Tag Archives: sewing tutorial

Child’s Half Gardening Apron Tutorial

28 May

 

half apron 2For the little lady’s birthday, she had a gardening party. I grabbed fabric to make her an outfit and then after her outfit was made, I realized I had lots of extra fabric. The boys were asking me if they got aprons, so I decided to make all the kids a half apron as a party favor. (They also got a little pot of lavender seeds they each planted.) Really, I’m not usually so crazy when it comes to parties. I blame pregnancy for making me do these things. The aprons are super easy to make. I made 12 with 1 yard of the blue dots, 1 yard of red dots, and 1/2 yard of each green solid and yellow solid. (And I did still have fabric leftover.)

Here is what you’ll need:

fabric

ribbon (I used random scraps I had.)

clips (I had a bunch of pacifier clips that I bought on Etsy.)

half apronCut your rectangle for the apron front 12-15″ wide (depending on what scraps you have) and 8-10″ tall. Cut the waistband 2″ x the width of the fabric. Cut a small length of ribbon to make a loop for the clip. (It can be anywhere from 4″-8″.)

First, finish the sides and the bottom of the apron panel.

Next, attach the looped ribbon with the clip attached to the top left of the apron panel. Just sew it close to the edge so the waistband will cover it.

Now, take your 2″ strip of fabric and iron in half. Tuck the cut ends toward the center and iron. (You now have double fold tape.) Line up the center of the strip with the apron panel. Sandwich the apron panel into the waistband strip. Sew along the open edge all the way to the end. (I start at the apron panel, sew to the end, then flip and sew from where I started to the other end.) Tie a knot in the end of the strip.

Done.

7 party emery 3Clip a paper towel or rag to the clip when gardening for hand wiping.

Make these to give away, to use, to sell- just make sure you share the free tutorial!

 

 

 

Drawstring Spring Pants Tutorial

28 Mar

DS Pants 2

My boys often like to point out that I do not sew enough for them. So, for Easter, I decided to sew a little more for them than their usual tie. (Although tutorial for the tie is coming soon, too.) I made them these drawstring spring pants. You could make these for girls, too. They are not boy exclusive. 

You’ll need:

– elastic

– one length of main fabric

– half a yard of contrast fabric

DS pants note

First, you’ll want to measure your boy. (Or your three boys.) You’ll need a waist measurement, a crotch measurement (from the front waist band between the legs to the back waistband), an inseam measurement, and an out seam measurement.

DS Pants Notes 3

Once you have all your measurements, you’re ready to start! I like to draw everything out and write in my measurements. (All my seam allowances are 1/2″ unless I say otherwise.)

 

Waist- Divide the boy’s waist measurement by 4, then add an inch for seam allowance. These are loose fitting pants, so no need for perfection. (For Emery, his waist was 19.25″. I rounded that up to 20″ divided by 4 would be 5″ add an inch for a 6″ pattern line.

Crotch- Divide the crotch measurement in half. Emery’s was 14″. Half of that would be 7. Add an inch for seam allowances. Now mine is 8″.

Length- On the main fabric, you’re going to make the length 2″ shorter than what you actually want. So, Emery needed 19″ outseam. Take 2″ away and the main fabric is 17″. (You’ll be adding a 4″ strip of contrast fabric that will make up for those 2″ plus seam allowances.) I use my inseam measurement as a double check to make sure they are going to be well fitting.

 

If you don’t want to go through all this math, you can just grab a pair of pants that fit your boy right now and trace them, leaving enough room for seam allowances. I prefer to write out my own pattern.

DS Pants Pattern

Draw out your pattern onto the wrong side of your fabric. Fold fabric in half, then fold in half again so that the outer edge is double folds. You’ll be cutting both legs at once. Measure your leg width so you’ll know how wide to make your contrast cuff. (Mine was 9″.)

 

I use my Varyform Curve ruler to make the crotch line. The crotch of these pants is an 8″ curve. If you don’t have a ruler like this, you can freehand this curve or you can use a flexible ruler for the curve.

DS Pants Pieces

From your contrast fabric:

Cut 2 rectangles for the pant cuffs. 4″ long and the width of your pant leg. (Mine was 9″ on the fold- so each cuff is 4″ x 18″)

Cut 1 strip the width of the fabric and 2″ tall- this will be your drawstring.

Now you should have 2 legs, 2 cuffs, and 1 drawstring piece. 

DS Pants Cuff

First, sew the contrast bottom cuff (though it isn’t really a cuff, it is just a band of contrast fabric) onto the bottom of each pant leg. 

Go ahead and finish this seam. 

DS Pants Sew Inseam

Now, sew the inseam of each pant leg. Sew both legs. Finish both seams. 

DS Pants Sew Crotch

Tuck one leg inside the other, matching up the crotch with right sides together. (You’ll flip one leg right side out, then stuff it inside the other leg.)

 

Sew this seam. Finish this seam. 

DS Pants Waist

Fold the top of the waistband over about 1/2″. (You can see here that I serge the top of my pants. If you’re going to be folding the raw edge under, you’ll want a little more than 1/2″ in order to fit 1/4″ elastic in there.) Press it with the iron. 

DS Pants Waist 2

Now that you see where the top of your waistband will be, add a couple buttonholes. If you don’t like buttonholes, you could always add some grommets. I don’t think it is completely necessary to have 2 buttonholes. If you wanted, you could sew one larger buttonhole for both strings to come out of. I think 2 looks a little nicer and holds up better. 

DS Pants Waist 3

Sew the waistband closed. No need to leave an opening, you’ll be feeding the drawstring and elastic through your buttonholes. 

DS Pants Hem

Go ahead and hem the bottom of your pants. I find it easier to hem kids’ clothing before elastic goes in, so it lays as flat as possible while hemming. 

DS Pants Drawstring

Make your drawstring! Fold the 2″ strip in half and press. 

DS Pants Drawstring 2

Tuck the raw edges on each side in toward the fold and press. You can do this one side at a time if that makes it easier for you. 

DS Pants Drawstring 3

Sew down the middle of the drawstring. I use a zigzag stitch. It is just my personal preference. 

DS Pants Drawstring 4

Now that you’ve got a drawstring made, it is time to put it into your pants! Grab some 1/4″ elastic. (I used about 18″ for these pants.) Pin the elastic and the drawstring together, with the drawstring on the top. (See my picture.) Make sure you put a pin in the bottom of the elastic and the bottom of the drawstring so you don’t accidentally pull them all the way through!

DS Pants Drawstring 5

Insert the elastic and drawstring in through on of the buttonholes with the drawstring on top. (See photo.) Feed it around the waist casing. 

DS Pants Drawstring 6

When you get to the second buttonhole, go ahead and pull the elastic and drawstring out. With the drawstring out on both ends, put the elastic back in and feed it out the same buttonhole it went in. (See photo.) You want the elastic to be completely hidden inside the waist casing and the drawstring needs to be out each hole. 

DS Pants Drawstring 7

Sew your elastic together. 

DS Pants Drawstring 8

Tie a knot in each end of your drawstring. Feed the drawstring through so it is even. Make sure the elastic went into the casing. 

