Thursday, September 10, 2009

Recycled Pillowcase Apron Project

My aunt Fern dearly loves making aprons! At our family reunion tonight, I was honored by her gifting me with a handmade apron made from a vintage pillowcase. As she described her sewing project, how fast and easy it was, it dawned on me that this would make a great project. So, without further ado, here are the instructions!

NOTE: The length of the ties and the width of the pillowcase may vary, dependent upon the size/build of the person that is going to be wearing it. Make allowances as needed.

* 1 pillowcase (the photo shown above is of an old pillowcase that my aunt purchased at a yard sale for a quarter!),
* 1 washcloth (new or used!),
* 2 strips of pillowcase (use several to piece into this measurement, if needed) that measures approximately 2.5" x 26". These are the ties.
* 1 strip of the pillowcase (use several to piece into this measurement, if needed) that measures approximately 3" x 20". This is the waistband.
* General sewing supplies, i.e. thread, sewing machine, iron, scissors, etc.

First, cut a corner off of the washcloth. Measure in from the outside corner approximately 4.5" - 5" from both directions and cut off the triangle formed. (You can wait to do this later if you're unsure about how much you want to cut off.)

Second, remove the side and bottom seams from the pillowcase. If you are lazy like me, I would simply cut it, instead of removing the stitches. :)

Third, note that in the photo above, the TOP of the pillowcase is the BOTTOM of the apron. That hem is already sewn for you, so all that needs done is to trim the pillowcase. Trim to approximately (see the note above) 19" x 38". This allows for 1/4" seam allowances. I might mention that my apron is quite wide. I wear a size 10, but it would even fit a plus size.

Fourth, turn each of the sides under (twice, so as to have pretty hem with no fraying) and topstitch into place.

Fifth, take one of the pieces of fabric to be used for a tie and fold it in half with wrong sides together, lengthwise. Stitch 1/4" across the short end and around the long edge. Be sure to leave one end open! Do this for both ties. Turn the "tubes" right side out and press.

Sixth, take the waistband fabric and fold it in half with wrong sides together, lengthwise. Lay a tie at each end (with the unfinished edge of the tie on the waistband), being very careful that when you turn it back to the right side, that the tie is going to be going in the direction opposite of the waistband! Stitch 1/4" across each of the ends. Leave the length open, at this point. Turn it right side out and press. It is a good idea, at this point, to go ahead and press the 1/4" seams flat across the width, even though it is not yet sewn. This makes it easier to attach to the apron when the time comes. You should have a semi-finished waistband with the ties that is pretty long! If it is short, check the direction those ties are going.

It is important to note here that perfection is not expected. If the waistband is a tad wider than the tie, no one will call the sewing police. And if the recipient of the gift complains, take it back and give it to someone who appreciates it!

Seventh, baste a "gathering" stitch across the raw edge (the top of the apron) approximately 1/4" in. Gather this to approximately 19" wide (which is about one-half of the width of the bottom of the apron).

Eighth, take the raw edge (with the triangle cut off) of the washcloth and sew it with a 1/4" seam onto the apron (on top of the gathers). Measure approximately 4" in from the outer edge of the apron for placement.

Ninth, carefully "snug" the gathered edge of the apron up into the "pressed under, open" seam of the waistband. Pin this in place. Either topstitch it down or whipstitch it in place (mine is hand-whip stitched!).

Voila! The apron is finished.

Please keep in mind that the measurements given are only suggestions and that adjustments should be made based upon who is going to be wearing it. Also keep in mind that I did not make this apron; merely took notes as my aunt described the process. So, if you find an error, please
notify me
as soon as possible!

This project can be found in its entirety on Quilting Passion. All comments and/or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Also, I would love to have a photo of this project finished, if you would like to share!

1 comment:

  1. This is SO cool! I love the built in washcloth. Laurie emailed me about this and I'm so glad she did. I'll be linking to this if you don't mind. Off to explore the rest of Quilt Passion...


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