Sunday, February 24, 2008

Toddler Aprons Continued...

You Will Need:

  • 1 yard of fabric. Get 1/2 yard of each coordinating fabric if you want 2 fabrics on your apron (like the one pictured)
  • 2 yards of ribbon (I used 2 different colors of ribbon and bought 2 yards of each)
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Any embellishments you would like to use: Buttons, silk or felt flowers, etc

Getting Started:

  • Put your fabric wrong sides together, pin on the pattern and cut. Do this twice (for front and back panels)
  • If you would like pockets, fold your fabric in half and cut your desired pocket shape out of both layers.
  • Ribbon: cut four 6-inch strips, and two 24-inch strips

Sewing the Pocket:

  • Put your pocket fabric wrong sides together and sew around all sides, leaving a small gap open.
  • Turn right side out, push out corners, press with iron and close gap.
  • Select apron panel piece that you would like to be the front, and pin pocket(s) into desired location.
  • Sew pocket(s) to apron on three sides, leaving top open
Sewing the Panels:

  • Take 2 of the four panel pieces and place them wrong sides together (one of each pattern, if using 2)
  • On each shoulder, place one 6" strip of ribbon between the pieces of fabric so only a little bit of the ribbon shows out the top, and pin in place (it will seem that you are sewing the ribbon inside the panels, but when you turn them inside out, you will have sewn the ribbon into the shoulder, leaving the majority free to use for tying)
  • Sew completely around entire panel, leaving a small gap open
  • With scissors, snip seam around curves of neckline every inch or so to add some give to the neckline.
  • Turn fabric right side out, push out corners, press and close gap.
  • Repeat all steps for second panel.

Adding the Waist Ribbon:
  • Using one piece of 24" ribbon, mark center of ribbon with a pin, then pin across panel at desired chest height.
  • Attach ribbon to panel by stitching along length of ribbon
  • Attach ribbon to second panel (make sure both panel ribbon placements match!)
  • Knot shoulder ribbons, joining the panels, and you're done!
Extra Tips:
  • Stitching an extra line of stitching at the edges of the pocket opening and where the waist ribbon leaves the fabric will prevent future tearing.
  • Treating the ends of your ribbon with "fray check" or "fray no more" will prevent unraveling.

The Pattern:

Ok everyone, I tried for MONTHS to try and figure out a way to post the pattern so that it would print "actual size." I drew it out on three separate sheets of paper so you could print it and then tape it together and cut it out. Sorry, but it didn't work! I finally had to just photograph the pages to post them. I included measurements on the pattern, so hopefully you can still create your own without too much trouble. Also, the pattern is only one half of the apron. You can use the dimensions to draw out a whole pattern on a big piece of paper, or you can just do the half pattern, fold your fabric, and place the long dotted line of the pattern along the fold of your fabric to cut. If you get stuck or need help, just post a comment and I'll try to answer you ASAP :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Flannel Picture Books

You Will Need:
  • One yard of fabric (1/2 yard of each fabric if you want two) One yard should make 3 books.
  • 1/4 yard clear vinyl (available in fabric stores)
  • 1/2 yard batting
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Ruler/tape measure or Cutting Mat with measurements

Making the Books:

  • Cut flannel into rectangles measuring 18 1/2 " by 9 "
  • Cut batting into rectangles measuring 18 " by 8 1/2 "
  • Cut vinyl into squares measuring 6 1/2 " by 6 1/2 "
  • On each vinyl square finish one edge by folding it over and creating a small "hem"
  • Sew 2 pieces of vinyl to each piece of flannel along the 3 unfinished edges of the vinyl, keeping in mind that there will be a 1/2 inch "spine" for the book in the middle of the rectangle.
  • Pin 2 finished pieces of flannel wrong sides together with batting between.
  • Sew pinned pieces together at least 1/2 inch away from edges (to allow for "fringe")
  • Take 2 sewn pages, and stitch them together down the center either with a straight line or a narrow rectangle
  • Snip edges
  • Wash & dry (be careful not to clog machine)

Extra Tips

  • When preparing vinyl, it can be easier to cut a strip of vinyl 6 1/2 inches high along length of piece, finish one side of strip, and then cut every 6 1/2 inches to create squares. (It just makes the sewing go quicker)
  • We sewed the vinyl pockets onto the flannel with the opening at the top, you can also sew it with the opening toward the spine or away from it.
  • When joining finished flannel pages, make sure the pockets on the front and back are facing the same direction! (The same goes for when sewing the book together)
  • On the book in the top photo, a flannel heart was stitched to the front, you can choose to do something similar to spice up the front or back of your book, but for simplicity's sake, we opted to make all our pages the same including the front and back.