Friday, April 6, 2012

Sewing: Full-Body Apron

I turned this...

into this:

This apron is a late birthday present for the school-age daughter of one of my friends here. (It's late because I really wanted to make the apron to complement the Williams-Sonoma cookbook for kids that I also got her, but I didn't manage to make the apron in time for her actual birthday.) She just turned 9 but is almost as tall as I am (although only about half as wide! lol). I could have edited the pattern down to fit her better but decided to be hopeful instead -- that she would keep the apron long enough to fully grow into it. And perhaps her mom could occasionally use it as well. Since both the neck straps and waist ties are adjustable, there's a way to make it fit different bodies.

As it is, I did make a couple of obvious edits to the pattern. 1) I squared the neckline because the v-neck/almost-sweetheart neckline bothered me. I didn't think it was appropriate. 2) I also kept the pocket design square to match the new neckline. 3) There's only one pocket in my version because, to be perfectly truthful, it was too hard to make another one.

Laying out the pattern pieces

Sewing on the bias tape -- a little tricky because of all of the curves

The pattern for this apron was the "easy" See & Sew B5551. It called for five yards of half-inch double-fold bias tape. If I had used the pre-packaged polyester/cotton-blend bias tape that I had bought, I could have been done with this project hours earlier, and I probably would have put in the second pocket. But instead, I decided to make my own bias tape. (I'll write up a different post on making the bias tape later.) For one thing, the pre-packaged stuff is plain and boring and I wanted something prettier than the solid color green I was going to use. For another, I mean, as a beginner sewist, what's the point of sewing something if I'm not learning something new and gaining new skills, right? :-) The upshot of making my own bias tape was that it was a little more tricky to handle, probably because the 100% cotton is thicker and my bias tape wasn't as sharply pressed as the store-bought stuff. (Note to self: I need a better iron.)

Both of the fabrics I used for this project came from Jo-Ann. They're both quilting-weight cotton, not particularly high quality. However, I liked the designs a lot, and I believe they were incredibly cheap (bought during Black Friday last holiday season or on clearance).

The finished apron

Pocket detail

Modeling the pocket

Back view (I particularly like the waist straps.)

Side view

It was my first time doing a big project with a striped pattern -- something I avoided before because I didn't want to end up with a crooked product. But I do believe this turned out pretty well! I hope my young friend agrees. And now I won't be scared to use patterns with straight edges and right angles anymore.

xo, Gladys


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