DS Pants

And that is it! You’re done. 

As usual, make these pants for your boy (or girl). Give them away to a friend. Sell them if you wish. After all, you made them. Just remember to give credit back this way for the free tutorial should anyone ask. Share the free! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wide Leg Ruffle Pants Tutorial

22 Jan

WP TutorialThese are my new favorite pants to make for Imogene. These are her new favorite pants to wear. She is a very girl, girl. And my little ballerina has some strong thighs. So she enjoys the roomier wide leg pants. (Plus with the ruffles and the cut, these are very difficult to outgrow pants! And I love difficult to outgrow clothing.) You can make them full length or capri length. (I suggest going full length and then letting them get capri length as they grow. Sneaky mommy move, there.) You can make this in any size. Once you get to around size 7ish, you’ll need 2 yards of fabric because you won’t be able to get a full 2 pant legs in the width. Make them in flannel, and they are pretty awesome pajama pants, perfect for camp, sleepovers, or just princesses who require cute jammies at all times. You can make them in quilting cotton for a cute, boutique look. Make them in jersey for a comfy, classic look. Make them in denim to replace everyday jeans. Make them in lightweight corduroy, canvas, or duck for heavier weight pants.

So, first you want to figure out what size pants you want. If you’ve got someone to measure, measure them! If you don’t have someone to measure, look up the size chart for your favorite kid’s clothing line and use their measurements to figure out the size.

Grab your fabric. You’ll need 1 yard of a single fabric OR 3/4 yard and 1/4 yard. (If you’re making bigger girls pants, you’ll need to adjust your fabric yardage. I make larger ruffles for bigger girls, so I need more than 1/4 yard of contract for the size 6 pants.) You’ll also need some elastic. (I use 1/4″ natural colored flat elastic in kid clothes.)

 

wp notesHere are my lovely notes on making these pants. (These are my 18 month size notes.)

wp pattern

 

I draw my pattern directly onto the fabric. (This fabric is folded in half, then half again. So the side with the fold is two layers of fold to cut both the front and back at the same size. I measure across 6 inches for the waist. Added an 8″ curve for the crotch (with my vary form curve ruler). Measure 9″ wide for the legs. Measure the length (outseam, so the folded edge side) to 16″. Connect all your measurements.

For size 6: 8″ waist, 11″ curved crotch, 10″ leg width, 22″ outseam. (Plus a 5″ x 36″ ruffle for each leg.)

If you don’t want to make the pattern, you can fold and trace a pair of pants. Just make sure you extend the height a little at the top for folding over the elastic and add some width to make them wide leg. Plus, don’t forget your ruffles!

Speaking of ruffles, cut some. For the 18 month pants, my ruffles were 4″ x 24″. If you want them more ruffled, add width. If you get too ruffle crazy, it can be difficult to get them to lay down.

wp piecesNow you have all these pieces. 2 pant legs. 2 ruffles. (The green behind my fabric is fleece. I got tired of hauling my ironing board up and down 2 flights of stair every time I needed to sew. And The Pastor didn’t want to buy another one because who needs 2 ironing boards?! So, I put a few layers of green fleece on the dresser in my sewing room and I iron there. Not as convenient as a sewing board, but it works.)

wp sewing inseamsSew the inseams of you pant legs with the right sides of the fabric together. Finish them, too. (Serge. Pink. Zigzag. French seams. Whatever it is you do.)

wp finish ruffle edgeTake each ruffle and with right sides together, sew the short ends together. (Not pictured.) Go ahead and hem the bottom of each ruffle. (It is so much easier to do the hem now when you have one long loop rather than trying to properly hem it when it is all gathered and flaring.)

wp inside of my hemIf you were wondering, this is what the inside of my hems look like. I serge, then I fold them over and sew. I like to zigzag my hem. It makes it look more special than just a pair of pants you’d find in the store. It screams “custom” to me. (Plus, on kid clothes, it adds a little bit of whimsy.)

wp leg in legTurn one leg right side out and stuff it inside the other leg. Pin together around the crotch, matching the inseams. (The first time I made a pair of pants, it took me FOREVER to visualize this in my head. I spent almost an hour trying to figure out how to sew it to get the seam the way it should be.)

wp sew crotchSew the crotch. Finish it, too! Flip the pants right side out.

wp basting stitch

 

Sew a basting stitch around the top of your ruffle. (A basting stitch is just setting your straight stitch as long as the stitch length will go and sewing close to the edge.) Pull the basting stitch to gather the ruffle. Distribute the ruffles evenly around.

 

wp pin on rufflePin the ruffle right side to the right side of the pants.

wp sew on ruffleSew. Make sure you’re sewing further in than the basting stitch. (The basting stitch should be closer to the edge, so it won’t show.) Always sew with the gathering on top of the flat piece of fabric. Otherwise, your flat piece will inevitably end up not so flat. Remove the pins as you sew. Don’t sew over pins. You’ll snap a sewing machine needle into your eye.

wp see a ruffle

 

Now you should have a ruffle on your pant leg. Repeat for the other leg.

wp press waistNow that both ruffles are on. (And both are hemmed, since you did that earlier.) Press the waist of the pants down to form the elastic casing. (I serge mine first, then press it down so it is finished when I sew the elastic casing down. If you DO NOT have a serger, you’ll want to press it down, then tuck the bottom up toward the fold and press again. Make sure the finished casing will hold your elastic!)

Sew the waist down, leaving a small opening to feed the elastic in. (I do not like to sew the waist of pants with a zigzag. It tend to break on a waistband being pulled on. I use a straight stitch for the waist.)

wp insert elastic

 

Feed your elastic into the casing.

wp SAVE elasticMake sure you SAVE your elastic end. Put a big pin on it so it doesn’t accidentally slip though.

wp elastic stitchOnce you get the elastic all the way through, you’ll need to sew it closed. You’ll see above what the elastic stitch on my machine looks like. It is that weird lightening bolt zigzag. If you don’t have this stitch, you can just use your zigzag stitch.

wp elasticElastic is sewn closed! Pop it into the casing, then sew the hole in the casing closed.

wp 18 month pantsAnd you’re done!

wp size 6 pantsAs always, do what you want with the pants you made! Keep them, give them, sell them- you made them. However, please share the free. If someone asks how you made them, be kind and point them back here. Don’t try to sell the pattern or keep it some big industry secret. It just isn’t nice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth Pants Tutorial

17 Jan

My niece is turning one! I couldn’t let the occasion go by without using the opportunity to make her some clothes to begin her toddling phase in. (Let’s just face it, if I’m your Aunt, you’re going to get homemade clothes. It is just life.) So, for outfit number one, I chose to make a reversible Smocket (find the free printable pattern here) and a pair of girly, tiered pants.

Free sewing tutorial for tiered girl's pants.

I loved making these pants. So cute. So girly. So comfy cozy. I cannot wait to give them to her!

So, here is what you’ll need for the pants:

Half a yard each of 2 fabrics. (Or 1 yard of a single fabric. You could also use some of your larger fabric scraps if you’ve got any of those lying around! Those would be fun!)

