When the holidays roll around, everyone begins to bake their annual favorites: pies, cookies, turkey and more, particularly for parties and family gatherings. Unfortunately for the klutzes among us, this means getting flour, chocolate and unknown mystery stains all over our nice clothes – a problem that’s been solved for ages with the humble apron.
For years, I thought aprons, though sometimes retro-cutesy, were just too old-fashioned, too kitschy and too stereotyped. But after going through my closet and seeing how many favorite tops and sweaters were irreversibly spotted and stained, I thought maybe it would be cheaper to make an apron than to buy all new clothes.
What I discovered is that aprons don’t have to be all-white professional or polka dotted ruffles.
Printed fabrics add personality and hide stains (so they don’t look dirty and unwashed) and simple, clean cuts are modern and sleek.
Aprons are a great gift idea for the holidays – at less than $10 to make, you can throw in a set of measuring spoons, a cool enameled pie pan or a set of coordinating kitchen towels for the foodie-chef in your life. I even give instructions for a kid-sized apron, perfect for art projects when given with a set of paints.
Choose smooth, woven quilting cotton for your apron. Cotton comes in an enormous variety of solid colors, florals, plaids, dots, chevrons and more, often in coordinating sets (multiple prints in the exact same color shade) for fun easy pattern mixing.
Try making pockets and ties in a different color or print from the main apron. For a guy-centric apron which is great for your grilling dad, try a heavy-duty camouflage canvas material. Licensed print cottons are fun and unique – Joann Fabrics stocks ones such as Star Trek, John Deere, Hello Kitty, Star Wars, The Muppets and of course, holiday prints, pretty and festive for baking grandma’s famous cookies.
You will need some basic sewing and ironing skills. It will be faster if you have a sewing machine but if you don’t, hand sewing is perfectly acceptable. Ironing frequently to crease hems is important for getting a clean, crisp folded edge to ensure accurate sewing.
1 yard cotton fabric (1/2 yard for child apron)
1 package 1 inch wide bias tape or wide ribbon in a coordinating color
Thread in color to match fabric and bias tape
Using a tape measure, measure off and cut 28 inches of the fabric, lengthwise. Save remaining
fabric piece for another project. Lay fabric right side down and fold corners evenly, leaving about
10” or so in the middle (making a trapezoid shape). Press these folds.
Cut away the excess corner pieces of fabric, leaving about 1 inch selvedge. Fold 1 inch down and press from the top edge, apron sides and bottom. Repeat, folding every side in again to cover the raw edges. Press and stitch folds. Cut bias tape or ribbon to fit for the halter neck strap and the back ties. Stitch ties and strap in place.
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