An Apron Pattern to Love

Friends, it has been TOO long since my last post. About 6 weeks ago I returned to work following a 14 month maternity leave. My husband was travelling for work and life has been nothing short of hectic.

I do have a big project on the go right now, but tonight I want to talk a bit about my very favorite apron pattern.

Aprons are my go-to gift for housewarming parties, bridal showers, Christmas and birthdays. I love gifting personalized items, and aprons are a fun and functional gift to give or receive. For bridal showers I often embroider the bride’s new last name (if applicable) onto the apron. I make aprons out of cotton or light/medium weight denim fabrics, and I add lace or ribbon to the pocket to make it stand out a bit.

My go-to pattern is by Simplicity and it’s #2555. This pattern comes in ladies and misses, and you can choose between a gathered skirt apron or a flat front apron. The apron is pretty much a blank slate – you can add in details but otherwise it’s very plain. It’s a solid pattern that allows you to use your imagination. I should note as well that this pattern makes an adjustable apron, which I love because if you have your hair done you don’t have to pull a tight apron strap over your head – just tug down on the apron bib and the neck opening becomes longer.

I estimate that I’ve made this pattern over 40 times. The instructions are clear, the design is beautiful, and the finished product is fantastic. I’ve made the gathered apron and the flat front apron, but the gathered is a pain so I just stick with the flat front now.

Over the years I’ve tailored the pattern to include extra detail around the top and the tail. I’ve used contrasting fabric for those pieces, as well as the pocket and tie. I typically make this with just 1 pocket but I have made it with 2 as well.

So for this apron I added a 6 inch section along the bottom of a contrasting fabric, and a roughly 2 inch (finished) section along the top. I used contrasting fabric for the tie and the pocket. A little lace detail finished the pocket, and now this is ready for gifting! This is made in size Medium.

This version was from Christmas 2017. I used a fabric with red and plaid deer for the body of the apron, and the trim is done from a complimentary fabric with small blue deer heads, snowflakes and trees. Again, I used it for the top section, bottom, ties and pocket. I didn’t use any ribbon or lace on the pocket for this apron, mostly because I felt the fabric was lively enough. This is made in size Large.

This is the basic pattern without any add-ons. The fabric shown here is from my stash and it really just needed to be put to good use. I think it’s perfect for an apron. Not sure what else I had in mind when I picked it up….story of my life! This is also a size Large.

I love the size of this apron and the fact that it’s adjustable just makes it perfect! No more messing up your hair when it’s time to take the apron off. Perfect if you’re having company for dinner.

In terms of sizing, the small is true to size, medium is definitely suitable for up to size 10 or 12, in my opinion. The large is generous, and the XL is as well.

I’ve made some more decorative aprons and some child-size aprons but tonight I really just wanted to talk a bit about Simplicity 2555 as it’s my go-to.

You could dress this up even further with a very decorative pocket, or with more pockets! If you’re really feeling adventurous perhaps a little applique! In fact, in a future post I hope to do an apron with teacup applique.

Thanks for checking out my post!

Heather

DIY Cloth Napkins

For years I have wanted to have the kind of house where guests walk in and see a beautiful dining table, all dressed with coordinating plates, cutlery, placemats and napkins. A design that looks stylish yet functional.

Our dining table often looks like a storage facility, housing books, toys, notepads, laptops and receipts.

I’ve decided we will never be people who always have their table “dressed”, and that’s okay, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could quickly set up your table for company and have it look put together? That was my mission over the last 12 months. But could I find placemats, napkins and napkin rings that I liked? Not a chance.

On a recent trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond I found placemats and napkin rings that I quite like, but the thought of spending a lot of money on cloth napkins just didn’t thrill me. We have 9 settings in our house so with most store-bought napkins ranging from $4- $12, I decided I should DIY it.

I looked up standard napkin sizes and it looks like anywhere from 12″ to 16″ is where I wanted to be.

I went to Fabricville and found some cute, summery fabric on clearance. I chose this fabric because it’s the same on both sides. As much as I love working with cotton, printed cotton always has a “wrong” side and it usually isn’t very pretty. This fabric almost feels a bit gauzy, and it has a little bit of stretch to it.

I came home and put this fabric through the washer (hot water) and dryer. If these are going to shrink, I want them to shrink now. And I figure cloth napkins are something I will probably need to wash in hot water because of the potential for stains, mostly from tacos.

I decided to go for 14″ napkins, so I started out by pressing my uncut fabric with the iron to get out any wrinkles. Because this fabric is striped, I needed to cut fairly straight along the stripes. I used my rotary cutter and cutting mat for this, but you can use scissors and a tape measure/ruler as well.

If you’re using scissors, an easy way to do this is to cut out a piece of cardboard in the proper dimension, and lay the cardboard on top of your fabric. Outline it with a pen or a Sharpie. Do that for each napkin, then remove the cardboard and simply cut out.

I wanted a nice, crisp sewn edge for these napkins so I actually cut 16″X16″ squares to account for a 1″ seam allowance.

Once cut, I folded in the edge 1″ all the way around, pinning as I went. I pressed the crease with a hot iron and let the fabric cool.

Once cooled, I took out the pins and tucked in the seam allowance so no raw edge was exposed. I pinned in place.

As this fabric does have stretch, I was sure not to stretch as I pinned. Doing so would leave the edges of the napkin “wavy” and that’s not the look I was going for.

I used a straight stitch and stitched near the crease, all the way around. Clipped the threads and pressed, once again, with a hot iron. I used the steam setting this time to try to get the edges nice and crisp.

Overall these turned out to be as easy as I expected, and probably even cuter!

Here they are against two different mats, with different rings. Quite easy to dress up or down. Even better, I’m sure, folded up in a picnic basket.

My personal favorite…………

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! The napkins, as I mentioned, were made from fabric on clearance, so I was able to do all 9 for $13. Quite a steal, if you ask me. Easy, affordable napkins that you can make for every season or occasion.

Thanks for following along today!

Heather