Elastic. (This is my go-to kid elastic.)

Your sewing stuff.

First, I made my pattern. (I just drew it right on the back of my fabric. I’m fancy like that.) This is a size 18 months. If you need a larger size, add the inches as needed. (Don’t forget to add to the width and the length!)

Pattern Instructions

Okay, got it? Hehe. I’m just joking. This is my little sketch book drawing of what I made.

Piece 1: Cut 2 on fold: Fabric A: 6″ waist, 9″ crotch, 11″ outseam, 9″ leg width. (I used my Variform Curve ruler for the crotch. You can always eyeball it or grab another pair of pants and copy that pair.)

Piece 1A:Cut 2 on fold: Fabric B: 3″ tall by 9″ wide. (This is NOT a ruffle. It is just straight. You can omit this piece to make the pants shorter. Or you can add 1.5″ onto the length of pieces 2 and 3. Or you     can add a third “crazy” fabric into the mix with this piece. It is up to you. You’re the designer. For my pants, I have it.)

Piece 2: Cut 2 on fold: Fabric A: 5″ tall by 12″ wide.

Piece 3: Cut 2 on fold: Fabric B: 5″ tall by 12″ wide.

Pieces

This is what you should have right now. (My pieces are still together. There are two of each piece, I swear!) (And they are still folded!)

With right sides together, sew piece 1A onto piece 1.


EP gathering stitch

Now, on piece 2, you’re going to want to do a basting stitch (straight stitch, close-ish to the edge, as long as your stitch length will go) and gather the top of the piece. (The basting stitch should run down the LONG side of the fabric on whichever side you deem to be “top”.)

EP Pinned On

Once you’re all gathered up, pin piece 2 onto piece 1A with right sides together. You want the corners to match. Gather as much as needed to get the piece the same width. I gathered mine more in the middle and less on the ends. Why? The ends will be the inner leg. I wanted the ruffles to be more on the outside, with the inside of the legs being less ruffles. It’s a comfort thing.

After pinning, sew right sides together! (Sew with the gathered piece on top. Otherwise your straight piece will end up getting wonky.)

Do the same for piece 3. Baste. Gather. Pin with right sides together to piece 2. Sew.

Repeat for the other leg.

Finish the seams if you’re going to finish them. I serged mine because I have a nice serger and have to use it! If you don’t have a serger, don’t be jealous. Just finish your edges as you wish. (Clip them with pinking shears. Trim and zigzag. Do nothing. Whatever you want to do.)

EP Pant leg

Now, each pant leg should look like this. Fancy, huh? Take each pant leg and sew the inseam. (Put right sides together, matching up the outer edges.) Finish the inseam. (Serge. Pink. Zigzag.)

Now, you should have two pant legs. Do they look like pant legs? (You should answer yes. If you answered no, I think it is time to evaluate what went wrong before pressing on. Fear not. It happens to the best of us.)

EP Leg in Leg

Flip one leg right side out and put it inside the other leg. Match the inseams. Pin around the crotch area. Sew. Finish the seam. (Serge. Pink. Zigzag.)

EP WaistbandWe’re moving on! Press about an inch of the waistband down. (Wrong side to wrong side.) If you didn’t serge the edge, you’ll want to flip about 1/4th of an inch under before you sew. Hide that unfinished edge! Sew around the waistband! Make sure you leave a little hole to feed the elastic through.

EP ElasticI put a brooch pin on the end of the elastic I am NOT feeding through. It keeps the end from accidentally following the leader and ending up inside the casing. I use a safety pin to feed the elastic through the casing.

EP Elastic InPut the elastic into the casing. Feed it through. Don’t let the end follow! It needs to stay out.

EP Elastic OutNow you have both elastic ends out. Yay!

EP Elastic SewedCross the edges over each other and sew. Use a zigzag or elastic stitch on your machine. A straight stitch will break when the elastic is pulled. (An elastic stitch looks like a wonky zigzag. See above.)

Trim the edges of the elastic.

Pull on the waist and pop the elastic inside the casing.

Sew up the hole!

EP HemHem the bottom edge of the pants. (I serge mine, then flip them inside and zigzag them. I like the look of a zigzagged hem. It makes it different from things you can buy at the store. You see the zigzag and you know, those are special!)

EP All Done!And you are done! Adorable little pants to toddler about in!

As always, this tutorial is yours to use as you wish. Make them to give, keep, or sell. Just do not sell the pattern. And when someone asks where you got the pattern, share the free!

Half Yard Baby Shower Gift

24 Sep

You’ve been invited to a baby shower and you decide you’re going to sew an entire layette or possibly an entire crib bedding set for the new squishy. The you realize, dude, I’ve got four kids of my own and the shower is in a week and I’ve got no time for such ambitious gifts. You need something practical. Something handmade, useful, but quick to make. I give you the half yard baby shower gift! It’ll take you an hour to whip up and you’ll still be the talk of the party.

Or maybe you’re new to sewing and want to sew something but you know you’re skills aren’t up to a smocked christening gown. So do you just buy some old something from the store? No. You sew the half yard baby shower gift! It is perfect for beginners!

The half yard baby shower gift includes 2 burpies, 3 wipies, and 2 drool bibs. What is a burpie? A cuter name for a burp cloth. Great for protecting shoulders, putting under little prone to leak heads while changing diapers or sleeping, good for big baby messes. What is a wipie? A smaller version of a burp cloth. Can be used as a cloth wet wipe, washcloth, face wipe, booger cleaner, drool wiper, etc. Great for smaller baby messes. What is a bib? Seriously? Do you have a baby? Have you seen a baby?

You’ll need a half yard of fabric. (You can use regular quilting cotton or flannel.) If it is going to annoy you having a directional print not quite lined up perfectly, don’t use a directional print. This project leaves no room for fussy cutting.

You’ll also need one cheap (new) bath towel. You can buy the cheapies at Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or Target. (Target’s are the thickest of those three, FTR. So, if you’re a newbie, it might make it more difficult to sew.) I promise one bath towel will be enough. You’ll see that I have 2 different colors of terry in these pictures. Once I got started, I realized I’d already made a couple burp cloths out of the other half of my blue towel. So, I had to grab the half of a brown towel I had from another project.

All laid out, this is essentially what your half yard is going to turn into.

First, iron your fabric. If the ends aren’t straight, straighten them. Also, some places tend to cut a bit bigger than you request. If your fabric shop did this, go ahead and trim your fabric to 18″.

Now, measure and cut 3 burpies. You’ll use the 18″ as the length and cut 10″ wide.

Take one of those burpies and divide it into 3. Mark it along the length at 6″ and 12″. These are your wipies.

Cut the towel to match. I cut the decorative stipe off. If your towel seems small, leave one of the stripes one, just in case you need to use it. I have used the stripe on burpies and bibs. It works fine, I just prefer not to have it. Also, the width of your towel is likely the length of one burpie plus the width of one wipie. To cut the terry, I lay the cut cotton on top and use it as a template. Terry is difficult to mark and it stretches in odd ways when you pin and pull it.

