Today is the final post in the 12 Days of Homemade Christmas series I’ve been running here at the blog (sniff! sniff!) – so fittingly I wanted to make sure it was a good one. I’m not sure where I got the idea to sew an apron, but sure enough I got that idea. And then I mentioned it to my pal Keri and she one-upped my idea and suggested I make a Mommy and matching daughter apron set for the post.
Nice idea, Keri, except one little problem. I don’t sew much at all….well, alright I did sew a scrunchy about a month ago, I’ll give you that, but hardly the experience one needs prior to sewing not one but TWO aprons (thankyouverymuchKeri!). That’s when I decided to call for reinforcements.
This is Haley. She is the reinforcements. (Along with her cute 2-year old daughter, Lily.) When I asked her if she’d help she was pretty much all “when can I be there?” LUV this girl.
And unlike yours truly, Haley does not get sensory overload when walking into Joann’s. This is a good thing because I would’ve likely spent about $50 on fabric not knowing what to get or how much to get. Thankfully, Haley directed me to the inexpensive fabric wall (that’s what I’d like to call it anyway) and told me a yard of each kind of fabric would do quite well. After some hemming and hawing (all puns intended), I selected two different patterns.
I bought one yard of this sweet blue print and then one yard of a contrasting brown print. Plus, I found a couple flower appliques and was able to use a 50% off coupon I found in the Sunday paper. Total cost? Try $12 – and that’s for BOTH aprons! Oh – and here’s a coupon tip since this is a coupon blog – if your Joann ad has two different coupons in it (say a 50% off one item on the front and a 40% off item on the back), you can use BOTH. You can’t use multiples of the same coupon, but you can use different coupons you have (provided none are expired, of course).
Here’s the sewing machine we used for this project:
This is the most basic of sewing machines I think you can buy. I made hubby grab it on Black Friday at Kmart a few years ago for about $30. (And then of course, it promptly sat in a box collecting dust until about a month ago.) Bottom line, any simple sewing machine will do. Beyond that, I recommend you gather:
- Fabric scissors
- Seam ripper (just in case)
- Measuring tape
- Iron & ironing board
Pretty basic, really.
The first thing we did was cut out all of our pieces. What we decided to do was make the primary fabric for the little girl’s apron blue and use the brown fabric for the trim, and then reverse that for the mom’s apron. The main sections of this apron are: the bib, ties (both neck & waist), apron, and skirt (we added a ruffle trim).
So here’s how it’s going to go down. I’m going to share some loose instructions based on my observations, but I’ve compiled Haley’s notes on what we did have included them at the very bottom of this post. Read through the next set of instructions and photos to give you a general idea, but do refer to Haley’s step-by-step notes for more targeted help. Got it? Good! On that note…let’s get started.
Haley had this special rotary cutter and cutting boards her mom uses for quilting. It made the cutting much quicker, but of course, good ol’ scissors would do the trick here as well.
We did the ties first. You basically turn the fabric on the backside and hem along the edge and hem just one side. Then you flip over the edges of them and iron them down, like so:
At this point, flip the tie right-side out. and iron in half. Voila. Repeat this process with the other three ties.
After sewing the ties, Haley worked on the sash (which is the same print). Here Haley is hemming the sash of the Mom’s apron.
Then, the ruffle for the bottom. To make the gathered, ruffle edge: use the longest stitch and the highest tension on your machine. It’s magic! When you’re done, make sure to change back the settings!
Line up the ruffle to the skirt and sew it on.
Here Haley sews the ruffle onto the bottom of the skirt. Notice how she has pinned it – the raw edge of the ruffle is going to be hidden on the backside of the skirt. She also used pinking sheers to trim the fabric to keep it from fraying. (I think this is a nice step, but not something you MUST do.)
Haley was really smart to remember to iron after nearly every step. While it might seem like a bit of a nuisance, it really helped keeping those hems flat and the stitches straight.
We decided to add a pocket. There was nothing terribly precise or fancy here – we just cut a rectangle, hemmed it and sewed it on. Simple.
Tuck the top of the skirt into the sash and sew.
Haley models the apron at about half complete! Now, you could sew the sash ties on and call it a day. However, you could continue with the bib portion, which is exactly what we did.
Here Haley tucks in the sash pieces to prep them for sewing. When she sewed the ties in place, she used a zig-zag stitch to help reinforce them. Do the same thing when attaching the neck ties to the bib.
So close now! Haley pins on the hemmed bib to attach to the rest of the apron.
