I created this apron for my 3 year old. She always rushes to help anytime we enter the kitchen. I wanted to give her something inspiring to wear while creating culinary masterpieces (or just hanging around).
T h e P a t t e r n:
The measurements I used will fit a 3 or 4 year old. For other sizes, use the formulas below (refer to diagram above):
1) From collarbone to collarbone, add 1 1/4" for seams
2) neckline to waist, add 1 1/4"
3) 1/2 of waist, add 1 1/4"
4) waist to knee, add 1 1/4"
5) 1.5 times measurement (3), add 1 1/4"
6) approximately 2 times measurement (1)
7) 28" plus measurement (6)
I often prefer to sew reversible clothing. It's more versatile and has a more finished look, not to mention all the hair I don't have to pull out as I try to make my hems look decent. The wonderful thing about sewing for children is how little fabric you need, so adding another layer isn't necessarily cost prohibitive.
I chose two main fabrics for each side of the apron, a contrasting fabric for the ties, waistband, ruffle, and pocket edging, and another contrasting fabric for the pocket. It was fun finding fabrics that all worked together so well.
Start by cutting out all the pattern pieces. If you have one, this is the perfect project in which to use a rotary cutter and mat, as most of the pieces have straight edges or are long strips.
1) P o c k e t s :
1. Pin one pocket and pocket edging, right sides together, and stitch. Press seam.
2. Pin second pocket to first, right sides together, and stitch.
3. Press seam.
4. Turn pocket right side out and press.
5. Turn pocket edging down about 1/4" and press.
6. Turn down pocket edging once more, making sure that it falls below the seam on the opposite side. Press.
7. "Stitch in the ditch" (right on the seam) on the front of the pocket.
8. The back will look like this. Make sure you caught the entire reverse side of the pocket in your hem. Pick out and restitch if necessary.
9. Using a basting stitch, sew about 3/4" from the top of the pocket (make sure to back stitch at the beginning of the seam, but not the end). Pull on the loose thread to evenly gather the top of your pocket until it forms a pleasing looking horseshoe-like shape.
10. Using a normal length stitch, sew two parallel seams over top of this one.
2) A p r o n S k i r t :
1. Position and pin the pocket to the apron skirt off-center, as pictured below.
2. Top stitch close to the edge (about 1/8").
3. Using a basting stitch, sew along the top of the skirt.
4. Gather evenly until it is the same length as the waistband.
5. Pin skirt and waistband, right sides together, and stitch.
6. Press seam.
3) A p r o n T o p :
1. Pin apron top to waistband, right sides together, and stitch.
2. Press seam.
3. So this is what you'll have - one side of your apron, no ties at the waist or the neck. Now repeat all the previous steps to assemble the reverse side of the apron.
4. Pin the two finished pieces, right sides together, and stitch according to the diagram. Make sure you don't stitch all the way to the edge of the apron top or to the edge of the waistband so you have room to insert the ties. Turn entire apron right side out and press.
5. Turn down the top edges of the apron top about 1/4" and press.
4) W a i s t a n d N e c k T i e s :
1. Pin two waist tie pieces together and stitch both long edges and one of the short edges. Clip corners. Turn the tube you've created inside out and press. Repeat with the other two waist tie pieces.
2. Insert the raw edge of the waist ties into the slots you left unstitched, making sure they are even with the waistband, and secure with pins.
3. Pin the two neck tie pieces together and stitch on one side.
4. Turn right side out and press.
5. Using a basting stitch, stitch along the raw edge of the middle 18", or formula (6). Evenly gather so that it is the same length as the curve of the apron top.
6. Pin the gathered neck tie in-between the two turned down edges of the apron top. Err on the side of too many pins!
7. Now you have a portion of unpinned neck tie on either side of the apron top. It has one seam on the top (at this point on the inside of the neck tie) and raw edges on the bottom and side. Turn this unpinned portion wrong side out so that the seam is now visible. Stitch the raw edges of the neck tie to within about 3 inches of the apron top. You are left with a tube, wrong side out, and a small opening next to the apron top through which you can turn the tube right side out. Do this and then press the tube. The small opening will be completely closed with top stitching in the final step.
8. You're almost done!! Top stitch around the entire apron.
9. Top stitch along one edge of the neck tie. Stitching along the edge of the waist ties is optional.
If you want to add anything to the pocket or apron skirt as I did, paint (or appliqué) it on prior to sewing any pieces together. Sit back and watch your daughter romp about in her new apron.