Monday, January 30, 2012

A mini ruffled apron

It's Monday and I think I could speak for most of the world when I say I could use a dose of cuteness to lift my spirits. So today I'm posting about a 1st birthday present I made for Gracie's little bff, Maddy. Because what is cuter than a 1st birthday with ruffles and cupcakes? Read on, my friends.

Of course I made up on of my go-to presents of a personalized birthday tee.
And paired it with a ruffly tutu & leggings from Target. Ooh, the ruffles!

Since Maddy got a little kitchen for Christmas, I decided to make her a few easy peasy accessories to help her culinary discoveries. I thought a mini ruffly apron & matching mini potholder would do the trick!
Seriously, anything in mini version is ridiculously cute. I'm feeling better about Monday already.

And because I need an excuse to not do my dishes that are overtaking my own big girl kitchen, I'm going to show you how to make your own ruffly apron. You could make a mini version like this one, or even make regular sized one for yourself. Either way, here we go.

Start by laying your fabric out. Pick a skirt that fits your kiddo (or yourself) well. This will help guide what size we cut the apron pieces. I used the tutu I mentioned above, because I had it on hand, and because I love ruffles just that much.
Lay the skirt on top of the fabric, and cut with a rotary cutter along the edge of the skirt.
 Stop halfway around, remove the skirt, and fold over the fabric. Continue cutting. This will ensure that your piece of fabric is symmetrical. And I sure like things to be symmetrical.
 Use your first piece as a pattern, and cut out a second piece. You can use the same fabric, or pick a coordinating one like I did here. One piece will be the front of your apron, and one will be the back.
Next I am going to add the pocket. If you don't want a pocket, you can skip these steps. But I think it makes it pretty cute. I used my "back" fabric. Use a circle (I used a jar top) and cut out your pocket. Fold in half to even out and make symmetrical.
Iron under your edges. I used my serger, but you can just leave the edges raw too. Pin onto your apron front, wherever you'd like it to be, then top stitch it around the curved edges. (You can see I sewed on a piece of rick-rack to the top of the pocket.)
Next we're going to make the ruffle edge. Start by taking a long piece of fabric. I didn't measure mine, but you want it to be roughly 2x the length of the curved part of your apron, and 2.5x the width you want your ruffle to be. Does this make sense? I hope so, because I'm out of ideas of how else to explain it.
Iron this strip in half width wise, so that you have a folded edge and two raw edges all along the long strip.
Now sew a gather stitch all along the unfinished edges, make sure to catch both edges. Gather your strip, and it should look like a ruffle.
Now we're going to put the apron all together. Put your two apron pieces with right sides together. You're going to place your ruffle in between these two pieces so that the raw edge of the ruffle aligns with the edge of the apron, and the folded part of your ruffle is pointed in. 
Pin in place, all around the apron. Use as many pins as you want. No one will judge you. (Or me, right?) Sew around the edge, making sure you catch the front & back of the apron & both pieces of the ruffle.
Turn it right side out & it should look like this. Your ruffle is attached and all your icky seams are neatly tucked inside. (You can see I added another piece of rick-rack to the apron. If you want to do this, do it before you sew the apron together.) Press your seams so they're all crisp and flat.
Now we just need to finish the top! (I also decided I wanted this apron to be a little shorter, so I trimmed the top down a few inches. You'll see in the next photos.)

To finish the top & create the ties, I used some double fold bias tape, and pinned it all along the top edge. Leave enough extra on each side to use as your ties. Then I sewed from end to end along the open edge of the bias tape.
And your apron is complete and ready for your little culinary genius. And my case of the Monday blues just went out the window. (Ruffles, cupcakes & polka dots will do that to a girl.) So we both win!
Hooray! And a big happy birthday to Miss Madison! 


Amanda said...

So cute! Love the fabric you picked! :)

Mom said...

I am so envious of your applique skills!!!! All those letters in her name-WOW! The apron is so cute and I LOVE the cupcake fabric-great job!

michelle said...

SO ADORABLE!! I always wish i could have done cute things like this for my daughter. I bet the gifts were a hit. :)

Brittany @ Each Day Gets Better. said...

adorable. a little girls dream.