Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tutorial: Easy Apron

Need an apron for summer barbecues... or an inexpensive gift?

Or to protect your clothes while you hurriedly cook splattering spaghetti sauce as your hungry kids cling to your legs? C'mon, I know I can't be the only one whose pre-dinner scene looks something like this (smile added for photo): This apron is very simple to make, don't let those pockets fool you ... and avoids all of the most tedious parts of sewing. No hemming. No cutting out a pattern.

All you need is two dishtowels (*note added* these towels were 15" x 26") and a few strips of fabric:
2 strips 5" x 45" for waist ties
2 strips 4" x 22" for neck ties
I used coordinating, but not matching strips that I had left over from a quilt.
Optional: 8 inches of thin elastic

To begin, lay on of your dishtowels face down. Fold the bottom edge (if there is a specific pattern you want to keep at the top) up 5 inches.

Turn the towel face up, holding the folded edge in place. Fold bottom edge again, another 5 inches:

Take the second dish towel and, with the long edge perpendicular to the short, folded side of the first towel, tuck it under the fold... making sure it is centered:

Another view to show the second towel layered under the top fold of the first towel:

You now have something that looks like this:

Now, make the ties by folding each strip lengthwise, right sides together and stitching across the end and down the side. Leave one short end open to turn. Turn and press. Top stitch if you desire:
Now, tuck the unfinished edge of each tie, under the edges of the top fold, lining up the tie with the top edge of the bottom half of the apron. Pin in place and secure by stitching as the red lines show in the picture below. This joins the two towels, attaches the ties and creates two pockets:

For the apron top, there are two variations. One uses a small pleat (blue). The other uses a little elastic (lime green). Choose which option you like best then follow the corresponding instructions below.

If you like the pleated top, fold the top corners over 1.5" (point to fold) keeping short sides of the triangle perpendicular to the top and side edge. Pin and stitch around edge of triangle.

For the top with the gathered sides, fold the corners over 2.5 inches (from fold to point) keeping the short sides of the triangle (blue lines) perpendicular to the top and side edges of the apron top. Pin. Take your elastic and cut it in half, leaving 4 inches for each side. Tuck the elastic under the fold (red line), pinning in place at each end. Using a long, zigzag stitch, stitch over the edge with elastic sandwiched in the fold line (red line), stretching the elastic to fit the length of the folded edge. Using a straight stitch, sew the corner (blue lines) of the triangle in place.

For either apron, attach the neck ties by pinning the tie (unfinished edge) right next to the edge of the corner triangle. Sew a small rectangle to hold the tie in place.

If you are making the apron with the pleats, now is the time to fold a small pleat just inside of each neck strap. The size of the plead depends on the size of the person (probably unnecessary if the apron is for a man) but 1/2 inch worked for me. Stitch along top edge to secure pleat.

Enjoy your apron, or the compliments from your friends when you give them a handmade gift.
A special thanks to my sister Meredith for her help with the photos. She got these shots in just a few minutes, with three little ones underfoot. Love her!


Dottie and June said...

Beautiful!!! I love it! Thanks for sharing! Have a great day!

Sal-my-gal said...

For cute! I could use an apron.

Saedi said...

Aly, you truly are AMAZING!

Twee Poppets said...

Following you from FMF. Hope you'll come follow me back! :)

This is such a cute apron! Great post!

Angela Brian said...

i am your newest follower from friday follow!
i hope you can check me out sometime:
i can't wait to see what you post about next!


Kris said...

How do you come up with this stuff? You've always been so creative...I'm jealous. ( : I wish we lived closer so we could still hang out - we do need to get together soon. Love all your creations & your sister is an amazing photographer. Maybe I'll have to plan a trip to see you AND book her to take some pics of my kids. Hmmmmm, that's not a bad idea.

Anne said...

LOVE this apron!! I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


Natalia said...

Love it! Just one question. Dishtowels come in a lot of sizes. Can you tell us what measurements yours were? I can imagine some towels making a too tiny or too huge one. Some people might have to adjust the height of the pocket folds to suit their height and/or the length of their towels. Wonderful project! TFS!!

StepThruCrazy said...

Awesome! It's even easy enough for me to try! Off to the dollar store for me! Thanks for the ideas!


Alissa said...

Great work! I'll have to try this one.

Amber said...

Started making mine yesterday afternoon and got done with it today. I decided to use the elastic on the side sinc eI am not a fan of pleats but I didn't have my elastic stretched far enough and the fabric didn't gather. Oh well its still pretty and now I have a nice apron to use without spending a fortune on one. Thanks for the tutorial!

Anonymous said...

Love it! Gonna make it! When I've completed all my other projects of course...

Katie said...

Started making this this afternoon, finished this evening, just in time for Christmas! This was so very easy to make, great tutorial, thanks so much.

Patti said...

This is way cute and will be fast and easy to make. I don't see a way to pin this or save it to Pinterest though. I save my "future" projects on Pinterest and would love to pin this apron tutorial. If there is a way that I'm missing can you let me know. Thanks, and thank you for sharing this very cute apron tute!