Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lil Helper Apron Tutorial

I'm hosting a Pampered Chef cupcake decorating party for some of my friends and their kiddos. What better party favors than lil aprons for the lil helpers?! I made up a pattern for what I wanted the apron to look like and I'm going to share it with you!!
Here's what you do:
-Right click on the next two pictures (pattern pieces) and save the files to your computer and print them out (full page print).

-Tape the "a" and "b" together to line up the pattern. There are two ways to make the apron...the simple version or the ruffle version.

-Cut out your fabric using the pattern. Be sure to follow the directions for the fold.

- Cut lengths of ribbon according to the pattern for your neck straps and waist straps. My neck straps are pink and waist are green in this example. Make sure you treat the ends of your ribbon before starting. I run a lighter past the ends quickly to seal them. Fray Check also works well, just allow for drying time.

-If you are adding a ruffle, cut a length of coordinating fabric that is 50" x 3".

-Zig zag both short ends and one long side of the ruffle fabric.
-Fold those same sides in 1/2" and pin. Sew a hem on all three sides.

- Change your stitch options to the longest stitch possible. Stitch down the length of the unfinished side. Do not back stitch before or after this stitch or you won't be able to gather your ruffle! This is your gathering stitch.

-Pull one piece of thread on one end of your gathering stitch. Push the ruffle down to the other end until you have a uniform ruffle throughout the length of the fabric.

-Pin (right sides facing) to the bottom portion of your apron, from underarm to underarm.

-Pin the straps (right sides facing) to your apron also. You'll have a ribbon, ruffle & pin mess!

-Stitch your ruffle to your apron. I used a 5/8" seam allowance.

-Zig zag the edges of the entire apron. You'll finish the ruffle edge as well as the rest of the apron's edges in one step. Be aware of the ribbons! There were a few times when I *almost* stitched a ribbon end to a ruffle or side of the apron!

-Your apron should look similar to this by now:

-Fold down the upper apron edges 1/2" and pin. Make sure that you've notched the neckline (in the pattern) so the neckline hem lays down smooth.

-Top stitch the whole apron to finish it off. Make sure that the ruffle edge is flat and your topstitch secures it to the apron, like this:

-Voila! You're done!!

So far I've had RSVP's for eight lil helpers to be at this's the eight aprons I've made:

I love that this apron does not take a ton of fabric. I was able to make four simple version aprons out of one yard of fabric! This is the perfect project for scrap fabrics or (in my case) fabrics that I had purchased without a project in mind. Those fabrics usually end up sitting in my bin for awhile!
I also like that you can be super creative with your straps...all four different colors, same colors, prints, solids, thin, wide...the possibilities are endless!! If I was making this for an adult (not only would I have to make the pattern larger) but I would add some fabric rosettes, and possibly a pocket to spice it up a bit!
**If you are having trouble with saving/printing the pattern pages, please shoot me an email at bierbaur {at} hotmail {dot} com and I'll email them to you in a PDF!**

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