Friday, December 21, 2012

Toddler girl's ruffled apron



So we've instituted a tradition at our house, at least for these baby years: Santa brings one present (handmade in his garage workshop) and Mama and Daddy buy one.  It kind of stinks, because Santa gets all the credit for our hard work! ;-) Last year, it was a handmade doll and a wooden push toy (which she pretty much never, ever played with, sigh). This year it's a whole bunch of Duplo and a homemade play kitchen. 

The kitchen has turned out to be a pretty big project, and "Santa" is doing a great job with putting it together -- it should be finished in the nick of time.  I, meanwhile, get to do the fun stuff... the little details like dishes, refrigerator magnets, and accessories.  The stuff that makes it feel like a real kitchen! 

One of the things I had in mind from the moment we came up with the play kitchen idea (seriously, I have had this fabric at least six months) was a ruffled apron.  I am a sucker for a ruffled apron, and I have made a couple now based on this absolutely adorable grownup version from One More Moore.  I think I've finally got the dimensions of the toddler-sized version just right, so I thought I'd share measurements and the few little changes I made to the method Morgan Moore used in the original.

I started with: a back piece 13.5" wide by 10.5" long 
One 3"x13.5" piece for the waistband
Four stirs 4"x22" for the ruffles
Two strips 2.5"x20" for the ties

I hemmed three sides (not the top) of the back piece and each of the ruffle pieces.

Then I zigzagged the top edge of each ruffle piece. Oh, Santa, I hope you bring my serger!


I took my tie pieces, folded them each in half lengthwise wrong-side-out, stitched along one end and long side, turned, pressed, and top-stitched. 

Pressed my waistband piece under .25" on all four edges...




...then folded it in half lengthwise, right side out, and pressed.

Made a long gathering stitch along the top of each ruffle strip and gathered until the width of my back piece.  Then pinned and stitched them down thus: the top edge of the bottom ruffle is exactly 3" from the bottom of the back piece. Each of the other ruffles is positioned 1.5" above the one below it. This means that the top ruffle is stitched down .5" from the top edge  of the base piece.

Like this.

It's a bit hard to see here, but I tacked down the apron ties to the top of the backing fabric, then sandwiched the apron and ties inside the waistband piece.  The top of the backing fabric went right into the crease I pressed.

Then I folded and pinned it down, and stitched along all three edges, catching the apron ties, backing fabric, and top ruffle inside the waistband.

So fun! Can't wait to try it on her and see her playing in her new little kitchen.
The fabrics are all by Michael Miller: Retro Put a Lid on It in Citrus Yellow and Electric Green,  Petit Point in Denim Blue, and Ta Dot in Tangerine.


EDITED to add photos of the apron "in the wild."






I took these today while H "helped" (haha!) me bake a cake for her SECOND BIRTHDAY! I can't believe my baby is getting so big! Please excuse the bed head. We are having a "stay in your pajamas all day" kind of day today.

Monday, December 17, 2012

An Apron Reverse Knot Dress for Christmas


 is was another situation where a cute fabric drove the dress idea.  I happened upon this adorable red matryoshka nativity fabric at JoAnn's and thought it was just too cute not to use for something -- but also too busy to make a whole dress out of.  So I went through several ideas for a Christmas dress but finally decided upon this apron reverse-knot jumper (a knot dress usually ties in the front; this one ties in the back) from Viola Lee Patterns on Etsy.

I really struggled to come up with good coordinating fabrics because it wasn't (as far as I could tell) part of a coordinating line, so I had to wing it.  I finally found a couple that worked well: a light blue Kona cotton with sparkles (!) that brings out the blue in "Mary's" cloak (I think maybe this one?) and a white-and-red snowflake pattern that matches the red background ... which seems to be no longer available.


It sparkles!  And I need to work on my bow-tying...
 The pattern was easy to follow, although it took me a long time simply because I was only able to work in short bursts on this one.  But it was fun to make.  It is absolutely adorable on her with her little white peasant blouse underneath, but I want to wait to share pictures until I have had a chance to make the light blue tulle petticoat I plan on her wearing with this.  Oh, my. So much cuteness shouldn't be legal!


It's a little bit big on her (the smallest pattern size was 2T/3T and she is a dainty 22-month-old) but it doesn't swallow her too much to wear this year... and she should be able to wear it at least one more year if not two. Which is good, since she will only get to wear it a couple of times this Christmas!

Thanksgiving dress

Oh, my goodness, it's been forever since I've posted anything.  We've been in holiday mode around here, and it's been great!  All the shopping and baking hasn't totally gotten in the way of making stuff, though.  Here (finally) is H's Thanksgiving dress.


I had something totally different in mind (and fabric actually purchased) but then I saw this behind the cutting counter at JoAnn's one day and just had to have it.  It's bright and colorful, yet somehow "fall-ish," too.

I had never (to my knowledge) worked with one of JoAnn's "Keepsake Calico" cottons before, and I can't decide what I thought of it.  It was a lot less crisp than the other 100% cotton quilting fabrics I usually work with.  This makes it a bit harder to work with. (For instance, when you press a bottom edge under for hemming, it doesn't stay neatly pressed on its own; you have to pin it before you stitch.) On the other hand, it's now been washed a couple of times and only required the tiniest touch with the iron afterwards instead of needing a full pressing like these garments usually do.  So, I'm on the fence.

Anyway, back to the point, I made the Tianna dress from Lily Bird Studio.  It was my first time using one of their patterns and I found it very straightforward.


