right side of the bottom piece to be facing the inside of the top piece when you flip them right side out. You should layer them with the right side of your top piece facing the wrong side of your bottom piece.
If you don’t listen to my advice, you’re going to have to sew another panel onto your bottom piece, like so.
Sew the wrong sides together, flip that right side out and carry on as if nothing happened.
Also, double check you didn’t miss any edges and have a hole in your new apron already. (mistake #6). If you do, sew it up!
photo by three year old assistant
Now you’re (finally) ready for your waistband. What you really should do is measure across your middle and that is how wide you should make your waistband. Or, you could just really want to use this fabric in your apron, because it’s all you have left from when you made a dear friend her apron for her birthday, so you make it as wide as you can with the fabric you have. In my case that was 14 inches. I made the little bump just to be fancy.
You know aprons are fancy.
Then you’ll sew wrong sides together (mistake #7) along the top only.
Know what’s a good idea? Making sure you flip BOTH pieces to wrong sides, not just the one you see. I could blame a husband or miscellaneous children, because I know I started to get interrupted about now, but as this was not my first error…probably I won’t.
Know what else is a good idea? Not using a really tiny stitch when you sew them wrong. (mistake #8) I decided to just leave it. Even though it will annoy me, I just zigzagged the raw edges. I couldn’t flip them so I didn’t have raw edges, you see, because I had frugally used the selvage edge of my fabric, planning for it to be on the back of the band where no one would see it.(mistake #9) I decided the raw edge was the lesser of the two annoyances.
When you’re done with correcting all your mistakes—no scratch that, YOU won’t make any mistakes, because I’ve already done them for you—, you’ll insert your apron into the waistband. You’ll need to turn up the edges of your fabric so you don’t have any raw edges showing. I usually fold down about a 1/2 “, iron, fold my raw edge into that crease, and iron again. If you know of a faster way, please tell me.
Insert your apron into the bottom of your waistband, taking care to not catch and cut your thumb on the needle for the first time ever (mistake #10).
If you misplace (somehow) both of your pairs of sewing scissors, even though you just had them, do not think that your son’s school scissors will actually cut thread, even though they will cut into the upholstery of the dining room chairs given enough tenaciousness.
Moving on to the apron ties. I like wide ties. So I cut two 45″ lengths of six inch wide fabric. The only one I had enough of was the blue. So I picked that.
Fold it in half and sew along the long end. If you want to get fancy (again) cut a 45 degree triangle off the end of it. Turn it right side out. It doesn’t take long if you like wide ties like me.
If you need to turn narrower strips, I highly recommend a tube turner. (Those are the ones I have, but I didn’t get them there; I don’t usually shop at Walmart). Once you figure out the directions, you will thank me. (There are also youtube videos, if the directions still don’t make sense.)
Gather the end of your apron tie a bit, fold your raw edges in on the sides of your waistband and insert. I made sure I inserted it at least 3/4″, because I have been known to be a bit skosh (pronounced with a long O) and had to re-do the entire thing. (I’m sure this comes as a big surprise to you.)
Sew it well.
Voilà! You’re done! And all before the baby woke up from her nap, despite all the mistakes, which proves if you do it right the first time, this is a very quick project.
Now go hang some clothes!
My photographer is short, and was trying very hard to get the apron in the photos. I promise, I really do have a head.
The first time my bum was ever on my blog. (at least to my knowledge)