Apron Tutorial – Part 2

Welcome back!  If you missed the first part of the tutorial, which shows how to make the apron itself, check it out HERE!  (It also includes the info on what size pieces to cut from your fabric for the pocket.)

Now, here’s how to add a large, cuffed pocket to your apron!

First, place the two main pocket pieces right sides together, and then place the two pocket cuff pieces right sides together:

36_Pocket_PiecesRightSidesTogether

Next, sew around 3 sides of the main pocket pieces together (i.e. the two short edges and one of the long edges) using a 1/4” seam (leaving the top edge open):

37_Pocket_Sew3SidesTogether

Then, clip the 2 sewn corners of the bottom of the pocket to make them easer to turn right side out.  Be sure not to cut over the seam, but just cut pretty close to it:

38_Pocket_ClipCorners

Next, sew the two short edges of the pocket cuff pieces together (leaving the top and bottom edges open) using a 1/4” seam:

39_PocketCuff_SewTwoSides

Then, turn the main pocket piece and the pocket cuff piece right side out and iron them flat. Make sure the corners of the main piece are pushed out so that they’re as close to fully turned right side out as possible:

40_PocketPieces_TurnRightSideOut

Next, place the cuff piece over the main piece (i.e. the main piece is inside the cuff piece) so that their top edges line up:

41_Pocket_MatchCuffEdgetoPocketEdge

Make sure that the seams on either side line up with each other, and then pin the main piece and cuff together to secure them:

42_Pocket_MatchSeamsTogether

43_Pocket_PinCuffToPocket

 

Sew them together with a 1/4” seam:

44_Pocket_SewCuffToPocket

Next, flip the cuff piece up so that you turn it inside out and flatten it out.  Then, iron it flat:

45_Pocket_TurnSewnCuffInsideOut

Fold the top of the cuff down 1 1/4”, and iron it flat:

46_Pocket_FoldCuffDownFirst

Then, fold the top of the cuff down again another 1 3/4”, and iron it flat:

47_Pocket_FoldCuffDownSecond

Now, your pocket is finished and it’s time to add it to the apron!

Start by finding the center of the pocket and the center of the apron.  Place the pocket on the apron so that the centers of each are lined up.

48_Pocket_MatchCenterOfPocketToCenterOfApron

I placed the pocket 1 1/2” from the top of the ruffle, but you can place it wherever you like!

Once you’re happy with the placement of the pocket, pin it to the main apron piece around the edges and the bottom to secure it.

49_Pocket_PinPocketToApron

Then, topstitch the pocket down around the 2 short edges and the bottom with a 3/8” hem:

50_Pocket_TopstitchPocketDown

If you want one large pocket, you can be finished at this point.  However, if you’d like to separate it into sections, do the following:

First, decide how big you’d like each section.  I decided to make one section about 7” wide and the other about 4” wide.

To do that, I placed my sewing tape measure across the pocket and placed a pin at 7” from the left side:51_Pocket_Find7InchMark

Place a few more pins in line with the first:

52_Pocket_PinDown7Inches

Topstitch down the line you made with the pins to sew the sections.

53_Pocket_SewDown7Inches

And now, you’re finally done!!

IMG_0819

I think the aprons came out super cute, and we’re so excited to use them for the first time!

If you’d like to come see us (and our aprons!) this fall, come check us out at the following boutiques!

 

Ladera Ranch Fall Fun FestSaturday, October 19th, 12 pm to 4 pm

Founder’s Park

28275 Avendale Boulevard

Ladera Ranch, CA 92694

 

Believe BoutiqueFriday, November 8th, 4 pm to 9:30 pm and Saturday, November 9th, 10 am to 3 pm

Cornerstone Christian Church

1595 S. Alma School Road

Chandler, AZ  85286

 

Crossline Holiday Boutique
, Monday, November 18th, 5 pm to 8 pm and Tuesday, November 19th, 9 am to 12 pm

Crossline Community Church

23331 Moulton Parkway

Laguna Hills, CA 92653

 

We hope to see you there!

Love,tami

Apron Tutorial – Part 1

Now that October is here, it’s boutique season again!  This year, we thought it would be fun to upgrade our boutique “uniforms” a bit with a little half apron!  We figured it would be dual purpose – it would look cute and also provide an extra place for us to keep our phones, pens, etc, within easy reach!

Since I was making the aprons this month, I thought it would be fun to do a tutorial for them in case anyone else would like to make something similar.  So, here’s a (hopefully!) simple tutorial for how to make a ruffled half apron. 🙂

In keeping with our “Throne of Grace style”, we decided the body of the apron would be black and then the rest of the pieces would be black with pink polka dots, but of course, you can choose any fabric you like!

1_Fabric

I made 4 aprons, so we got 2 ½ yards of each to make sure we’d have plenty, but if you want to make only one apron, you’ll just need 1/2 yard of each fabric (assuming you’re using 2).

The first step is to wash and iron the fabric.

