Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cafe Apron

I made a cafe apron for my friend, Sierra's bridal shower.  However, for obvious reasons had to wait until after the shower to post it.  So here it is!
(sorry, some of these pictures are blurry..I took these before I got my new and improved

I remembered to take pictures all along the way, so I can give a pretty good tutorial!
I was looking over aprons online and didn't see any that I was crazy about, but then I remembered these really cute "paper bag" skirts that I had seen a while ago and decided to base the apron's style off of that.  

Here's my little drawing of it..

Ok, so to start off, I measured my current apron and decided on the measurements I was wanting to do.  I cut out my rectangle to be that size.
Next, I clean finished all of my edges by turning under the edge of the fabric, ironing it down ,and then turning them under one more time.

 Then I stitched those down.  I did an edge stitch along the edge of the apron. 

The next part was fun.  Figuring out where and how far apart I wanted to do my pleats along the top.  You can play around with your pleats until they're at a good distance apart for you.  I believe I did a 3 inch gap in the middle as shown here:

I chose to do my pleats 2 inches apart.  I also decided on having a half inch deep pleat.  So in order to measure this correctly, I measured 2 inches from the last pleat and marked that spot. Then I measured 1 inch from that marking(because since I wanted the depth of my pleat to be 1/2 inch, I needed to have 1 inch to fold over).  You then fold your second marking that you made(this should be 3 inches away from your last pleat) to the first marking you made(this one is the one 2 inches from your last pleat).  This shows this:

 To make sure your pleat is straight all the way down, you can place a seam gauge underneath the pleat and measure it all the way down making sure that you have 1/2 inch the entire length of your pleat.  You also want to make sure that your pleat matches up in distance from your last pleat all the way down as shown below:

 Eventually, you will have this:
 Once you have the desired amount of pleats, you can either leave them pinned that way, or I chose to baste them down so I wouldn't have to worry about them while I worked on the next thing.However, don't do this step.  Once all of your pleats are securely pinned, sew 2 seams that are parallel with the top of your apron, but are about where you want your tie to go across.  Make these lines of stitches a little closer together than the width of your ties though so that you know they will be hidden once the tie is in place.

 I set that one aside and began working on the tie, the front pocket, and the belt loops.
For the tie, I took a 6 inch wide piece of fabric and made a tube out of it. (Note** In order to get the desired length for my tie, I had to sew more length onto either side of my middle piece)  To make the tube I just took my long strip of fabric, folded it right sides together and stitched along the long raw edge, and one side of your tie.  Once that's done, you can turn that piece right side out.  I then edge stitched the open side closed by turning my raw edges to the inside of the tie, ironing them down, and matching those edges up.  I also edge stitched all the way around the tie to make it more uniform and add detail.

Next I went onto the front pocket.  I made my own pattern for that and cut it out:
Once's sideways..sorry.
I then did the same process to the curved edges of the pocket that I did for the edges of the apron.  I turned them under once, ironed them down well, then turned them under again and ironed and pinned them down. 

For my own little fun touch I wanted to put an S on it for Sierra.  I printed an S off of the computer and then used that as my pattern to cut the S out.  I then used some stick glue to help keep the S in place while I stitched it down.

This seemed to work pretty well for me.
To stitch this down was a little trick, but it worked out! I used a zig-zag stitch and tightened my stitches up so that they were practically on top of each other and also were my desired thickness.  I went pretty slow as I stitched all the way around the S.  Sometimes I even used the hand wheel to make sure I was getting what I wanted. Tip: make sure your foot is down when you finish so that if necessary, you can rotate your fabric before beginning to sew again.

For the left over 4 edges, I just turned them under once and ironed them because they are going to be edge stitched onto the apron.  After preparing those edges, I placed the pocket where I wanted it on the apron and edge stitched all of the sides down except the curved edges where the hands can reach in.

After the pocket is securely attached, then I moved onto my belt loops.  I chose a thickness for my belt loops and doubled that and added an extra 1/2 for seam allowances. I chose to just sew one long strip then cut the belt loops individually after that so that I wouldn't have to do a bunch of little strips

Then you just sew that strip along the long raw edge and turn it right side out.  I cut my belt loops(don't forget to add extra length to these because you will be turning them under a few times).Turn the raw edges under twice again and top stitched them down to the apron where you want them. For this stitch, I chose to use a zig-zag stitch and just tightened the stitch so that the stitched were practically right on top of each other:

For a final touch, I chose to make a bow to put on the front, center of my tie.  I made it about 2-3 inches thicker than my tie, but I basically just followed the same steps for making the tie when I made the bow.  The only thing I did differently was that instead of edge stitching all the way around the bow, I just edge stitched the 2 ends.  I then made an even smaller tube and followed the same steps for the tie, and used that little strip to scrunch the bow.  I secured the bow down by hand stitching it onto the apron, and then pushed the edges of the bow in just a little and tacked them down as well so that they would stay a little puffy and off of the fabric.

And VOILA! You have an apron!

This is me with the apron'll probably be cuter on her because I had a big belly for the apron to have to go around!lol

This did take a little bit of time, but it was an exciting project and was personalized for my friend which was fun!  Enjoy!

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