Monday, July 30, 2007

Lined Apron Tutorial

I was going to call this a child's apron but really you just need to adjust the measurements for the person you are making it for and it can be for any size.

It's also important to let you know that much of what I sew I make up as I go along. There are no hard or fast rules and hopefully after you have made one you can then make different versions using the basic technique and measurements. If you notice something doesn't work let me know. So here goes.........

The Basics

Measurements: these are fairly loose and can depend on how much fabric you have and the size of the person. I know that sounds vague but really, as it ties up it can fit lots of different sizes. I have written metric measurements.

You need to cut 1 skirt, 1 skirt lining, 1 waistband, 1 pocket, 1 pocket lining and 2 ties and 2 tie lining.

For the skirt and skirt lining:

Length: Measure from the waist to the desired length. I don't like these aprons to be too long - just above the knee should be perfect.

Width: Measure from one side of the back around to the other side of the back so that you leave a gap for the bow to sit. You don't want it to cross over at all or the apron will be too big and won't tie properly.

You then need to add extra to the skirt width to allow for the gathering. Again this can depend on how much you want it to gather or how much fabric you have. You may not want it to gather at all which would also be fine. Just leave out Step 4 and cut the skirt the same width as the waistband.

Then add a seam allowance of 1.5cm.

For the Waistband:

Use the same waist measurement for the length of the waistband. For the width 4-5cm is plenty for a child but you may wish to make the adult one a bit wider - anywhere up to 6-7cm wide. Again this is personal choice.

Then add a seam allowance of 1.5cm.

Ties and pocket:

For the pocket it really depends again on how large the person is and how big you want the pocket to be. The finished size of this pocket is 15cm. You will cut two pocket pieces - one out of the lining and one out of the main fabric.

For the ties you need to make them long enough to tie and not so long they hang down. I think around 60-65cm ties are fine. These ties are 5cm wide finished. Remember to add on the 1.5cm seam allowance. This particular version uses the lining and the main fabric - so cut two ties from the main fabric and two from the lining fabric.

For example, these were my apron measurements:

33cm from waist to just above the knee and 56cm around the waist to the mid side back. I then added the seam allowances of 1.5cm on each side and top and bottom and an extra 13cm for the gathering of the skirt.

Skirt & lining= 36cm x 72cm

56cm waist measurement plus 1.5 seam allowance. The width is 4cm x 2 (because the waistband is folded) plus seam allowances.

Waistband = 59cm x 11cm

Ties = 66cm x 8cm

Pocket & lining = 18cm x 18cm

Step 1: The Pocket

There are several options for the pocket. If you wish to add ric rac you may sew it straight across the pocket or sew it within the seam so that only half of the ric rac sits out along the edge of the pocket making it into a frilled edge.

Option a: To sew the ric rac flat onto the pocket just pin it in the position you would like it and stitch. Then with right sides facing pin side and top seams leaving the bottom open and stitch

Option b: With right sides facing, sandwich the ric rac between the pocket and the pocket lining along the top seamline and pin (pic 1). Then turn the pocket right side out to see if it is lined up (pic 2). Pin the side seams as well leaving the bottom open and stitch (Pic 3).

Pic 1

Pic 2

Pic 3

For both options, trim the seams and clip the corners (Pic 4 & 5). Turn right side out and press the bottom seam allowance up inside the pocket (Pic 6). Press whole pocket (Pic 7).

Pic 4

Pic 5

Pic 6

Pic 7

Step 2: Attaching the pocket

Pin the pocket to the apron front. When positioning, make sure you allow for when it is gathered. Stitch.

I have added a row of ric rac at the bottom of the apron which is also optional. Pin in the position you want it and stitch.

Step 3: The apron skirt

With right sides facing pin the lining to the apron front.

Stitch. Trim seams and clip the corners. Turn right side out, making sure you push out the corners properly, and press.

At this point it is optional whether or not you top stitch. I liked the look of top stitching on this apron.

Step 4: Gathering the skirt

Set your machine stitch length to a long stitch. Without back stitching at the start or the finish sew across the top of the apron skirt. Repeat this just inside the first row of stitching.

Take the bottom thread of each row of stitching and holding the apron skirt pull into a gather. Do this on both sides of the apron skirt until the apron fits the width of the waistband not including the seam allowances.

Step 5: Attaching the waistband

At this point while making the apron I decided that the waistband wouldn't be stiff enough to sit properly so I attached a lightweight interfacing - iron on vilene. Again, this is completely optional. Just cut a piece that measures half the waistband and iron on.

With the right sides facing pin the waistband to the apron skirt making sure the gathers are even. Stitch.

Step 6: Making the ties

With right sides facing pin the ties together leaving one end open. Stitch. Trim seams and clip the corners. Turn right side out, making sure you push the corners out properly, and press.

Step 7: Pleating the ties

To fit the ties into the waistband, I sew in a little pleat at the top of the tie. Just fold and stitch, making sure they are opposite and don't go in the same direction - see the picture.

Step 8: Attaching the ties to the waistband

Fold the waistband in half with the right sides facing. Pin each side sandwiching the ties in the seam. Stitch.

Trim the seam and clip the corners. Turn the waistband right side out and press.

