Sew-Green Makeovers Become Aprons
By Mary Mulari
In an effort to recycle and repurpose, turn men’s shirts, tablecloths, and T-shirts into interesting aprons for adults and kids. If your closets don’t contain these basic items to cut up and restyle, check out thrift and consignment stores. Also, consider using clothing and household linens you’ve inherited from family and friends; the aprons that result are sure to be wonderful “Memory Gifts” with special meaning.
Let’s begin with two men’s shirts. Here are two quite ordinary examples.
The adult-sized apron made from these shirts features a top bib from one shirt and the apron skirt from the other shirt. Note that the plackets are placed off center so the shirt pocket can be used on the bib. The pocket on the apron bottom is cut from the cuff and sleeve of the shirt.
On the back of this apron, cotton fabric was used for the reversible side. The top of the bib is also a great place for an appliqué or embroidery. This appliqué is from my Appliqués for Aprons designs CD. The apron neck ties are cut from both shirts and closed with Velcro. The quick and easy apron waist ties are made from grosgrain ribbons.
Another possibility for the neck ties: Cut off and turn under the raw edges of the shirt front plackets. Make the button and buttonhole sides of the placket into an adjustable neck strap.
Make a child-sized apron from either the front or back of a man’s shirt and add a center front pocket from the cuff and a portion of the sleeve. Ribbon or twill tape ties complete the apron. The reversible back side of the apron features an appliquéd cat from my Appliqués for Sweatshirts design CD.
Another option for the child’s apron is to make one side from a special T-shirt. Here you see the pattern top edge designed with a slight curve is altered to become a straight edge. The apron features a T-shirt from a Florida vacation for the front and a vintage tablecloth for the back.
When presenting these aprons as gifts, consider rolling them up and stashing them in a shirt-sleeve gift bag. Don’t be surprised when the gift bag is as popular as the gift inside!
For another makeover, find a tablecloth with an interesting design. Many larger-sized tablecloths will make two Bistro aprons. This apron style is based on the long half aprons worn by chefs and waitstaff. The ties wrap around the body and are tied in the front. The top edge is folded over the ties. In this updated style, the top edge of the apron is notched and when folded over, a top facing shows in the front.
Add patch pockets to the sides of the apron either on the front, with the print blending with the tablecloth print, or on the back with only topstitching showing on the apron front.
Here’s another version of the Bistro apron, with two one-yard lengths of fabric used to make a reversible apron. (My favorite!) I chose a contrasting fabric for the patch pocket, just for fun. It’s on the right side of the apron because I’m right-handed. Make sure to sew pockets on the left side for your friends and family members who are left-handed. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness!
All of the pattern shapes and instructions for these aprons are included in my Sew-Green Makeovers pattern. It also includes lots of other projects for felted sweaters (shrunk either by accident or on purpose), scarves, curtains, and more. It’s a fun challenge to make interesting and useful new items from old or unused garments and home linens.
Aprons for Real People!
Each weekday morning I join a group of friends for coffee and conversation in downtown Aurora, Minnesota. We’ve been named the Walkie Talkies. We used to walk there every day, but now we drive most of the time.
Here are two aprons modeled by the women we see at work every day at The Abbie Bar & Grill. Renee, the waitress, wears the reversible Bistro Apron, and Vyna, the owner and chef, models the Shirttail Reversible Apron.
As promised with my apron blogs, here’s a recipe you might like to add to your collection.
Spinach Salad with a Tasty Dressing
Salad Dressing Ingredients:
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. cooking oil
1/2 c. vinegar
1/3 c. catsup
1/2 tsp. garlic salt or 1 clove garlic crushed
A shake of paprika
A shake of pepper
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
Make ahead and serve separately or mix with salad ingredients before serving. This dressing keeps well and can be used with any green salad or a mix of the following:
red cabbage slivered
Hope you enjoy both the aprons ideas and the spinach salad, yum!
Thanks to my guest blogger, Mary, for the new inspiration. I’m looking forward to making two child’s sized aprons for two special little girls!
Bye for now,