lately, there were fights going on in my kitchen whenever the littlest one wanted to help me cook. she wanted an apron but didn't have one of her own. naturally, she grabbed the smallest one on the rack - a red and aqua number her just-older sister brought home from a baking birthday party about two years ago. also naturally, just-older sister didn't want her precious apron being worn and dirtied by littlest sister. hence, the fighting.
and hence the reason i spent about an hour yesterday morning putting together a small and simple apron.
i made a larger apron out of two fat quarters for an older daughter over a year ago and referred to that post as i guessed my way through this one. really, it is so simple.
with a needed apron in mind, a few days ago, littlest sister (d5) and i rummaged through the spare fat quarter basket for a print she liked. serendipitously, later that same day i happened upon two and a half yards of cast off ribbon, that may or may not have been slightly grubby from being played with. the ribbon was a color match to the fabric selected. done and done. it wasn't 2" wide like i would have preferred, but it saved me a trip to the fabric store, where lies too much temptation and waiting in lines.
so this is all you need for a quick and easy child's apron:
- 1 fat quarter
- 2 - 2.5 yds of 1" or 2" wide grosgrain ribbon
- thread, blending or contrasting
photography tip - sometimes it helps to stand directly above what you are trying to shoot, even if it's on the table and you have to balance precariously on the table and can't manage to cut your foot out of the shot. some maybe your foot is in the shot, but it's also a nice, flat aerial view of what's on the table. actually, i just wanted to show off my blue toes.
step one - prewash your fabrics
(which i forgot to do! darn it. i even did not make the apron a day earlier because i was waiting to wash the fabrics. fail.)
step two - cut pieces
a fat quarter is approximately 18" x 21" when squared. mine was actually 19" x 21". just go with whatever you have. measure 10" down the shorter (18") side of your fat quarter and cut it in two, resulting in a skirt piece (top) which measures 10" x 21", and another piece (bottom) which is 8" x 21". (or maybe 9" x 21" like mine.) and if you accidentally cut it the other way, you will have a skirt that is slightly less wide by 3". no big deal. don't start over.
subcut the 8" x 21" piece to get an 8" x 9" bodice piece. i fussy cut my bodice piece so i could have that bird placed on the bodice where i wanted it.
set aside scraps for another project. (or, if you're making two aprons at once, and you didn't fussy cut, you could use this as the bodice piece for the second apron!)
cut the ribbon into three pieces measuring about 56", 19", and 19" long each. i did this by folding my 2.5 yds in half and cutting, then cutting one of the pieces in half again. (you can make do with 2 yds by cutting your waist tie shorter, and making the neck ties shorter and adding velcro for the closure. see options at the end for this.)
step three - hem the bodice and skirt
i created a 1/4" rolled hem on the top and sides of my bodice piece, and on the bottom and sides of my skirt piece. to help me get a crisp and accurate fold for my hem, i used my hera quilt marker to crease/score the fabric at 1/4" and 1/2". you could use a pencil mark or just eyeball this, too.
if you like, you can attach the neck tie ribbons into the top hem seam of the bodice. see step 5 below.
leaving yourself a few inches of thread tail at the beginning and end, sew a basting seam at the top of the skirt. do this by setting your seam length as long as your machine will allow (or perhaps you have a "basting seam" setting).
step four - attach waistband tie ribbon to skirt and bodice
|line up centers and pin with ribbon under the skirt, not on top as shown here|
if you are using a 2" wide ribbon, use a 1/2" seam allowance so there is more skirt above the ribbon. or just do this if you want a bit more room to work with when attaching the bodice to the skirt.
if you want the threads showing on the front of the ribbon to be placed more precisely/accurately, then pin well and sew with the ribbon facing up, not the skirt.
|the backside of the skirt with ribbon attached|
fold the waistband ribbon down out of the way, exposing the seam allowance of the skirt behind the waistband.
in retrospect, you could attach the skirt and bodice together first and then place the ribbon on top. but i guess i just liked it the complicated way and enjoyed the challenge of not sewing the ribbon into this seam.
press the seam to the side, and flip the apron open.
step five - attach neck ties
cut all four ribbon ends on the diagonal and treat with a fray check product to prevent unraveling during use.
and there's your cute little apron.
now go get your little person and watch her smile and giggle with delight as she puts it on:
here. (which, by the way, you can use real eggs in for the egg sub. sub for the sub with the real. haha.)