You should have about 14″ of fabric left. Fold this in half and lay a bib template on top. Cutting out two bibs.

I had to turn mine a bit because this Michael Miller fabric wasn’t quite as wide as my Joann’s stuff I used in my first few of these. It fit fine, as you can see, I just have slightly slanted cowpokes. Cut 2 bibs from the towel.

About this bib template. We’re making small newborn type drool bibs. You may have a template you can use. I use on from Sweet Booties. If you don’t have a bib template, here is how you make one. (And save it so you only have to make it once! I keep all my patterns, including those I make, it hanging file folders in milk crates.)

As you can see, my bib template is roughly the size of a regular 8.5″ x 11″ piece of printer paper.

Fold your paper in half and draw a bib shape on half of it (on the fold, so it opens whole). It may take you a couple tries, which is fine, it is just paper. A couple things to keep in mind: Keep the bottom relatively perpendicular to the fold, if you are coming at the fold at an angle, it’ll be pointed or heart shaped when you open it. You’ll loose some of your pattern in sewing space, so keep in mind your finished bib will be smaller than your template. (This mean necklines will be more open, too.)

Cut out your bib shape.

Open your bib template up and see how you like it. If you don’t like it, fix it now. It is much easier to scrap your pattern than try to make it work in fabric. If the paper doesn’t look right, the bib certainly won’t. Do you see how my straps don’t quite touch each other? You want that. When it is snapped, it pulls down and makes a two dimensional piece of fabric into a three dimensional piece of clothing.

As you can see, these two bibs would look much different from one another, but they’d both be fine. The point is to make a little bib this size. How you make the bib is up to you.

Now that you’ve got it all cut out, you’ve got about this much scrap fabric. See, I told you no room for fussy cutting.

Now that you’ve got all your pieces all cut out and ready to go it is time to sew! If you’re an old pro at sewing, sew, turn, and topstitch all of it, add closures of choice to the bibs. You’re done. If you are a beginning sewer, I’m going to go through all the steps for you.

First, with the wrong side of the fabric down on the terry, sew around the edge of the burpie leaving a hole.

See the hole? That is where we’ll turn it right side out. You want to reverse stitch at the beginning and the end. You do not want your seam unraveling as you turn. Also, if you make the hole small, life will be difficult (though not impossible) in 5 minutes. If you make a very large hole, your life might get difficult in 10 minutes when you’re having to line it up and sew it shut.

When you get to the corners:

You stop about where the line going the other direction will start. Eyeball it.

Pick up your foot, but leave the needle down. If your machine doesn’t stop in needle down position automatically, make sure to put the needle down before you lift the foot.

Turn your fabric. (My needle is down, my foot is up.)

Put your foot down. Now continue to sew. See how easy that was? *Confession: There once was a time in my early days of sewing when I would have sewn completely off the edge on one side, cut my threads, sewn the entire edge of the other side, cut my threads, sewn the entire opposite side the the edge, cut my threads, and finished by sewing the entire other side and cut my threads. Such a waste of time. And thread.*

Now that you’ve sewn all the way around and turned the corners like a pro, you’ll need to clip the corners of your fabric. This makes it so you actually have a corner when you flip it. Don’t clip your corners and the fabric will bunch in the corner, making it a round more than a corner. (And it’ll be a devil and a half to sew through.) Just don’t clip your seam!

Now, your burpie looks like this. And you are pretty proud of yourself for making it so nice and pretty. Good job. Now turn it right side out. Through that hole you left.

Ah! I made a fabric blob! Keep turning. It’ll work out. Run your hand along the inside, pushing the seams outward. Push those corners out.

Now press it. Make sure that hole is lining up nicely. Press it well. This is important. Don’t like ironing? Then you should probably avoid sewing because you cannot neglect to press things properly when you sew. (BTW, I burned my arm trying to iron left handed so I could photograph with my right hand. I think I may need a left handed camera.)

Let me stop and talk about stitches before we move forward. See my #00 and my #01? The 00 aligns the needle at the far left of my foot. The 01 aligns my needle in the center of my foot. If you have this option, use it. I use the 00 to sew the inside, then the 01 to topstitch. This way, I know my topstitching is catching the right fabric. If you use the same, be very careful that the hole closes!

Also, I use a longer stitch length to topstitch. It just looks better to me. I sew with a 2.5 stitch length usually. I topstitch with a 4.0 stitch length.

Starting just before the hole, topstitch. You want to be kinda close to the edge but not on the edge. *Confession: This freaked me out when I first started sewing. Topstitching was freaking nerve wracking! I would often sew it too far from the edge, leaving the unfinished edge of my hole hanging out. I often did a double topstitch because I got it wrong the first time. I’d topstitch it too far in, then topstitch again alongside it where it should have been. I claimed I mean to do it. I didn’t. But it always worked out.*

Turn your corners the same way you did for the other side. Leave the needle down, pick up the foot, turn, put down the foot, and keep sewing. Now aren’t you glad you perfected that on the side no one could see? In the corners, if your terry is particular thick or you didn’t clip quite right or if the stars just aren’t aligning for you today, you may have to push the fabric through a bit if it seems stuckish. Don’t freak about it, just push it a bit and it’ll go through and no one will notice your stitches are a bit smaller in length at the particular point because the fabric just wasn’t moving through properly.

Now, you’ve sewn all the way around and you’re coming back to your original starting point! (Which you don’t have to backstitch on, BTW, because we’re sewing over it just a bit.) Oh! Line it up! Quick! Don’t pull too drastically, just guide it so the threads line up! If you’re slightly off, no worries. I doubt anyone will notice. You’ll be a pro by the end of this gift!

See, it lined up! Yay! *deep breath* Sew over the line an inch or so. No need to backstitch at the end.

You did it! Bravo! Now, do the other burpie the exact same way. And those three wipies.

Now those bibs! Okay, now you’ve practiced sewing, turning, and topstitching 5 times. The bibs will be ever so slightly more difficult because they are curved and curves take some patience and practice. Just go slow. Take deep breaths. You can do it. Leave the hole on the straightest part of the bib. I chose the side. Once you get it sewn, you need to clip the curves (shown in the above picture). Clipping the curves on a bib feels like you’re making fringe our of the entire bib. Try not to clip your seams. (If you do, don’t panic. Just keep rolling. It’ll work out.) Turning this will be much more difficult. You can do it. The straps will turn. Just work ‘em. Now that you’re turned, press it. Now topstitch being extra careful. Don’t think you’ll be able to manage? You can zigzag the topstitch to make the ever so small mistakes much less noticeable.

Add closure to your bib. I use snaps because I have a snap press. (Not rubbing it in. I do have a snap press.) Don’t use buttons. That is just dangerous. If you don’t have a snap press or snap pliers, use velcro. I had velcro, but it is better than choking a friend’s baby with a button. Don’t use ties. Ties are for bibs from the 80′s. No one has time to tie a bib on a squirming baby. It’ll never get used if you add ties.

Now you’re done! Tie it up in ribbons and present it proudly! If you’ve got more time and a contrasting fabric (or more of the same fabric) you can make 2 or 3 or 4 of these sets. These are items every parent needs plenty of.

