Wow, that title sounds like there’s a little innuendo in this post. But I promise there’s none intended!
A few weeks ago I was procrastinating doing housework when I spotted my daughter playing with my apron—she was trying to put it on, but was struggling because it was so big on her. Suddenly I thought of the perfect project for us to work on (and the perfect way for me to avoid cleaning). I asked my daughter if she’d like to make an apron of her own, and of course she said yes! My oldest was in school, my youngest was taking a nap, and I knew our time was limited. So I settled on making an apron in the shortest amount of time possible. And so I give you:
This apron took somewhere between an hour and 90 minutes to make. The best part? The little girl was able to help. It was a win all-around.
I happen to have a couple rolls of bulletin board paper that come in handy for this sort of thing. To start, I had my daughter lie down on the paper to get an idea of size of apron I wanted to make.
To make a pattern, you only need one half to look good. Once I knew I had one side the way I wanted, I folded the paper and cut my “pattern” so it was just half a piece.
It looked like this. I held it up to my daughter when I was done to make sure it was what I wanted. I realized it was a little short, so I figured I’d just cut some extra fabric along the bottom. Remember whenever you’re making a pattern of your own, the pattern needs to be larger than your subject actually is, to accommodate the seam allowances.
I then folded my fabric and pinned the pattern so that the one side (the side where I cut down the middle) was on the fold. You can see that paper isn’t cut particularly evenly, but that was okay!
This is how it looked once it was cut.
The unfolded piece looked like this.
Next I put the fabric piece I had just cut face down on the remaining fabric (right sides together) and then cut around it.
So I ended up with two close to identical pieces.
Next it was time to do the neck strap and the waist straps. Remember how this is quick and dirty? To do the straps I just snipped the fabric a bit and then tore it the length of the fabric to get the straps.
I ended up with three straps in total, one for the neck and two for the waist ties. I held them up to my daughter, estimated the length I wanted, and cut them to that length.
To finish the straps quickly, I just serged along the sides with colored thread. It was really fast and simple!
But what if you don’t have a serger? Or you want it to look a little neater? Here’s another way you can do the straps (the pictures are of a different fabric from a different project, but don’t let that trip you up):
Take your fabric strip, fold it in half lengthwise, and press it. Also, check out the mess on my floor. Real life here, folks!
Open the piece you’ve just folded, and then fold half the strap so that the raw edges is folded to the center. Press.
Repeat with the other side.
Then fold it again so that the raw edges are folded neatly in the middle. Press yet again.
Then top stitch along the edges and you’re done! Not difficult at all. Just takes a little extra time.
When you’re done with the straps (however you decide to do them), pin them to the neck and sides like so. Pin them right sides together (if you’ve done it like I did and that applies). Make sure they’re in the spot you want them and that they’re the length you want them. Once I pinned them, I tried the apron on my daughter (carefully, so she didn’t get poked by the “owies”—our name for pins).
Sew the straps to the apron. It will look like that when you’re finished.
We’re getting close to being finished! I really love lining things. Lining just hides away all those loose ends you don’t want showing. Sometimes it can be a real pain to line stuff, but not in this case. So tuck your straps toward the center of the apron.
Pin your other apron piece on top, right sides together, and with the straps tucked inside. Sew all the way around the apron, leaving a hole open so that you can turn it.
Iron your seams.
Got your opening? Good. If you forgot, don’t feel bad. Happens to me more than I care to admit. Just get out your handy seam ripper and start opening!
Turn your apron. When you turn it, your straps will be on the outside, but their ends will be sewn on the inside. Beautiful! If you want a neater look, you can slip stitch the opening closed. I wasn’t going for neat, I was going for quick so I just top stitched over the opening.
And guess what? You’re all done! My daughter was positively thrilled with her apron. She kept saying, “It’s for my dinner! It’s for my dinner!” (only it sounded like “deener”) in her high-pitched, squeaky-excited voice. It tickled me pink. As it turned out, the waistband straps ended up being a bit lower than I would have liked, but I just fold the apron up a bit at the waist and then tie it like that and it works out just fine.
My favorite part of this project was working on it together with my sweet girl. I let her help with just about every aspect and we had a great time doing it. The worst part of the project? The fact that my oldest (a boy) didn’t get one! He was sad when he came home from school and realized that he was apron-less. No worries though, we’ll be making him one soon! I have to add that, since making this apron, I’ve made my daughter another apron, a princess apron, using a pattern. I thought for sure she’d love it (it turned out fantastically and is sooo cute). But nope. She only wants to wear the quick and dirty apron. She loves that thing. I guess the heart wants what it wants. A saying that especially applies to little girls, I think!