Thursday, June 11, 2009

Birthday Apron

We just got back from a birthday party. I, of course, just put the finishing touches on the gift last night. For her birthday last year, Audrey was given an adorable handmade apron and felt cookies to use with her play kitchen. She loves them and I appreciate the thought and work that went into a gift that is not only creative itself, but promotes creativity in my daughter as well. The apron never made it to the play kitchen, finding a spot in our real kitchen, instead. Every time I get ready to bake, Audrey grabs her apron and requests to lend a hand. I am happy to oblige.

Inspired by that gift, I got to work on a gift for our neighbor. I used Audrey's apron (the green one in the picture above) as my pattern by tucking in the ribbon ties, folding it in half, and pinning it to our chosen fabric (leftover lavender mix-matched fabric from curtains and other projects I made for Audrey's room when we moved into our house that seemed just right for the girly girl down the street). I measured an extra 1/2" around the apron to allot for seam allowances.

Here is Audrey trying on the finished project for me. I decided to add a pocket to the front, just because I liked one there. Then I decided to make it reversible. After all, it is a 3-year-old's prerogative to change her mind. And, any good apron should have the front side stained beyond recognition in no time, which means two fronts can't hurt. Making the apron reversible actually made it rather simple to sew and gave it a clean line.

I finished all the edges by serging them first. Then I ironed the pocket edges down 1/2" on all sides before top-sitching the top of the pocket. The pockets were sewn onto the apron "fronts" first. Then I matched up the apron pieces, right sides together. I sewed the fronts together, leaving a 3/4" space on each side (and the neck piece) open so I could slip my grosgrain ribbons ties through the openings. I turned the apron right-sides out using the open neck line. I slipped the ribbons into the side openings, turned and pressed the neckline down 1/2" around and attached one side of a length of ribbon at each side of the neck, creating a "U" shape, which the wearer can slip over her head. Then I top-stitched 1/4" all the way around the apron, going over the ribbons multiple times to reinforce them for some wear-and-tear. My finishing touch was serging the end of the ribbons before tucking them under and stitching them in place (something I didn't think to do until I saw the ribbon unraveling a bit).

Finally, it was off to the bookstore to find a kid-friendly cookbook to finish off our in-the-nick-of-time birthday gift. I have to say, I love it so much, I might just have to make another for Audrey. I think she needs one for the playroom and the kitchen.

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