2_ironblackfabric

3_ironblackandpinkfabric

Next, cut out all your pieces.  I highly recommend using the following tools – a large ruler-lined cutting mat, a cork-backed, metal ruler, and a rotary cutter:

4_MatandTools

These tools make cutting straight lines super easy and quick!

Cut out the following pieces (the sizes take into account ¼ inch seam allowances):

Main piece (the body of the apron): 28” x 14”

5_BlackBodyPieceCut

Ruffle: 42” x 3”

Waist Band/Tie: 76” x 3”

6_RuffleandWaistBandPiecesCut

(For the Waist Bands, I was able to cut out 76” long pieces since we had bought enough fabric for 4+ aprons. However, if you’re only making one apron, just cut out strips that are as long as possible and sew them together with a ¼ inch seam until you have a finished strip that’s 76” long by 3” long.)

If you’d like to add a pocket, also cut the following pieces:

Main Pocket pieces (cut 2): 11 1/2” x 6 1/2”

Pocket cuff pieces (cut 2): 11 1/2” x 4 1/2”

7_CutPocketPieces

(By cutting 2 of each piece, you’ll make a pocket with a front and back section for extra storage!)

To keep the edges of your main piece from fraying, sew a narrow (just under ¼ inch wide) overcast stitch around both of the short ends (if your machine doesn’t have an overcast stitch, you could also sew a small zigzag stitch close to the edge of the fabric).

8_OvercastStitchOnBodySides

Then, iron the short edges down to make a ¼ inch hem before top stitching them down:

9_IronDownBodySides

10_SewDownBodySides

Next, make the ruffle.  Just like with the main body piece, to keep the ends from fraying, sew a narrow (just under ¼ inch wide) overcast stitch around both short ends and one of the long ends:

11_OvercastStitchOnRuffle

Then, iron the short edges of the ruffle down to make a 1/4 inch hem before topstitching them down:

12_IronEdgeOfRuffleDown

13_SewEdgeOfRuffleDown

After that, iron down one of the long edges of the ruffle to make a 1/4 inch hem and topstitch it down:

Next, to gather up the ruffle, set your sewing machine to the longest stitch length it has (aka a basting stitch).

14_RuffleSewingMachineBasteSetting

As you can see, “6” is the longest stitch length my machine has, but yours may be a bit longer or shorter.

Then, with this long stitch, sew a seam a little less than ¼ of an inch from the edge of the long, unfinished edge of the ruffle piece.  Also, make sure to knot the start of the seam, but don’t knot the other end of it!

(After basting, immediately set your machine back to a regular stitch length so you won’t forget to do that later!)

To begin gathering, start by holding the bobbin thread in one hand, and the fabric piece in the other:

15_RuffleHoldBobbinThread

Then, gently pull on the bobbin thread, and the fabric will begin to gather.

Keep a hold of the bobbin thread and gently work the fabric gathers toward the other end of the fabric:

16_RuffleGatherIntoRuffle

Continue pulling on the bobbin thread and gently evening out the gathers along the length of the fabric till the ruffle is 27” wide (or the same size as the finished main body piece).

To secure the ruffle, trim the bobbin thread so it’s only a couple inches long, and then tie it to the top thread to make a knot:

17_RuffleTieOffStringsWhenGathered

Here’s what the finished ruffle will look like:

18_RuffleFinished

The next step is to sew the ruffle to the body piece.

First, pin the ruffle to the bottom of the main body piece so that the right sides of the fabric are together and so that the unfinished edge of the ruffle lines up with the unfinished, bottom edge of the main body piece.  Then, I pin them together to secure them, making sure that the edges line up correctly:

19_PinRuffleToBody

Then, I sew them together with a ¼ inch seam, making sure that the seam always falls to the left of the basting stitch on the ruffle:

20_SewOnRuffleWithQuarterInSeam

It’s a little hard to see in the picture, but if you look carefully, you can see that the needle is staying to the left of the basting stitch on the ruffle.

Here’s what the finished seam should look like:

20A_RuffleFinishedSeam

Once they’re sewn together, you want to make sure that the unfinished edges of the ruffle and main body piece won’t fray, so sew an overcast stitch over their edges just as you did with the other pieces:

21_OvercastStitchOverRuffleFinishedSeam

Then, iron the seam and the ruffle flat:

22_IronFinishedRuffleSeamFlat

Next, it’s time to make the waistband!

The first step is to iron down both short edges to make a ¼ inch hem:

23_WaistBandIronShortSides

Then, do the same thing to both of the long edges:

24_WaistBandIronLongSides

Then, fold the waistband in half widthwise and iron it down:

25_WaistBandIronInHalf

Then, I open up the edges and iron the corners down so they meet in the middle, so that when the waist band is folded up again, the corners will have a nice, diagonal, finished edge:

26_WaistBandIronCornersDown

(After ironing the corners, fold the waistband back up again along the existing crease.)

