Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mini Apron Tutorial

I promised last week to post a tutorial for making these mini aprons.   We used these for our Relief Society Birthday Celebration as covers for the water bottles we gave away as favors. I don't know where the pattern came from, but since there are so many other tutorials for this on the internet, some reversible, some with a pocket for a straw, I don't think I am breaking any copyright laws by posting mine.  

Each apron requires 34" of narrow bias tape cut into the following sizes:
2" for the bib area
12" around the bottom 
20" for neck hole and apron ties

Download and cut out pattern.  If you are doing many aprons as I did, it works best to trace the pattern onto a sheet of transparency plastic.  You can find it at any office supply store.  
Using a chalk pencil or other water soluble medium, trace around the pattern onto your chosen fabric and cut.

Sew your 2" bias piece to the top of the bib area and sew your 12" piece to the hem area of the apron.  If you've never used bias tape before, there is a bit of a trick to it.  If you look closely, one half of the tape is a bit wider than the other.  Make sure the wider part is to the back side of your fabric, that way when you sew on the front side, it will be sure to catch the back.  

To sew the ties and neck hole area, I folded the 20" piece in half and marked the center with a chalk pencil.  From there, I measured 2 1/4" down from the center on each side.  

I pinned the two marks to each corner of the bib area. Doing this makes sure the hole is exactly 4 1/2".

Next, make a mark 5" in from each end.  Pin that mark at the lower part of each arm cut out. Sorry for the bad photo.  Like I said last week, my sewing room doesn't have the greatest lighting.  

Then carefully sew from one end to the other making sure to cover the raw edges of the bias tape at the bib and hem area.  
If you are making a lot of them as I was, it's easiest to assembly line sew.  By this I mean chain sew all the bib tops, then all the hems, then all the ties.  It makes it much easier to sew them all at once then starting and stopping repeatedly.  If you don't know what I mean by chain sewing, click here for a great tutorial.

On another topic, one of the biggest problems for a quilter, is where to find a spot big enough pin baste your quilt sandwiches.  In California, I solved my problem by taking my quilts to work and using the conference room next to my office after hours.  Since that genius solution is no longer an option for me, I have been fretting about what I was going to do.
Sunday I came up with another genius solution while our family was playing a friendly game of pool on our new table.  

I remembered that the pool table also came with a ping-pong table top that set right on top of it and after dragging it out and making Kade help me set it up (it's really heavy!), I determined it just might do.

I was right.  It worked like a charm!

Remember these blocks?

Here is the top I made with them, all sandwiched and ready to go.  
To cool down the bright colors in the squares, I sashed around them with grey and then added a cool blue striped border.  Just for a little whimsey, I added a fun bee print border as well.  I won't be able to get to the quilting for a couple of days, though. Instead,  I will be helping Mom repaint her guest rooms and bath.  
I thought I had hung up my painters pants for good, but I was wrong.  Once mom saw my freshly painted house, she decided it was time for a bit of a spruce up of her own.  I'll be knee deep in paint for the next three days.  Wish us luck!