If you didn't get the chance to visit Between U & Me yesterday when I was guest posting, here is the project for our wonderful One Yard Wednesday. We will be using a pillowcase and about a yard of gingham. Feel free to mix and match fabrics as you choose to either coordinate or match your pillowcase, or what's available in your stash. No pillowcase? You can find out how to make one here, and use your stash or other repurposed fabric to make one.
I found this vintage apron:
So let's get started...
In addition to the pillowcase and gingham fabric, you will need thread that matches your pillowcase (mine was white), and thread that coordinates with your gingham or contrasting/coordinating fabric (mine was red). You will also need a rotary cutter, ruler and mat, and a sewing machine, and you need to know how to use them (and safely!). Have your iron and ironing board handy, too. Oh, and pins would be pretty useful. Well, actually necessary this time.
Remove the sewn end of your pillowcase.
And remove the hem.
Save the hem pieces for later - you'll see why in a little bit.
Next, we're going to trim it to a size that will fit across the front of your body and about halfway around the sides. Like to where the seams are for your jeans. I wanted the apron to cover the front of me, from just below my natural waist (because we'll be using a good-sized waistband), to just above my knee, leaving room for a nice-sized gingham hem. Also, because my pillowcase was a pretty sheer white, I wanted it to be doubled. This would give the apron a stability boost, too. For me, this measurement was 33" by 25 1/2". If you need to change measurements to fit you, feel free. It's an apron. This is good practice for newer sewists. You may want to ask a friend or neighbor to help you meaure, or if you have to do it by yourself, lay your favorite pair of pants on the floor and measure on them. Remember, our end product is going to be straight and fitted like the front part of a pencil skirt. And it's an apron. An extra half inch (or short a half inch) is not the end of the world. Running out of chocolate is.
Now, cut your gingham pieces per the diagram.
Here you can see how I cut the different widths and labeled everything so my poor over-40 brain could keep them straight.
This is where we start building that pyramid shape. Or birthday/wedding cake if you prefer. On the remaining gingham rectangles that are 3 1/2" wide, press each edge under 1/4". Top stitch these into place after pressing. I used my white thread to do this, so the stitching would blend into the gingham better. On your apron, you decide which thread to use.
Take the longest of these rectangles, and press it in half. Fold the main body of your apron in half, and match the centers, and also try to match the lines of the plaid. If your rectangle goes one way or the other just a little, it's ok. People will notice that less than the plaid going zigzag. Think handcrafted versus homemade. Yeah, it's one of those crazy little details. You'll be thankful in the end - trust me!
Well, this beauty isn't going to hold itself up without a little help...
For the waistband, take the 8" rectangle that stayed whole, and press one long edge under 1/2" toward the wrong (inside/back) side. When we attach the waistband to the apron, this will be on the inside, and make a nice, finished edge.
Let's attach the waistband now - the baby will be awake soon, or the kids will be home from school any minute! Match the long unfolded edge of the main waistband piece to the top edge of your apron, matching the centers. The waistband will hang off the edge on the sides, and that's ok.
And you can quit here if you'd like. You have a lovely, fitted apron! However...
If you want that cool stitched effect, you can play with the decorative stitches on your sewing machine. Even super basic models of machines usually have some type of zig zag, and I haven't seen a model made after 1970 that didn't come with some type of buttonhole stitch (which is also just a really tight zig zag). My machine has 3 different cross-stitches, so I decided to try the 2 I use the most to get a general idea of how they'd look. This is where you put your scrap "main body" fabric and a piece of "accent" fabric together, and you play with thread. Use a color that you need to use up, or you had to buy for one project and you'll never use again. Save the good stuff for your apron. I liked the alternating crosses for the edges, and straight-row crosses the insides. It seemed to mimic the original in a way I liked. Choose stitches that you really like for your apron.
I used the straight-line stitching across the areas where the rectangles met, and also around all 4 edges of each waistband piece. Stitch where it makes you happy.
And here's the finished apron! Sorry, forgot to put my foot up on the wall...
Dig out those pillowcases that are long since past their prime and put them to good use. Cover stains or wear spots with accent fabric and stitching, and turn something that's "eh" into a "WOW!"
Enjoy your new apron!