Guest Blogger Mary Mulari, back for a monthly blog presentation.
Here’s a sewing inspiration for the holiday season: make reversible aprons for kids. This quick-to-sew gift is popular with children of all ages. Several of my apron patterns include aprons in children’s sizes: Newfangled Reversible Aprons, Sew-Green Makeovers, and the two Easy Reversible Aprons: Waist Tie and Full Flair. These aprons are fast and fun to sew, and wait until you see a child’s happy response!
Newfangled Reversible Aprons features a full cover-up style in two children’s sizes, and also an apron pattern for an 18″ doll. I use cord or narrow trim for the apron neck loop and ties—it’s all one continuous length sliding through the casings on the left and right sides of the apron. In the center of the cord I sew a small fabric patch to indicate the placement on the child’s center back neck, and I also sew buttons larger than the casing opening to prevent the tie from being pulled through the casings. The buttons are positioned so they allow the cord to slide and be adjusted for a neck loop that fits the child.
This version of the child’s medium size apron shows fat quarter piecing possibilities. The cord of the apron has been knotted to prevent it from being pulled through the casings. Note the placement of the appliqué design patch. The design is from my “Appliqués for Aprons” CD and the square fabric patch is placed “on-point.”
It’s fun to make the doll (or teddy bear) apron to match the child’s apron, but you can also make the apron from two hankies in your vintage collection. I think your grandmother would be happy to know that her hankies were used to make special gifts.
The child’s apron from the Sew-Green Makeovers pattern has sewn-on ties for the neck and waist. One or both sides of this reversible apron can be part of a man’s shirt front, or fabric related to a child’s interest, such as this Boy Scout print. The apron becomes even more interesting if the shirt is from Dad’s or Grandpa’s discards; it can be a memory gift of a special person who once wore the shirt.
One side of this apron was cut from a bridesmaid’s dress and features decorative trims on the pocket.
The other side of the same apron features the front of a plaid shirt and a pocket appliqué from my design CD “Appliqués for Aprons.”
A large center front pocket cut from a contrasting shirt cuff and sleeve shows another way to construct the apron. This time, the popular cat appliqué is from my design CD “Appliqués for Sweatshirts.” The two neckties are cut from the two shirts used for this apron.
Yet another idea for making this child’s apron is to use the front of a T-shirt. It’s a great way to transfer the memories of a special vacation into another kind of wearable. The reverse side of the apron was pieced from vintage tablecloth leftovers after I made an adult apron from the tablecloth.
You’ll notice that I added my label near the apron edge. After all, if Levi’s and all the stylish bag makers can add their signature visibly in this way, so can we!
Another possibility for a child’s apron is the Little Helper apron from the Easy Reversible Aprons—Full Flair pattern. The straps connect at the shoulder and cross in the back to ensure that the apron will stay on. The center front of this apron is a great place for a monogram or appliqué.
On the apron’s pink side, there’s a button on pocket. There’s also an opening at the bottom of the apron so you can unpin the shank buttons that hold the pocket in place, and repin the buttons to the reverse side of the apron.
If you’d like to add some “extras” to the apron gifts, think about a set of measuring cups and spoons, a Jiffy cake mix (which you could help the child prepare and bake), and/or a potholder.
I feel confident that the little children in your life and on your gift list will be happy to own and use their own aprons, and to flip them over from side to side. Putting on an apron in preparation for a project in the kitchen, or even the sewing room, sets the tone for starting a new task with a plan, “armor” to protect clothing, and a pocket or two to hold tools for the work ahead.
Now, here’s the recipe for this month’s blog:
Nancy Zieman’s A-Z Quick Bread Recipe
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (or 3 cups all-purpose flour)
Add 2 cups of “a-z”
- 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 2 cups bananas, mashed
- 2 cups carrots, shredded
- 2 cups zucchini, shredded
“n” for nuts is optional
Note: For moist bread, use 1 cup of applesauce and 1 cup of another fruit or veggie.
Pour into two loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 50–55 minutes.
As promised, here’s a photo of my friend Karen in the Clothespin apron I made for her last summer. She’s wearing the laundry motif fabric side out since she’s obviously hanging clothes on the line. There’s her coffee cup…clipped to the clothesline when she’s finished drinking her coffee. She’s worn the apron many times—and shown it to her friends too. One more example of how aprons are very popular gifts!
Here are links to Mary’s previous guest apron blog postings:
Sewing With Nancy 30th Anniversary Blog Giveaway Event
To celebrate 30 years on television, Sewing With Nancy sponsors, guests, and friends have generously donated “30” amazing giveaways. To qualify for one of the giveaways, click here and post a comment below the Giveaway Event Posting with your favorite Sewing With Nancy memory. 30 random winners will be announced November 30!
National Tie One On Day™ is set for November 21, 2012. It was created as an annual opportunity to return the “give” to Thanksgiving by sharing our good fortune with someone in need of a kind gesture. Lest you think the “tie one on” has a different connotation, the tie refers to an apron!
Tie One On Day was started by EllynAnne Geisel five years ago, as she noticed that Thanksgiving was more stressful than joyful. Participation is simple. On the day before Thanksgiving, November 21st this year, pause in the preparation of your own meal, wrap a loaf of bread (recipe above) or other goodies in an apron, tuck a prayer or note of encouragement in the pocket, and tie one on…an apron of course, and deliver the wrapped bundle to someone without your bounty—a neighbor, friend, or family member in need of physical or spiritual sustenance, a bit of recognition or just a kind word.