As usual, do what you like with this tutorial. Make these to keep, give, sell, whatever. Just give a shout out back to me and don’t take credit for the work (this tutorial) of others! Free crafting for all!

 

Double Ruffle Pants Tutorial

4 Jul

You know my daughter loves ruffles, right? You didn’t know that? Well, she does. When I said I was making her ruffled pants, she thought I was putting ruffles on her jeans to make them more wearable. She was only slightly disappointed to discover I was starting from scratch and making new ruffle pants. Her jeans can wait.

You need one yard of fabric. The pants I made are a size 6. I had a little leftover. If I were making an 8 or above, I’d opt for buying a bit more fabric. But for the little girls (Shh! Don’t tell them I called them “little”!) a yard is plenty.

The first step is to grab a pair of pants that currently fit your girl. No need to reinvent the wheel. Just trace the pants onto the double fold of your fabric, getting it as close to the top as you can. When tracing your pants, add a little room. You’ll want a little extra for seam allowances and woven cotton just doesn’t move like denim or cotton knit. Make sure you trace it a couple inches higher on top. I swear I somehow always make Imo low rise pants purely on accident.

So, you cut two legs out (cutting on the double fold should have given you 2 legs for your pants). Now, cut 4 strips that are 4″ long and the entire width of the fabric. You can make these single ruffled if you’d like. Imo loves double (or triple) ruffles. You could add a bit of fancy to this and make the ruffles in contrasting fabric.

Sew your pants together. I know, I know. That seems like I’m skipping a bunch of stuff. Go here if you need help on that.

Go ahead and finish the interior edges. (Double fold, french seam, serge, pink, whatever it is you do.)

Go ahead and serge or pink the bottom of each leg and the top of the pants.

Fold over the top of the pants and make a little channel to run the elastic and ribbon through. You’ll probably want the ribbon drawstring. The double ruffles make these a bit heavier than the usual cotton pants. Go ahead and finish the top with elastic and drawstring. You can save it for later if you want. It doesn’t matter much when you do it.

 

Moving on to the ruffles. You’ll do this with each ruffle. Match the short sides of a ruffle strip together. (right sides together) Sew the short sides together. (You’ll have one big loop for each ruffle.)

Finish the top and bottom of the ruffle. For the top (on the right side of the above photo) I just serged it. For the bottom, I serged, flipped, and sewed.

Repeat for each ruffle. This takes the most time on this project.

Now, pin the ruffle to the bottom of the pants right sides together. You want the ruffle to ruffle, so just messy pleat and pin all the way around.

Sew all the way around. Repeat on the other leg. You now have one ruffle on each leg. You can stop here if you want the single ruffle pants.

In this picture (above) you can see the line I sew above the ruffle. What I do after I attach the ruffle is flip the seam inside up and then sew it around the top of the ruffle. It keeps the ruffle from flipping up.

Now, to attach the next ruffles. I don’t have a picture of this step. You’re just going to pin the next ruffle the same way you did the first, but pin it slightly above the first ruffle. If you want it to look like two very distinct ruffles, you’ll need to pin it about 2″ – 3″ above the first ruffle. I like mine stacked so the look super ruffly, but not necessarily like rows of ruffles. Pin the ruffle right sides together, sew it. Flip the ruffle down (covering the seam) and sew around the top edge of the ruffle so it stays down and doesn’t flip up on you.

That’s it! You’ve got your girl some double ruffle pants!

 

 

Bow Tie Bib – A Tutorial

7 Jun

Ransom Jo is turning one on Monday. His birthday party is an old man theme. (Because of his nickname, The Professor.) The kids have all had a special bib on their first birthday. I decided I wanted Ransom to have a bow tie bib. So, I sat down to figure it out. Turns out, it is really, really easy. So, here is how you can make one. (You can also make a necktie version. With all the other party stuff going on, I didn’t have time to get the necktie version done. But it is the same bib, just make a necktie shape instead of a bow tie shape.)

Here is what you’ll need:

- Fabric for the front and back of the bib. (I like to use flannel, terry, or chenille on the backs of bibs for absorbency reasons.) You’ll only need about half a fat quarter of each.

- Fabric for the bowtie. You’ll need about half to a third of a fat quarter.

- Sewing machine, scissors, thread, pins, paper, pencil, and iron. You’re usual sewing stuff.

Now, you’ll want to draft your pattern. That sounds more difficult than it really is. You can trace a bib you’ve already got or use a bib pattern that you’ve already got. Or you can wing it. I chose to wing it.

I made the top and bottom of the bib pattern about 4″ (so it’d be 8″ wide unfolded). The height is about 10″. I used my veriform curve to round the outer edge of the bib. I like the shape. It is a bit unusual without being too odd.

For the bow tie pattern, I took one of The Pastor’s bow ties and laid it on a piece of paper. You basically want to make a very short bow tie. So, I traced the outline of the end of the bow tie. If your husband doesn’t wear bow ties, you don’t know what you’re missing! Just kidding. If he doesn’t wear a bowtie, you can wing it. The hour glass shape isn’t difficult and it doesn’t have to be precise. You’ll see in a minute.

Fold your fabric in half and press. Pin the bib pattern to the fabric on the fold. Cut it out.

When you unfold it, it should look bib-like. You will need to make sure to cut the upper portion that will fasten behind the neck.

Do the same for your backing fabric. Mine is black flannel.

Now, we’re going to make a loop for the front of the bib to attach the bow tie. Take a 2″ x 4″ or more piece of fabric. Fold it in half. Press it.

Sew along the edge. Turn it.

Press the little strip so the seam is in the middle of one side. This will be the back side of the loop. (Also ignore my chipped fingernail polish. I haven’t had a chance to fix it since we went to the beach last week.)

About 2″ down in the center of the bib, sew the loop onto the front of the bib with the seam facing up. (See the picture.) Flip the strip up and press it with the iron.

Sew the loop to the top center of the front of the bib. (See above.) See how you flipped the sewn part to the inside of the loop?

Trim the excess off the loop. Even it with the top of the bib.

Pin the front of your bib to the back of the bib, right sides together. (See how you can’t see the loop?)

Sew along the edge.

Leave a hole to turn it!

Clip the corners. (Don’t want them to be “rounds”!)

Clip your curves. (It’ll help the bib lay flat once you turn and press it.)

Turn it right side out and press with the iron. Make sure you push those corners out nicely.

Topstitch. Make sure you’re close enough to the edge to close the hole!

Now you’re going to add your closure. You can do velcro, snaps, buttons, whatever. (Buttons are pretty difficult to button on an older baby.) I did snaps since I own a snap press.

Here is my snap closed.

Moving on to our bow tie. Take your pattern, lay it out on the folded fabric. Cut out 2 on the fold. (If you wanted the bow tie to be a bit more substantial, you can always add more layers of fabric or some interfacing. I found that 2 layers is thick enough for the bow to stand up and not so thick that it is difficult to tie.)

