Ya’ll, I’m coming to the conclusion that I have some sort of problem following directions. It’s not a deliberate attempt to be contrary, I assure you, but for whatever reason I just have to put in my two cents, or dash of salt, or extra buttons. I’m not doing it to be annoying, I have a very real problem with performing creative instructions as-written. (Which should mean that my kid gets some slack cut to him when it comes to following directions, but, eh, he’s six. He should still work on it.) I think perhaps it’s stuck in my head that everything needs a tweak or a twerk, even if they really don’t. I’m creative to the point of obsessive about it. Me– I just *have* to add my twist here, an idea there, a little bit of rick rack, a dash of hot sauce, or extra polka dots. (That’s not the same project, mind you, what a hot mess. And spicy!) Ultimately, this pin test turned out no different.
When it came time to choose a pin to test for this most recent Pintester movement, I was having trouble finding something that I knew I would stick closely to. I looked at recipes for chocolate chip raisin oatmeal cookies, and before I even got to the list-making stage, I was contemplating switching out the milk chocolate chips with white chocolate, and the raisins with craisins, and the next thing you know– “wouldn’t a zesting of orange be good in that?” What the heck is wrong with me? Why didn’t I just look up recipes for white chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies? And if I made such a thing, who was going to eat them (other than me), as my guys don’t care for white chocolate OR cranberries?!
I turned to the crafty options. I have a friend that is expecting a baby boy next month, and I was thinking about making her one of those cool towel-aprons that you wear while bathing your infant, to keep you dry, and then at the end you can wrap them in it as you take them from the water. Searching on pinterest, I found a multitude of overly-easy, “just sew some ribbons on a towel!” tutes that I would no more follow than L. Ron Hubbard. That’s not to say that I couldn’t figure out how to do the version I was interested in, but it wouldn’t be testing a pin, now would it? Ultimately, that is the point of this exercise. Humph.
Doing searches for that type of apron brought up other stitchy projects, and reminded me of a gift that I desperately needed to finish for my dear friend Amber. Yes, my name is Amber, and my best friend’s name is Amber. It’s funny and confusing. Anyway, her birthday is in August, and every year I try and gift her with something thoughtful. I can’t do expensive, so I try compensate with cleverness. After all, we all want to give our besties the greatest gifts we could, right? You certainly do when they’re as good to you as this Amber and her family are to us, that’s for sure. But ya’ll, being clever is *hard.* Some years I feel pretty brilliant, and sometimes my mind goes to this unoriginal place and just sticks its butt in the mud.
Well, call me “Mudbutt,” because this year, I had zippity-doo-don’t. I finally sent her a note saying, “I’m gonna make you an apron,” and asked her some detail questions about what type she would prefer. I hated going that route. I would much rather it be a surprise, but sometimes there are so many variables that you’re not convinced you could hit it straight on the mark if you just guess at it. I would much rather put work into something and get it right, so I asked. I also decided that I would make coordinating aprons for her two little girls, to help *bump up* the quality of her gift, yes, but also because she’s one of those excellent mommies that is constantly drawing her children into the kitchen in the hopes that finely-crafted veggie dishes will be consumed with greater enthusiasm. (It works here, sometimes.) And because it would be cute. I like doing cute.
Anyway, I had already finished up Amber’s apron, but I had run out of ideas when it came to the girls’. And a little searching on pinterest yielded this easy-to-follow tutorial for a children’s sized apron made from a standard fat quarter, on the blog Aesthetic Nest.
You guys, this adorable little tutorial aside, you should go over and check out that blog, Anneliese’s eye for color is AMAZING. I know that as soon as I get some time I’m going to go and spend some time reading, she seems like a like mind. Seriously, the two things I looked at had me swooning, pinning eye candy, and talking in that disgusting oopsie-schmoopsie voice.
So. Let’s get down to the nitty-grits of talkin’ about this tute, shall we? The Pintester movement is, as always, lead by the Pintester blog, a site where the clever and kooky Sonja Foust tests various pins from Pinterest, and hilarity ensues. Here is a link to her whole Pintester movement category:
This kid’s apron was really pretty easy, and I managed to get it done in a few hours, despite a goof that set me back a half an hour or more. Annnd, of course I didn’t follow it verbatim, so I will explain my changes. This one will be gifted to the almost 7 year-old Miss Scarlette, her sister’s didn’t get finished in time to be photographed for this deadline.
I went to (blech) Wal-Mart yesterday to get a “proper” fat quarter for this tutorial, since I had already amassed fabrics from my stash and JoAnn’s for Amber’s apron. (My husband says my fabric stash is , “A literal half-ton.” Really, Pan? A thousand pounds? I think when referring to hoarded fabrics, the actual unit of measurement is called a “fuckton.” Ahem.) Anyway, I had yardage I was going to cut from, but I didn’t have any ‘real’ fat quarters and that seemed sort of important, so I went and got this cute green with the doodly flowers and pre-washed it. The tutorial called for two, and so for the other fat quarter I cheated and cut a 22″ x 18″ piece of soft coral for the backside piece. Wal-Mart doesn’t offer fat quarters in solid colors, and I was putting so much action on the front that I didn’t really want to put it on the back too. Plus, if I know Scarlee, she needs something sorta like pink somewhere on her apron, even if it’s hiding on the inside!