Haley used that zig-zag stitch again for attaching the bib to the sash. And there you have it! For the little girl’s apron, we just repeated the process, making it smaller. When dealing with the tinier ties, we didn’t worry as much about rolling and ironing all the hems as neatly.
What do you think? Unlike say, the brownie mix which took all of 2 minutes to make, this homemade gift may take a bit more time depending on your sewing abilities. If you’re pretty comfortable with sewing, I imagine you could still whip out an adult sized apron in about an hour or so, and both aprons in under two. What really impressed me was the cost – can you believe we made BOTH aprons for $12? Pretty awesome if you ask me!
So there you have it folks – 12 homemade Christmas gifts in 12 days! If you missed any, do make sure to head back and check out the index page! A huge thank you to Haley for meeting up with me on THREE separate occasions for today’s post (Haley, you’re pretty much AWESOME). Another huge thanks to my pals Bringing Crafty Back for letting me tag team on this month’s series. (If you all aren’t following their blog already, you need to be!).
I’d love to hear from you – which of these posts will you be recreating this Christmas? Were you inspired to consider making instead of buying some of your gifts this year? Any other thoughts or feedback?
Haley’s Apron Notes
These are roughly what we used. Of course, you could switch up a bit if you wish. For the child’s apron, figure out what % of the adult’s size you wish to make and recalculate the measurements.
- Waist Ties (x2): 34″ X 5.5″
- Neck Ties (x2): 33.5″ X 3.5″
- Ruffle Trim: 27.5″ X 3.5″
- Sash: 19.5″ X 6.5″
- Skirt: 23″ X 13″
- Bib: 15″ Wide at the bottom; 10″ Wide at the top X 11.5″ (slightly triangular shape for the bib)
- Pocket: we just cut a rectangle shape – cut one out in the size of your choice!
1. Waist ties: Hem 1 end and the side of the waist ties, forming the corners. Flip inside out, and press.
2. Pocket: press and miter the corners.
1. Hem the bottom edge .25″ roll 2 times. Miter the corners. Sew only the bottom corners and stop 2 in. From top. Ruffle the top edge. Longest stitch and highest tension.
2. On the top of the skirt piece, iron a backwards roll of raw edges under + 3/4″, then another back the other way 3/4″, creating your 2″ “guide line.”
3. Lay the ruffle edge of the trim along the ironed line, and pull the ruffle so it is even and lines up with the skirt piece. Pin in place so the edge is against the 2″ guide line.
4. Sew ruffle on bottom edge of skirt piece, with the joining stitch line at 1.5″, inside the 2″ line, making sure your ruffle gather stitch is on the edge side of the joining stitch.
5. Now, fold over the pre-pressed edge on the underside and pin in place.
6. Stitch along the top edge, parallel to the previous stitch line, hiding the raw edges in the fold.
7. Iron the sides of the whole skirt, including the ruffle with a tuck of the raw edge, matching the side hem on the ruffle. Pin in place.
8. Sew the side hem.
1. Iron raw edges of the sash length-wise. Then, iron raw edges on the short ends. then, iron it in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.
2. Ruffle gather the top edge of the skirt piece.
3. Fit it evenly to the length of the sash and pin in place, with the ruffled edge about 1/2 inch from the edge.
4. Sew it in place close to the edge of the sash, with the new joining stitch on the outside of the ruffle stitch.
5. Place raw ends of the waist tie pieces into the slots on the sides of the sash, and pin in place.
1. Iron the side edges to match the skirt side hems.
2. Iron down the top raw edge of the bib, then unfold it for the next step.
3. Place the pre-made strap tubes along the edge of the top of the bib, lining them up with the side hem lines ironed in step 1. Stitch a simple basting stitch to hold into place.
3. Now, fold the edge ironed in step 2. Fold down again 1″. Iron in place, then pin in place.
4. Sew a line across the top of the bib, securing the neck straps in place.
5. Hem the edges of the bib, hiding the raw edge, matching the hem length of the sides of the skirt.
6. Iron a 1/4 inch edge on the bottom edge of the bib, on the “wrong side” (right sides facing each other.)
7. Line the ironed edge up with the top edge of the sash. And pin in place.
8. Sew a stitch close to the edge of the bib.
9. Sew a parallel line along the edge of the sash, matching parallel line widths with the other edge of the sash. Carry this stitch in a rectangle shape, down the sides of the sash, and create an inner parallel line to the bottom stitch line of the sash. This sews in the waist pieces and reinforces the sash.
10. Sew an outer reinforcing stitch on the side edges of the sash, further securing the waist tie pieces.