Now, I put the wrong sides together and just topstitched my bow tie. I wanted it to have a bit of a scrappy look. If you want a scrappy look, do the same. The edges will fray a bit and give it that crazed professor look to it. If you want it to be more polished, put the wrong sides together, turn, and top stitch.

Now, just slip the bow tie under the loop and tie it like a regular bow tie. Confession: I had The Pastor tie mine, since he’s the bow tie guy in our house. Don’t know how to tie a bow tie? (The Pastor learned from Dr. Tate at the birth of Ransom if you remember correctly.) Watch this video on You Tube.

And you’re done! Tip: tie the tie before you put it on the baby. You can make multiple bow ties for the same bib. You can also make a short neck tie and tie it on this bib, as well. Very versatile. It’d make an adorable baby gift! (Or first birthday party bib!)

Double Twirly Skirt Tutorial

2 Jan

Sorry I haven’t been able to blog for a while. I’ve got something new for you, though! If you are like me, you love a twirly skirt! With some fabulous fabric, a single layer twirly skirt is awesome. However, nothing compares to the fullness and twirl of a double twirly skirt! My daughter loves them! I love them. She looks so adorable and girly in them. They make her look more graceful (though they don’t actually make her more graceful). I can also make them longer, meaning they’ll fit longer and don’t look like some of the prostitot clothing they make for 4 year old girls these days. (Seriously, why is it so stinking hard to make clothing for little girls that makes them look like little girls? Why do they need to look like sassy teenagers (or worse)?)

Though this skirt looks complicated, it is simple. Super simple. Only sewing in straight lines simple. This is a great project for beginners, since your only pieces are rectangles. Easy! And the end result looks so… fancy and fabulous! (Couldn’t decide which word would best describe it!)

Here is what you need for the project:

- scissors

- sewing machine

- something with which to mark on fabric

- ruler and/or yard stick (I use both.)

- thread

- fabric (I used 4 different fabrics in my version, but you can use just two if you’d prefer.)

-You’ll need a double length of the under layer fabric. (I made my under skirt 15″ long, so I needed 30″ of fabric.)

-You’ll need a double length of the over layer fabric. (I made my over skirt 11″ long, so I needed 22″ of fabric.)

-You’ll need 6″ of your waistband fabric.

- If you MAKE a tie, you’ll need 4″ of fabric for that. You can also use ribbon, rope, twine, shoestring, whatever. You can also use double or triple elastic if            you prefer. The double skirt is kind of heavy, so it needs something more than just some 1/4″ elastic holding it up.

Cutting your fabric:

Decide how long you want to make your skirt. If you are making a skirt for an infant, you only want to use one width of the fabric, instead of two. (Having just one large rectangle, just one small rectangle, just one waistband piece, and just one length for the tie.) Anything over a 2T, keep reading. You under layer should be AT LEAST 2″ longer than the over layer. I typically keep it between 2″ and 5″ difference, depending on the fabrics. (And sometimes depending on how much of a fabric I have.) For my skirt, I made the under skirt 15″ long and the over skirt 11″ long. My model above wears a size 5 in little girl’s. So, the length you decide on will determine height of the rectangles you’ll cut.

From you under layer fabric: Cut 2 rectangles 20″ x the length of your skirt on the fold. (When you open the rectangle up, it will be 40″ x length.) (Mine were                40″ x 15″)

From you over layer fabric: Cut 2 rectangles 20″ c the length of your over skirt on the fold. (When you open it up, it will be 40″ x length.)(Mine were 40″ x 11″)

From your waistband fabric: Cut two strips 20″ x 3″ on the fold. (Opened they will be 40″ x 3″ each.)

From your tie fabric: Cut two strips 2″ across the length of your fabric.

**Tip: You can decrease the width of the skirt, taking some of the “poof” out if you’d like. I don’t recommend any less that a total of 40″ circumference. You can add poof by using all the fabric all the way to the edge, but I prefer to cut a bit off to make sure my measurements are even. Some fabrics may say 44″ wide, when they are in fact a bit more or less.

Working on the under skirt first, place the right sides of your two fabric rectangles together and sew the short sides. You’ll want to go ahead an finish your seams. I serge mine. You do whatever it is you do to yours. (Zig-zag, french seam, whatever.)

Once your side seams are all sewn up and finished, you’ll want to go ahead and do the hem. Hem in however it is you hem it. I serge mine, then turn the serging under and sew. You can do a double fold hem, or whatever hem it is that you like.

Put the under skirt aside.

Now, we’re going to do the same thing with our over skirt (the short layer). You’ll sew the short sides of the rectangles right sides together. Finish your seams. Hem the bottom. Now, you have both the top and the bottom layer done!

Now, turn your attention to the waistband. Sew the short sides of the two strips right sides together. I serge mine, but you really don’t have to finish the side seams of the waistband. The seams will be hidden inside the waistband of the skirt, so you can skip the finishing. I’m just weird. Instead of hemming the bottom, you’ll finish the top. I just serge mine, since it will be on the inside of the skirt. You can zig-zag over the edge if you prefer, or just do a single fold hem, since the unfinished edge will get enclosed in the waistband.

For the tie, I like to place a buttonhole on my waistband. It seems easiest. Some people like to leave a portion of their waistband seam open, but I always mess that up somehow. A buttonhole near the side seam, toward the bottom of the waistband works out perfectly for me. Place it low enough that it will be on the front of the skirt, but high enough it won’t get caught in the seam. You can do the button hole horizontal, instead or vertical, but the placement is a bit more tricky that way.

Putting the under skirt and the overskirt together now. With the wrong side of the over skirt facing the right side of the under skirt, align the tops of the skirts, matching the side seams. Baste around the top of the two skirts. (Basting is sewing a straight line with the longest stitch setting.) You’ll want to baste the edges closer to the edge than your seams normally are. (If you sew with a 1/2″ seam, baste at a 1/4″.)

Now, you’re going to attach the waistband to the skirt. With the wrong side of the waistband facing the right side of the overskirt, sew around the bottom of the waistband/top of the skirt. Here is why it was important to baste closer to the edge than you normally sew. You’ll want your basted line hidden, and it will be now!

Press the waistband up. You’ll want your seam toward the top of the waistband. Believe me, this step will help the next go smoothly.

Fold the waistband over and sew down. I line up the top line with the sewn line on the skirt. Don’t fret if your line is not completely straight on the front of the skirt. No one will really see it.

If you are making a tie, you’ll need to sew the short sides of one side of the tie strips together. Just one side. Otherwise, it will be quite difficult to use.

Press the seam open.

Fold the strip in half and press. (See the picture for the correct version of half.)

Fold one edge toward the center and press. This is simple, though it does take some time to press down all 80″ of tie. Watch your fingers! Get them too close and you’ll suffer burns!

Press the other side in toward the center seam. Now, you have what looks like double fold bias tape, which would be exactly what it is minus being cut on a bias.

Sew down the middle of the tie. You CAN just do a straight stitch. I prefer to do a zig-zag.

Or if you happen to have a machine with some fancy stitches that you never get to use, you can use one of those. Ties are a great chance to use those stitches, and if you mess up, no big deal, it is just a tie.

