Friday, April 5, 2013

Child's Apron and Named Toy Bags

These cute little children's aprons need little fabric and make up very quickly and easily.  Adding the child's name nicely personalizes the apron and is also quick and easy to do.

Requirements  - 

You'll need a half-metre square piece of fabric for each apron (plus a small off-cut for the pocket)
Sewing cotton to match the fabric
About 60cm of 1.5cm (or similar) wide bias binding tape to match the fabric 
A length of ribbon or tape about 165cm long for one apron
Fabric puff paint
Dressmakers' carbon paper

Instructions -

  • Make yourself a paper pattern piece about 50cm wide and 42cm high, with straight side edges of about 25cm from the bottom edge; the top edge of the apron is about 18cm wide, and the slightly curved underarm edges will be about 25cm.  (I say 'about' because you might want to adjust the sizes for a custom fit.  This apron is a good fit for most 1-5 year olds.)  
  • Add a seam allowance onto your paper pattern before cutting out your fabric.  (I used a 1cm seam allowance all round because the fabric I used required no edging.  With most fabrics you will need to add a 2-3cm seam allowance on all the straight edges.  You will only need a 1cm seam allowance on the curved sides, because you'll be using bias binding tape there.
  • Cut out your fabric piece.  
  • Hem all of the straight sides.
  • Open out one edge of your bias tape, turn the raw edge of the tape under to form a 1.5cm hem, then attach the tape to one of the curved sides of the apron, sewing right sides together, and turning under a 1.5cm hem on the finishing raw edge of the tape.  Turn and iron the bias tape toward the back of the apron, then sew it in place, forming a pocket through which to thread the ribbon or tape.  Repeat on the second curved edge.
  • If you would like to add a pocket to the apron, use a scrap of leftover fabric and cut it into a rectangle  25cmW x 15.5cmH.   (The finished size will be 22cm x 11cm, plus seam allowances of 1.5cm along the bottom and each of the side edges, and 3cm along the top edge.)  Iron under the bottom and side edge seam allowances. Then turn under and sew the top edge hem (1.5cm, then turned under another 1.5cm).  Position the pocket on the front of the apron and sew it along the sides and bottom of the pocket to attach it.  Run an additional line of stitching .5cm away from the first line of sewing, to strengthen the seam.  Run a line of stitching through the centre of the pocket, dividing it in two.
  • Thread ribbon or tape through the curved edge bias pockets.  Tie each of the tape/ribbon ends into a double knot to secure them from fraying.  Adjust the neck strap to fit.

Adding a name -

I use Microsoft Publisher to do this, although I'm sure you could fiddle whatever you have available to work.  Enlarge the page on the computer screen to reflect real-life paper sizes, then type out the child's name in the font you would like to use.  When you hold up or tape the apron to the screen you should be able to see the name through the fabric to know exactly how it will look when it is applied and if it it the right size.  When you are happy with it, print out the name, then trim off the excess paper.

Using dressmakers' carbon paper...

Position the printed name on the apron, right side up, with a piece of carbon paper, coloured side down, between the paper and the fabric.  Using a pen, trace over the name until it is transferred to the apron.  (I only had yellow carbon when I did this, which did not show up very well.  A blue or green carbon would have been better on this fabric.)  

Remove the paper and the carbon, and use fabric puff paint to carefully outline the letters.  Allow to dry.

I also used and described this method here.

Voila!  It almost took me longer to explain it than to do it! :)

From the fabric off-cuts I made some small bags in which to keep the girls' Disney Princess dolls and their outfits together.  
If you are interested in making these, they could hardly be simpler:  Cut a rectangle; hem the top edge to make a pocket for the ribbon or tie; fold in half and sew up the bottom and side, stopping short of the top hem pocket.  Thread with ribbon or tape, and knot together.  Add a name.  (Place a plastic-covered piece of card inside the bag before you paint the name, so that the bag doesn't stick to itself when it's tacky.)  


  1. Ok so the aprons look like something I might actually be able to make one day!! Of course you'd be getting a lot of calls every 2 mins so I could ask questions etc. ....might just be easier if my first sewing project was with you :P

  2. Sandy, they are so pretty, thanks for the instructions on putting the name on them, I would have had trouble with that one.

    I can see them hanging on a lovely hook, great use of cut off as well.

  3. How sweet and to think how expensive these are in the shops. How I wish I was half as creative.