Wacky apron – Happy Birthday Ma

While I was in Japan I stumbled across this very very wacky print.  I  thought it was pretty wild and would make an amazing apron (and potholders too). And I immediately thought of my mom – it’s her birthday. Over the years she’s made me quite a few aprons and more potholders than I know what to do with. A girl can ever have too many can she?  (Yes in fact she can, this girl requires no more, please no more). But I’ve never made my mom an apron (and as I’ve made it she’ll have to use it!).

Before we get to the nitty-gritty I wanted to show you the fabric so you can really and truly see just how wacky it is.

I didn’t have a pattern and was roughly working off an old apron that my grandma made my mom (and is now mine) maybe  35 years ago. I was good and didn’t just start cutting willy-nilly. I planned. It looked something like this (no laughing this drawing thing is a new pursuit):

I spent quite a bit of time deciding where to cut out exactly to maximize the use of the print. The essential core of the  print is the four animals which covers approximately 18″ by 11″ and then is repeated.  After a quick iron, I immediately decided that I’d use the selvedge for the neck strap. The purple makes a nice contrast  and its kinda quirky to include the writing.


Once all my pieces were cut my first step was to hem the sides of the ‘skirt’. Is that the right term? Hem? Either way you know what I mean. It seamed easier to do that before gathering it. Because this is for my mom and she’d know the difference, I took great pains to ensure my stitching was oh so straight. I’m pretty proud of these.

Then I put some gathering stitches along the top of the ‘skirt’. Although my piece is 30″ wide (1/2″ seam allowance included) I wanted to gather it to 20″.  I ‘sandwiched’ the skirt between the waist band exterior and interior, so no stitching is visible.  Seam graded then pressed and presto!


IMG_9883Next I turned to the top of the apron. I made the neck strap, by folding my piece of fabric in half length wise and sewing a seam along it. Once turned right side out and pressed, this allowed me to have a half green/half purple strap. Then I sandwiched the neck strap in between the front of the apron bib and the back, sewing up along one side, across the top and down the other side, stopping about 1/2″ from the bottom.

I went to join the bib to the bottom and realised my design flaw. In an attempt to hide most of my seams, I’d forgotten about the top seam of the yoke band.

This was the point when I should have paused, had a cup of tea and maybe put my project away for the day. And then come back and unsticked the skirt from the waist band. Instead I forged, brashly ahead. Visibly attaching the bib to the yoke. It was down hill from there. Having not stopped and taken the time to undo one seam, I continued to make ever so slight, just off, mistakes. Joining the ties to the body wasn’t quite right and they pucker a little. The hem, despite all my careful measurements is totally off balance!  Mostly these things are just frustrating because I was so happy with the earlier work.

Then I put it to the side and pouted. I didn’t post it though and week later came back to it and untouched the hem, and all the seams joining the bib to the yoke, the yoke to the skirt, the ties to the yoke etc. I then ironed it all out and started again. This time I sandwiched the bib and and ties into the top and sides of the yoke and sewed. The I redid the gathering stitch on the skirt and attached it to the front piece of the yoke, before hand stitching the yoke lining (so no stitching was visible). Ie I went and made it good.

And good it is I have to say! Here’s the final deal (hopefully my ma will grace us with some photos soon):

Although I made the apron at the beginning of the month, I waited until today to post about it.

Happy Birthday moma.





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