Sunday, 23 July 2017

Child's Apron

I've previously posted about baby bibs and aprons, and aprons for toddlers, but I realised the other day there is still a need for aprons for the girls now they are older. The occasion was a teatime snack for Jane. We'd found some huge, delicious ripe cherries on sale at a price that did not require us to take out a fresh mortgage, so of course we bought lots. And Jane was offered some for her snack. As soon as I started splitting them to take the stones out, I could see a problem looming.  These were really juicy black cherries. Jane (aged 3) refused to take off her pretty dress (too cold) and initially refused to wear any of the aprons I found in her Mum's drawer. One was her sister's, one was too small, one was Mummy's - well, eventually I got her to wear Mummy's, having checked Mummy didn't mind. (Of course she didn't.) But it WAS far too big for her.

So the next day, I looked out the instructions and pattern measurements that I'd used before, free from John Lewis. See the earlier post. And in my stash I found this sturdy cotton fabric, with a great jungle animals print, which had just been waiting for the right project. 

I wanted to make it pretty mess-proof for just such a future occasion, so I made it double layered. I had the spotty brown linen material left over from earlier projects, and the jungle print for fun. I more or less followed the John Lewis instructions, except as mentioned below. Oh, and I didn't bother with the pocket suggested. 

I had to join the spotty material (which was to be the lining) down a centre seam, as I only had a long thin piece left. It was also a little bit shorter than I wanted, by a couple of inches. So I cut the jungle print 4 inches longer, and joined the bottom seam first, pressing it up so that the lining also had a 'hem' of the jungle print.

Next, I made the straps. I sewed them as long straps right sides together and turned them out using a safety pin. After pressing, I oversewed the long seam to stop them twisting, I didn't completely follow the John Lewis instructions, which require you to attach the straps at the end, stitching a box and criss cross to secure them to the outside of the apron. I planned to encase them between the two layers of the apron, so I just finished one end of each of the longer waist straps, and I didn't finish the ends of the neck strap at all.

I intended to sew the two layers together, right sides together, leaving a gap in the stitching to enable turning the right side out. However, I'd already got my bottom edge (because of the seam to join the short piece to the longer piece). So the opening would be on one side seam. Before I sewed the layers of the apron together, I pressed the turnings I wanted to make on either side of my opening, to make it easier afterwards to pin accurately.

I then pinned the straps between the layers (which were of course folded right sides together.). I also folded the straps up a bit inside the apron layers and pinned them together. I didn't want to catch them by mistake when I sewed round the apron.  I pinned all the way round the apron apart from the side opening.

I sewed all round the apron catching in the ends of the straps, except for my opening, about 5" or 6" long, on one side. I clipped the curves, and the corners, and then turned it all right side out with the aid of a thin chop stick. I pressed it, and repinned the turnings I had pressed previously. A quick run round on the machine oversewing the entire edges of the body of the apron, and it was done. Even with  the complication caused by my shortage of lining material, I completed this in a couple of hours. So that was in enough time to be able to take it as a 'present' when picking Jane up from the child-minder - an incentive for her to come quietly and not lark about! 

She tried it on when we got to her home. It's a good fit, long enough and wide enough to cover her dress. In fact it would probably have done so even if I hadn't added the bit to the length. But never mind, it will fit her for longer. She loves the jungle print. The length of the neck strap on someone Jane's age (3) is such that you  need to pull it down and fasten the waist straps through the neck strap.

I'm sorry the focus is not the best on this picture, but you can see how nice the fabric is 

The design actually makes a reversible apron. Apart from the fact that this one had a centre seam down the lining, it could be used either way. 

Jane is 3 and a half, and this came down to her knees - perfect!

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