I really like the cute ruffle detail (even if mine is a bit wonky). H really liked having so many buttons.  :-)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Toddler girl's ruffled apron



So we've instituted a tradition at our house, at least for these baby years: Santa brings one present (handmade in his garage workshop) and Mama and Daddy buy one.  It kind of stinks, because Santa gets all the credit for our hard work! ;-) Last year, it was a handmade doll and a wooden push toy (which she pretty much never, ever played with, sigh). This year it's a whole bunch of Duplo and a homemade play kitchen. 

The kitchen has turned out to be a pretty big project, and "Santa" is doing a great job with putting it together -- it should be finished in the nick of time.  I, meanwhile, get to do the fun stuff... the little details like dishes, refrigerator magnets, and accessories.  The stuff that makes it feel like a real kitchen! 

One of the things I had in mind from the moment we came up with the play kitchen idea (seriously, I have had this fabric at least six months) was a ruffled apron.  I am a sucker for a ruffled apron, and I have made a couple now based on this absolutely adorable grownup version from One More Moore.  I think I've finally got the dimensions of the toddler-sized version just right, so I thought I'd share measurements and the few little changes I made to the method Morgan Moore used in the original.

I started with: a back piece 13.5" wide by 10.5" long 
One 3"x13.5" piece for the waistband
Four stirs 4"x22" for the ruffles
Two strips 2.5"x20" for the ties

I hemmed three sides (not the top) of the back piece and each of the ruffle pieces.

Then I zigzagged the top edge of each ruffle piece. Oh, Santa, I hope you bring my serger!


I took my tie pieces, folded them each in half lengthwise wrong-side-out, stitched along one end and long side, turned, pressed, and top-stitched. 

Pressed my waistband piece under .25" on all four edges...




...then folded it in half lengthwise, right side out, and pressed.

Made a long gathering stitch along the top of each ruffle strip and gathered until the width of my back piece.  Then pinned and stitched them down thus: the top edge of the bottom ruffle is exactly 3" from the bottom of the back piece. Each of the other ruffles is positioned 1.5" above the one below it. This means that the top ruffle is stitched down .5" from the top edge  of the base piece.

Like this.

It's a bit hard to see here, but I tacked down the apron ties to the top of the backing fabric, then sandwiched the apron and ties inside the waistband piece.  The top of the backing fabric went right into the crease I pressed.

Then I folded and pinned it down, and stitched along all three edges, catching the apron ties, backing fabric, and top ruffle inside the waistband.

So fun! Can't wait to try it on her and see her playing in her new little kitchen.
The fabrics are all by Michael Miller: Retro Put a Lid on It in Citrus Yellow and Electric Green,  Petit Point in Denim Blue, and Ta Dot in Tangerine.


EDITED to add photos of the apron "in the wild."






I took these today while H "helped" (haha!) me bake a cake for her SECOND BIRTHDAY! I can't believe my baby is getting so big! Please excuse the bed head. We are having a "stay in your pajamas all day" kind of day today.

Monday, December 17, 2012

An Apron Reverse Knot Dress for Christmas


 is was another situation where a cute fabric drove the dress idea.  I happened upon this adorable red matryoshka nativity fabric at JoAnn's and thought it was just too cute not to use for something -- but also too busy to make a whole dress out of.  So I went through several ideas for a Christmas dress but finally decided upon this apron reverse-knot jumper (a knot dress usually ties in the front; this one ties in the back) from Viola Lee Patterns on Etsy.

I really struggled to come up with good coordinating fabrics because it wasn't (as far as I could tell) part of a coordinating line, so I had to wing it.  I finally found a couple that worked well: a light blue Kona cotton with sparkles (!) that brings out the blue in "Mary's" cloak (I think maybe this one?) and a white-and-red snowflake pattern that matches the red background ... which seems to be no longer available.


It sparkles!  And I need to work on my bow-tying...
 The pattern was easy to follow, although it took me a long time simply because I was only able to work in short bursts on this one.  But it was fun to make.  It is absolutely adorable on her with her little white peasant blouse underneath, but I want to wait to share pictures until I have had a chance to make the light blue tulle petticoat I plan on her wearing with this.  Oh, my. So much cuteness shouldn't be legal!


It's a little bit big on her (the smallest pattern size was 2T/3T and she is a dainty 22-month-old) but it doesn't swallow her too much to wear this year... and she should be able to wear it at least one more year if not two. Which is good, since she will only get to wear it a couple of times this Christmas!

Thanksgiving dress

Oh, my goodness, it's been forever since I've posted anything.  We've been in holiday mode around here, and it's been great!  All the shopping and baking hasn't totally gotten in the way of making stuff, though.  Here (finally) is H's Thanksgiving dress.


I had something totally different in mind (and fabric actually purchased) but then I saw this behind the cutting counter at JoAnn's one day and just had to have it.  It's bright and colorful, yet somehow "fall-ish," too.

I had never (to my knowledge) worked with one of JoAnn's "Keepsake Calico" cottons before, and I can't decide what I thought of it.  It was a lot less crisp than the other 100% cotton quilting fabrics I usually work with.  This makes it a bit harder to work with. (For instance, when you press a bottom edge under for hemming, it doesn't stay neatly pressed on its own; you have to pin it before you stitch.) On the other hand, it's now been washed a couple of times and only required the tiniest touch with the iron afterwards instead of needing a full pressing like these garments usually do.  So, I'm on the fence.

Anyway, back to the point, I made the Tianna dress from Lily Bird Studio.  It was my first time using one of their patterns and I found it very straightforward.


I really like the cute ruffle detail (even if mine is a bit wonky). H really liked having so many buttons.  :-)