One of my UFOs (unfinished objects) has been an apron that I had intended on making from a shirtwaist dress made for Julie's graduation way back in 2008. You may recall from a previous posting that I tried to make an apron out of this dress before, but I only got to the point of ripping out the seams of the dress. At the risk of being redundant, I'll just say again that this dress was way too big for her, and it has sat here taunting me now for months. However, last night I was reading Allie-oops' site where she listed several tutorials for the Christmas Through the Year project, and one of the tutes is from Jenny Elefantz where she shows how to make an apron from a skirt. So, I dropped everything and dug up that dress and finally completed a lovely apron from it. Here's how...
Let me start by saying that I just love the fabric. Its a Belgium Linen in a buttercup yellow...a really nice weight and even though it wrinkles, it irons up easily and looks so crisp and nice.
Since the dress had a long and widely flared skirt, I laid out the front panel and tapered the flare out of it on each side. This left the centermost part of the skirt (which incidentally was cut on the bias). I cut several inches from the bottom hem (saving the scrap for pockets), and then pressed in double folded hems on the sides and bottom, leaving the top of the panel unturned. I basted a simple gathering stitch across the top to add some fullness to the apron along the band. Then it was time to stitch the hems being careful to make my stitches look nice since they will be very visible. Next, came the ties.
The ties were made of strips cut 4 inches wide along the length of one of the side panels, and there were 3 strips all together. I seamed the tie pieces/strips along the short sides to make one very long 4" wide piece consisting of three parts (I trimmed it to the length I wanted...angling the ends). I then folded this long piece in half lengthwise and stitched a 1/2" seam along the length leaving an opening in the center to insert the apron panel. Next, I turned the long tube right-side out and pressed under a seam allowance along the unsewn part. I then gathered the apron panel along the basting stitches to a desired fullness and insert into the unsewn portion of the tie and pinned into place. I chose to top-stitch along the length of the tie starting at one end and continuing all the way to the other end....sewing the panel into the ties while doing this. Voila, a sweet little apron. At this point, I decided to jazz it up a notch.
Using the scrap from cutting off the hem, I cut out two equal-sized patch pockets. Sewing on a few lace butterfly appliques and some eyelet trim I salvaged from Julie's baby curtains before sewing them onto the apron made the look complete. I think it looks kinda retro, don't you think? It will definitely become a gift for Christmas 2011, but I'm not telling for whom, yet. I have enough to make another, too, that I'll probably put in my Artfire shop. Maybe someone would like one for themselves or a loved one for next Christmas, too.