Then, find the center of the waistband piece, and iron it to make a crease.  If it’s hard to see the crease, you can also put a pin through it:

27_WaistBandFindCenter

Next, find the center of the top of the main body piece and iron it to make a crease:

28_BodyFindCenter

Then, open up the waistband and lay the body piece onto it so that the center markings line up with each other…

29_MatchCenters

…and so that the top of the body lines up with the center crease of the waistband all the way across:

30_LineUpBodyInWaistBand

Then, fold the waistband down over the top piece (to form sort of a sandwich over it) and pin them together:

31_PinWaistBand

Start by sewing the waistband to the body by topstitching an 1/8” seam along the edge of the waistband:

32_TopStitchWaistBandToBody

Then, continue topstitching the 1/8” hem along the waistband to secure the entire waistband piece together:

33_TopStitchRestOfWaistBand

When you get close to the corner, check to make sure it’s lining up correctly.  If it’s not, stop and knot the seam about 2 inches from the end:

34_StopAtCornerIfNeeded

Then, re-iron it so the edges line up, and continue the 1/8” topstitching around the edge:

35_FinishCorner

Next repeat the process on the other side of the waistband, till the entire piece is finished.

If you don’t need a pocket, you’re now finished!

However, if you’d like to add a pocket to yours like we did, come back next week to learn how!

Love,tami

Birthday Adventures

My husband, Kyle, and I were both born at inopportune times of the year. My birthday is September 1 – it’s near or on Labor Day and is usually the hottest time of the year here in CA. Kyle’s birthday is way worse, however – it’s January 2!  It’s so hard to make a birthday feel special right after Christmas and New Year’s!  Plus, everything is super crowded and the weather is usually freezing cold – or, at least cold for CA! 😉

So, needless to say, the crowds and bad weather at both times of year usually make going out for a fun birthday activity less than ideal.  We’ve had a few birthday fails over the years, but our lowest point was definitely the “Disneyland Corndog Debacle”.  Kyle had a craving for a Disneyland corndog, but that year his birthday fell on the last weekend of Christmas break.  It was super cold and so crowded that we couldn’t even get into the park!  We went elsewhere in search of a fantastic corndog, but with no success!  That sad day was only redeemed a couple days later when some awesome friends helped me surprise Kyle with corndogs they made from scratch! Delicious!

As you may have guessed, however, that experience forever changed our birthday planning.  From then on, we tended to either stay home and cook or only venture out for short trips to unusual and hopefully, not crowded, locales. In the end, this became a blessing in disguise. We got creative – doing cooking challenges and always trying something new.  We even learned how to make some of our favorite meals on birthdays!

One of the most interesting came from one of Kyle’s birthdays where every meal had to include chocolate and peanut butter.  We did some research and developed a recipe for a chicken mole, which fit the bill and, despite the odd combo of ingredients, came out amazing!

1_ChickenMole

I’ll have to share the recipe for it sometime 😉

This year for my birthday, however, it was so hot that I didn’t feel like doing much cooking, so we did a little something different instead.  I’m the designated baker in our family, but rather than bake my own birthday cake (and turn on the oven!), I thought it would be fun to scope out a yummy bakery we’d never been to before.  After a quick search online, we found the Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa.

2_BlackmarketBakery_Front

Here’s a link to their website in case you’d like to check it out! http://www.blackmarketbakery.com/index.php/home

My birthday fell on a Sunday this year, so after church we ventured up to the bakery for lunch and an awesome dessert.  We both had one of their amazing grilled cheese sandwiches on house-made bread.  I had one with cheddar, bacon, and roasted red pepper on cheddar shallot bread.  Kyle had one with bacon and American cheese on their Dutch crunch bread. They were delicious!  We both devoured them so quickly, we forgot to take pictures!

Then, it was time for dessert!  We got a couple tarts to share – one had chocolate, shortbread, and crème brûlée, while the other had chocolate and caramel (also devoured before a picture was taken…).  They were so good, we went back for more to take home – 2 more crème brûlée tarts and a lemon raspberry one that also looked fantastic!

3_BlackmarketBakery_tarts

It was definitely an insane dessert-splurging day!

Next, my super sweet hubby came shopping with me for my birthday present – a new pair of boots.  I’ve spent the last year trying to find a pair of riding boots that would suit me.  No matter what I ordered, Kyle vetoed pair after pair.  I’m only 5’4”, so trying to find a pair of knee high boots that looked right on me hadn’t been easy…

Both of us aren’t usually big fans of shopping, unless it’s done online, but after so many attempts, Kyle suggested we go to the mall and look together.  What a sweetie!

Here’s what we found!

4_Boots

As you can see, I didn’t end up with knee high riding boots in the end, but we both liked these and thought they fit both my shorter stature and my style 🙂

So, all in all, it was a great birthday!  And, the best part, of course, was spending the whole day with Kyle!  That’s what I look forward to most every year!  Although, the desserts and boots were pretty awesome, too 😉

Let us know if you have any fun birthday traditions – or tips for beating crowds at busy times of year!  We’re always open to new birthday ideas!

Love,tami