Now, grab your piece of elastic. (You want the skirt to fit snug, but not too snug. The elastic really isn’t going to do much holding the skirt up, it is just for shape and keeping you from having to regather the thing every time you wash it.) Pin your tie to your elastic with the tie on the front. Also put a pin on the end of your elastic so it doesn’t just shoot straight through the skirt. The tie is long enough that you don’t have to worry about it.

Thread the tie and elastic through the waistband. Sew the ends of the elastic together. Pull on the tie and get it even on your skirt. The elastic will probably pop right into place while you’re messing with the tie.

Cut your ties to a manageable length. (That length depends on the waist of the wearer and how long you the tie to hang.) Tie the ends of the tie in little knots.

Tie the tie in a bow and you’re done! One of my favorite things about this skirt is that it lasts forever! This thing will fit your little princess for a very long time! It will fit until it is too short, no outgrowing the waist on this thing! My daughter’s favorite thing about this skirt is that it is SUPER twirly. She loves the princess-like fit. Enjoy!

Like all my patterns, you can do what you wish with this. You can make skirts for you, neighbors, friends, kids… You can sell the skirts you make. Just don’t claim the pattern as yours, cause that is just wrong. And feel free to share this tutorial!

Petal Skirt

17 Nov

This skirt is very similar to the Pixie Skirt. In fact, the Petal Skirt and Pixie Skirt are so similar, I’m only posting one tutorial. Skip to the bottom for dimensions for the Pixie. Why the difference? Well, the Petal Skirt is for older girls and the Pixie Skirt is for younger girls. Simple.

This is the Petal Skirt. The longer length and fewer petals make it perfect for older girls. You’ll want to pick two or three different cotton fabrics and have about 3/4 of a yard of each. (You can make the underside of the petals in a solid color if you like. Or you can make each petal different if you’re daring.)

First, you’re going to make your petal pattern. So, grab your graph paper (or whatever paper you make your patterns on), your straight ruler, your curve ruler (if you have one- if you don’t, you can eyeball it), your pen, and your paper scissors (never to be confused with your fabric scissors!).

Mark a line on the top of your paper 7″ across. Put a little mark at the halfway (3.5″) point.

Draw a line down the center mark 10″ down. The bottom of the 10″ mark is the bottom of your petal.

Fold the paper in half along the center line. Also, note how I marked the bottom of the 10″ line. Once your paper is folded, it can be hard to see where the end of the line is.

Grab your curve ruler and draw a curved line from the end of your 7″ line to the end of your 10″ line. If you don’t have a curve ruler, you can just eyeball this part. You are only marking one side of your folded paper.

Keeping your paper folded, cut along the curved line.

Unfold your petal. This is your pattern piece. (Ignore the “Pixie” written on the petals. These are Petal petals, not Pixie petals, but my pregnant brain had a slight malfunction in the labeling department.) Write all the necessary stuff on you pattern piece. I usually include the dimensions of the pattern piece and the dimensions of the pieces that are to go with it. Also, not the two pattern pieces above. Your pattern is your own. It may be more pointy or round than mine. In fact, you can make triangles and make a Pennant Skirt if you like. (That would be super cute in the summer for baseball season.) If you don’t like the shape when you unfold it, try again. For my skirt, I used the left pattern. I liked the rounded look of it.

Now, you are going to cut out all your skirt pieces. You will need to cut out 12 petals (front and back will make 6 completed petals). You’ll need 2 rectangles for the skirt body 20″ wide and 14″ long. You’ll also need 2 skinny rectangles for the waistband 19″ wide and 3″ long. (Note my pretty new scissors that The Pastor bought me for my birthday! He knows the way to my heart is not jewelry, but sewing accessories!)

First, we’re going to work on the petals. Take two of your petal cut outs and place them right sides together.

Sew around the edges, leaving the top open. Since these seams will be completely enclosed, there is no need to finish them. Clip the curves all the way around your petal so that when you flip it right side out, it lays nice and flat.

Repeat for the other 5 petals. Flip them right side out and iron them flat. If you want, you can topstitch once you’ve ironed them flat. I didn’t on this skirt, but have on others. It is really just for looks, so do whichever you prefer at the moment.

Set your cute little petals aside and let’s work on this underskirt. With the right sides together, sew the short sides of the two rectangles together, making a tube.

Go ahead and finish the side seams of your skirt. I serged mine. You can finish them however you like!

You are also going to go ahead and finish the bottom of the underskirt. You can do a double fold hem if you like. I serge mine, then flip that under and sew it down. I use a zig-zag stitch just because I like how it looks.

Pin your petals to the outside of the underskirt. I like mine to overlap a little bit. You arrange them how you want. There will probably be about 1/2″ more underskirt than there are petals. You are going to box pleat the center front and back underskirt. The size of the box pleat depends on how you want your petals arranged.

This is the best picture I have of the pleat. I like the pleat, because it adds just a bit of volume to the skirt. However, if you don’t like the pleat, take about an inch off the width of the underskirt. I usually don’t do the pleat for the Pixie Skirt, since it is smaller and shorter and naturally holds a little more volume.

Sew the petals to the underskirt. Make sure you sew close to the top edge.

Sew the short sides of the waistband together (with right sides together). I go ahead and serge what will be the top of my waistband. You can do it now or later, it really doesn’t matter. With the right side of the waistband facing the right side of the skirt, sew the waistband to the skirt.

Fold the waistband over and sew it closed, leaving a small hole to feed the elastic through. It may be easier if you press the waistband fold before you sew. You do whatever works for you. I didn’t want to walk across the room to the iron, so I just flipped it and eyeballed it.

Here is the hole I left for the elastic.

My elastic is now ready to thread through the waistband! The length of elastic you cut will depend on two things. The first is the girl who will wear the skirt. Clearly, skinner means shorter elastic. Wider means longer elastic. The maximum waist on the skirt is about 37″. The second factor is what kind of elastic you are using. I use a gentler elastic that doesn’t dig in or squeeze as tight. I find it more comfortable to wear. Your elastic may squeeze tighter, therefore you’ll want it a bit wider than I make mine. Eyeball it.

Thread the elastic through the waistband. Sew the elastic closed. When sewing elastic closed, you want to sew along the length with a stretch stitch (or a zig-zag). I always sew about an inch, that way there is very little chance of an overly zealous dresser snapping it.

Sew the hole closed and YOU ARE DONE!

Pixie Skirt. I added a matching hem band on the bottom of this one.

To make a Pixie Skirt, rather than a Petal Skirt, follow the directions above and just change the dimensions. (Also, don’t pleat the underskirt.)

For the petals: Make a pattern with a 7 and 3/4″ top and 8″ long. You are going to cut 16 petals for the Pixie Skirt, since you are making 8 full petals. I also make my Pixie petals a bit more pointy. It just seems right to me.

For the underskirt: Cut two 26.5″ x 11″ rectangles.

For the waistband: Cut two 26.5″ x 3″ rectangles. (If you want a more narrow waistband, try making them 2″ wide instead of 3″.)

Follow the directions for the Petal Skirt.