A standard fat quarter is 18″ x 22″, and I’m so glad I bothered to double-check the piece I purchased. This, right here, explains my dislike for ol’ Wal-Mart. As if we wouldn’t notice that an inch of fabric was missing from our swatch?! It seems like they have the total policy of slyly skimming and cheating their customers and employees. Anyway. It was an inch short, so for the sake of argument and adhering to the DIY, I decided to add an inch and fix it, stitching on an extra strip of coordinating fabric.
The next snafu I ran across was that I was supposed to download her one pattern piece so I could do the shape of the armhole, which would have been fine, had my printer not been in the backseat of my husband’s car. Whatever. Looking at her diagrams and cuts rather closely, and since it was the only printed piece needed, I decided I could use one of my vintage green Texasware dessert plates to get a nice, clean shape, so I carefully traced that onto my fabric with a Sharpie rather than use a pinned pattern piece. (The Texasware dessert plate is slightly smaller than the one shown below, but I suspect any med-size/kid’s/dessert dish would work.) If you go this route rather than printing off the paper, just remember to straighten the lines off of the edge of the trace, rather than make the cut completely circular. Does that make sense?– If you look at that pic below, you’ll note that the plate is positioned to that the corner of the fabric is far beyond the centerpoint of the circle/plate. This causes my traced line to not be a perfect quarter wedge, but instead, has curves out and up at what will be the top and side edge of the bib on the finished apron. These stitchy shapes would be tricky and unnecessary, so instead of curving back around, when you get to the peak of the curve, go straight off of the edge.
In her tutorial, she cleverly has you use both of those leftover cuts from the body of the apron as the pockets, and the apron becomes reversible. It’s a totally cute idea, and if I hadn’t already made their mother’s apron, I would likely have followed it. However, for Amber’s apron I had used printed squares from a panel of fabric that I’d purchased for the specific purpose of using for the pockets their aprons. So, I wanted to continue using that, and skipped the idea of making it reversible, as I didn’t really need for it to be. (In other words, I used my own square pocket, and I only put it on one ‘side’ of the apron.)
My lost time came in this pocketing step, I somehow failed to process that the image on the pocket I’d made was intentionally offest in parts, so when it came time to line up where it went on the front of that apron, my eyes just went kerplooie. Everything looked wonky, right or wrong. It took me a good ten minutes to figure out where I’d made that left turn (Albuquerque), and that was *after* I’d managed to sew part of it down. Seam ripper, to the rescue!
She suggests retro ball fringe to dress up the bottom hem, and I was fresh out. In the spirit of the thing, I opted instead to use this wacky-crazy 80′s New Wave ruffle I’d bought a whole bolt off about 5 years back. It was an unplanned addition, but it looks great!
Anneliese’s tutorial suggests grosgrain ribbon for the ties and neck piece, and I was going to use it, I had even rounded up some in a bright peach color that is a lot like the coral on the back of little Scarlette’s apron. In the end I opted to use the yellow, extra-wide, double fold bias tape I’d purchased for the project. This had me adding the extra step of zig-zag stitching down the open edge, but now I have zero concerns about fraying, and it will better match her Mom’s.
My last change is that I don’t have the sweet girl in question before me to check sizes on, so instead of just one button on her neck strap, I did three different but coordinating ones. I figured this would give her a little adjustment/ room-to-grow possibility. I think it’s a touch Scarlette will appreciate.
Lastly, I went over all the edges and topstitched it in orange thread– it’s contrasty and kicky, that’s why– just to give it a final professional crisp look, another step that Anneliese doesn’t tell us we need to do.
Overall, I would rate this as an extremely easy to follow tutorial for someone who has a fair working stitchery knowledge. Her instructions are clear, and she has lots of nice, bright and clear pictures. It turned out really cute, and I can’t wait to finish up Kaitlyn’s and give Amber her birthday gift! The girls are going to like it this year, ’cause they kinda get somethin’ out of it, too.
Yes, that is my six-year-old BOY quite unwillingly modeling for me. Even though he has his own (robot covered) apron and helps me in the kitchen all the time, he is still not lovin’ being forced to wear girly gunk. But hey, it’s nice to have a little person the right size there to test it on, and I think it turned out completely sweet. It looks great with her Mom’s too. (I’m not showing it, because she’s a reader, and I just wanna save the spoilers.) And little dude earned extra video game time, so don’t feel sorry for the little punk. It didn’t hurt ‘im.
You must be logged in to post a comment.