Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Child's Apron Sewing Tutorial

My 3-year-old daughter has been interested in cooking for awhile, but lately, she has been asking to help prepare every meal. Over the weekend, she helped my husband make a pancake breakfast, and when he posted a picture to Facebook, a friend commented that she needed an apron.

Crafty mom signal! Time to swoop in and start sewing!

So, I rummaged through my fabric stash and came up with this combination of materials to make a fun, kid-friendly apron for my little chef. If you want to sew along at home, here's what you need:

- 1/2 yard of primary fabric (you will use this for the backing as well)
- 1/4 yard of secondary fabric (for pocket and straps)
- two buttons
- thread, notions, etc.

Step 1
Cut out your fabric. You will need and apron front and back from the primary fabric, a rectangular pocket, and material for two straps. Honestly, I just held the fabric up to my daughter and eyeballed it. Once I had the basic rectangular shape, I folded the primary fabric in half length-wise to make sure the arm indents were the same size. Using the dotted fabric was extremely helpful because I used the dots to help line everything up evenly.

Once I had the main fabric in shape, I cut a rectangular pocket from the secondary fabric. The straps were also cut from the secondary fabric. They were 2" wide and 22" long. In retrospect, I would have liked the straps a bit wider. When I make this apron again, I would cut the fabric for straps 4" wide and only about 20" long. The extra width will not only look better, but it will provide a more stable field for the button holes.

Step 2
Prepare your pocket for the apron's front. This part has a few sub-steps:

a. I folded the top edge over and sewed it first.

b. Then, I folded and pressed the sides and bottom of the pocket (see photo, top left).

c. Next, I pinned the pocket to the front of the apron. This way there is only one seam showing on the outside of the pocket, but all of the edges still remain neatly tucked in (see photo, bottom left).

d. Sew the pocket down along the sides and bottom.

Step 3
Press the raw edges of the straps to the inside and press. Then fold in half (with raw edges tucked in) and press again. If you want to pin the straps at this point, it's optional. I tried it both ways, and I felt that pressing was sufficient to hold the shape of the straps while sewing.

Obviously, if you have a bias tape maker, you can just use that to form the straps rather than pressing and pinning by hand. (And I will be completely jealous.)

Once the straps are folded, sew them together.

Step 4
Pin the front and back of the apron together, insides out. Pin the straps in between the layers of fabric at the top.

Sew the sides and the top of the apron together, but leave the bottom OPEN. Once you are done, you will flip the fabric right-side out through the bottom, bringing the straps out to the top.

Step 5
Almost there! This thing is actually starting to look like an apron now. With your apron flipped right-side out, press the apron to make the edges stiff. Tuck the raw edges on the bottom inside and press or pin.

Then, sew the edges of apron along the bottom, sides, and top with a 3/8"-1/2" seam allowance. This gives the apron a little extra support and helps to ensure that that top ties are securely fastened.

Step 6
I didn't get a good, close up picture of this, but sew a button into each corner of the apron underneath the arm indents.

Next, make at least one button hole at the bottom of each apron strap. Since my straps were a bit long, I made three button holes on each strap so that the apron can grow with my daughter.

Put the apron on with the straps criss-crossed in the back, and button. Now your little guy or gal has an adorable, custom apron to wear while making a mess in the kitchen!

Happy crafting (and cooking)!

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