As always, this tutorial is free for you to use in any way you like. Make them to keep, sell, gift, whatever. Just don’t take credit for the pattern because that just isn’t cool. Share the free and link back here.

 

Hoarding Apron Tutorial

13 Aug

I’ve been promising this one for quite some time and it is finally here! Say hello to my toddler/preschooler hoarding apron pattern tutorial!My hoarding apron is perfect for preschoolers and toddler who seem to think they must carry all their stuff at one time. (Why they can’t play kitchen without every pot and pan on their person is beyond me.) This apron is unisex and makes an awesome gift. It is easy (if you can get past the complicated directions) and uses only 2 fat quarters of fabric. (Also known as half a yard.) You’ll be drafting a pattern for this one, so get ready for a long tutorial!

Grab your drafting supplies and let’s get going! (If you are clueless on what pattern drafting supplies would be, I’ll help you out: a ruler (mine is 18″ long and 2″ wide), a pair of paper scissors (not your fabric scissors!), paper (I use graph paper and I tape it together to make pieces large enough. You can use any kind of paper you want.), and  a pen (or pencil). I also use a variform curve ruler.)

You’ll be using the edge of the paper as the center of the pattern. (You’ll line the edge of the pattern paper up on the fold of your fabric.) Here are the measurements (though since you are the pattern maker, you can adjust it as needed!):

1. At the top of the paper, measure 4″ in from the edge. This will be the top of the apron.

2. Measure 8″ down from the top line. Mark it.

3. Across the 8″ down mark, measure 8″ in from the edge. This line will be parallel to the top line. This is the “hip” line.

4. Measure down 20″ from the top line. Mark it.

5. Across the 20″ down mark, measure 8″ in from the edge. This line will be parallel to the hip line and the top line.

6. Connect the two 8″ lines. This will be the bottom side of the apron.

7. Draw a line 2″ down from the top 4″ line, squaring the corner.

8. Connect the 2″ line to the edge of the hip line. I use my variform curve ruler for this, moving it around until it looks right.

Look at your pattern you’ve drawn, decide if it looks right. Chances are, if it looks okay, you’ll be fine. Make sure your corners are squared. And cut it out.

Make sure you mark everything on your pattern. You may remember when you make the pattern, but by the third or fourth time you pull it out, you’ll have no clue what all your markings mean.

For the sewing portion of this program, you’ll need two fat quarters. Yep, you’ll only need two fat quarters. You could also buy half a yard of fabric, if you’d prefer.

Pin your pattern onto your fabric with the edge of your pattern on the fold of your fabric. I don’t fold my fabric in the center, I fold it as far to the edge as I can, while still being able to fit the pattern. You’ll want nice scraps to make strips for the binding, so try to fit the pattern on there the best you can.

This is what it will look like unfolded.

Fold your pattern in half along the hip line. You’ll use the bottom half of your pattern to make your hoarding pocket.

Pin the folded pattern on the fold of the fabric. Remember, you’ll be making 2″ strips for binding , so you need to make the most of your space. (But don’t freak out about it! If worst comes to worse and you just can’t make it work, you can always use scraps for the strips.)

Now, cut as many 2″ strips of fabric as you can. This will be the binding for the apron. If you despise making binding, you can always buy double fold bias tape if you want to short-cut it. I was able to cut 5 strips from my contrast fabric (the pink) that were 2″ wide and about 18.5″ long. From the green, I got one strip that was 2″ by 21″, one that was 2″ by 4.75″, and two strips that were 2″ by 8.25″.

Take two of the longer strips and go ahead and make them into binding. (I used one of each color.) These are for the top of the pocket and the top of the apron. The rest of the strips will be sen together and made into one long strip.

To make binding- Fold and press the 2″ strip in half.

Now you’re going to tuck one edge in toward the center and press.

See what I mean?

Tuck the other edge up into the center, too, and press. Now, you have binding! Ta-de-dah!

Now, sew the binding onto the top of the pocket. Just sandwich the fabric of the pocket between the binding. Sew along the edge of the binding to attach it to the top of  the pocket. You’ll have too much of the binding and that is okay. Just sew to the edge of the fabric and cut the excess binding off. If you are short on binding in general, you can sew the scrap into the rest of the big strip if you want.

Attach your other piece of binding to the top of the apron. Do it the same way as before. And like before it will be too long and you’ll just cut the excess.

Now, you’re going to attach the pocket. Lay the pocket behind the apron body. You’ll want the right side of the pocket facing the wrong side of the apron body.

Sew around the edge, using about 1/4″ stitch.

Flip the pocket right side out and press.

Topstitch around the edge of the pocket. Use about 1/2″ seam. It will encase you previous inner 1/4″ seam. This is also known as a french seam. (Now you can do something fancy!)

Sew all the rest of your 2″ strips together. You can arrange them in any way you would like. Just put right sides together and sew them end to end.

Press all the seams in your now very long 2″ strip to one direction. I usually press away from the center. You can press the in toward the center, haphazardly, open, whatever. Just press the seams.

Now, press all the strip into binding. You’ll do the exact same thing you did before, just more of it. This is not a difficult process at all, it is just a process. Fold in half, press. Tuck one side toward the center, press. Tuck the other side toward the center, press.

Position the center of the binding so that it makes the neck loop of the apron. I generally just eyeball this. How big your neck hole needs to be really depends on the kid. Err on the side of slightly too big, because you can always tie a knot in the neck to shorten it a bit if you need to. If you make it too small for a fat head, you’ll have far less options of fixing it.

Put a pin to mark the binding where it will meet the top edge.

Here is where you are going to start sewing your binding on. (You’ll finish the rest of the tie on that side later.) Starting at the hip, sew the binding (that is encasing your edge) to the main apron body. The first little bit will be a bit difficult because you’ll have quite a few layers there in that corner. You’ll want to make sure the apron body stays within the binding. It will seem a little strange sewing binding to a curve the first time you do it, but you’ll get used to it in no time!

When you get to the top of that side of the apron, you’re going to keep sewing the binding, making the neck loop. Just keep sewing until you reach your pin, then check and make sure your apron body is well inside your binding and continue sewing. Sew down the other side of the apron.

When you reach the hip on this side, keep sewing to the end of the binding.

Flip your apron over, sew the binding closed on the other side, creating the tie on that side. You’ll want to start about 1/2″ before your initial start place there on the hip seam, overlapping the seam a bit. Sew to the end of the binding.

This is what your end ties will look like. Line up the hips on your apron and cut the ties to make sure they are even. If they seem unnaturally long, you can trim them shorter. If they seem short, you can just pray it will fit around a toddler (and chances are it will).

Tie a knot in each end to finish the ties.

And you’re done! Clear as mud, right? Hopefully once you make it once, you’ll realize it sounds a heck of a lot more complicated than it really is. Seriously. Enjoy!

As usual, you can do what you want with this pattern. Make it for yourself, your kids, your friends, your neighbors. Sell it. Give it away. They are your skills, my friend. I do ask that you not take credit for the pattern and feel free to direct inquiring minds back here! Share the free.

You can see a few of these (with fancy rounded corners) in my store, Moose and Wormy.

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