It is now optional whether you hand sew the waistband to the apron skirt lining or top stich it down. On this apron I have top stitched it all the way around. Again it depends on the look you want or how much time you have etc.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

More Birthdays and more FO's

Another quick post. It's late and I have just spent ages working on the tutorial. Honestly I should have finished it ages ago but it is very fiddly inserting photos and making sure the words match up. I have finished it and am going to be brave and publish it. I hope it works and that those of you that don't sew much can make sense of it and those of you who do sew lots don't think it's a load of rubbish. Sorry it has taken so long.

I have a couple of finished objects to show you. The first is an apron I made for Lucinda's friend Oliver whose 5th Birthday party was today. He is very keen on cooking and has been helping his Dad with the dinner since his baby brother was born a couple of weeks ago. Happy Birthday Oliver!

The other is a bag I made for my sister whose Birthday was today. We had a very yummy afternoon tea at my Mum's with the family.

So now that I have those projects out of the way I am Birthday free for a little while. That means I can get a few older UFOs done and off the list. Stay tuned.........

Monday, July 23, 2007

I'm still here!

Just so you don't think I have disappeared forever, here is a quick post with a photo of my completed doll quilt for the Doll Quilt Swap II. I have been very busy with this as I did the whole thing by hand and with a toddler in the house I have to stay up late to work on it. It is now on it's way to my swap partner and I'm a little sad to part with it. It's the first time I have finished an entirely hand made quilt. I think that's the joy of doing a doll quilt, they are so achievable. I will definitely sign up for the next swap.

Once my partner recieves it I will go into some detail behind the design.

I had great plans to enter this competition and have started a bag for myself (for a change). Unfortunately I am just way too tired to finish it by today's deadline. I also have a bag and apron to finish by Sunday for two special Birthdays. So that can be my next post.

Oh and by the way, check this out. How nice! I really want to make some more things out of the Mod Girl fabric it's just gorgeous and the colours are beautiful - what a talented lady!

Next I have two quilts to complete and one to start for a special new little man. I think I'm a bit addicted to quilts now....

Monday, July 9, 2007

Look who's here!

Welcome to the world Lochie Jay and congratulations to my friends Daphne, Alex, Mia and Oliver!

Isn't he beautiful! He arrived on Thursday a few days short of his big sister Mia's Birthday which is today - Happy Birthday Mia.

I have another reveal for you.....

This is a little sneak peak of the doll's quilt for the swap. I don't want to show too much as I would like it to be a big surprise for my partner.

I have to mail it by the 18th so I had better get cracking!

It's school holidays at the moment so we have been quite busy. Chloe went to her friend Mia's birthday party on Sunday and I made her an apron.

I packaged it in one of my favourite apple baskets with some cute matching utensils - we LOVE the jelly mould!

And I am about half way through writing the apron tutorial - it's harder than I thought. I will post it by the end of the week.

I leave you tonight with the fabulous Lucinda who is going to Lukas' 'Spooky' party on Wednesday as a cat. She put this outfit on this morning and wore it all day - with much miaowing in between. She's such a funny little person!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Done, finished, completed!

I have some finished work to show you!

On Tuesday night I had the pleasure of joining Lucinda at kinder for a Mummy's pyjama party. It was hilarious! We had our makeup and hair done, made bunches of flowers out of cupcake papers and pipecleaners and participated in some wonderful songs and dances. Sadly it was Lucinda's teacher's last week as after 8 years she is off to another kinder. She received an Ipod from everyone but I wanted to make her a little something extra for Lucinda to give her. A tissue holder seemed the perfect answer - and it was nice and quick!

Kathy was a fantastic teacher and got the kids to do some really interesting work. The latest piece is a life size picture of themselves. They had to lie down and be drawn around and then paint it. I love Lucinda's. Can you tell her new favourite colour is purple?

I finally finished Chloe's pinafore. It is black cord with a heart shaped pocket lined with red and white polka dots with a couple of cherries to finish. I think it looks great and she seems pretty happy too. Chloe is always receptive to things I make - with Lucinda it's a bit hit and miss. She's also very happy to model stuff for me!

Yesterday was Lucinda's friend Lukas' 5th Birthday. The girls drew a picture of a monster they wanted to give him and I made it up. I stupidly haven't taken a photo of the original drawing (I will for my next post), but here is one of the Birthday boy enjoying the finished product.

Poor Lukas picked up some bug and was too sick to have his 'Spooky' party. It is going to be during the holidays instead. Did you have a close look at this beautiful boy's eyelashes - just gorgeous!

And finally here are a few pictures of the apron I made for Chloe's friend who had her 8th Birthday party yesterday.

Chloe really wanted the chocolate brown and orange combination and as Bella's party was a cooking theme we found some really cute utensils to go with it.

And yes, this is the tutorial apron! I have taken all the photos and now just need to go through the slow process of loading them up and adding the words.

So the next two weeks are school holidays. Hopefully there will be a little sleeping in, a bit of clearing out the house and a whole lot of fun. We're off to Disney on Ice which is a tradition for the July holidays. My friend Daphne is due to have her baby in the next week or so. I'm on standby to race to her house to mind the older children as her babies come quick and I am only a couple of street's away. I'm very excited and of course, it means another project to add to the list!

Next post I promise a little teaser of the dolls quilt for the swap...........