Thursday, 4 October 2012

Apron for T

When they start big school, our kids have to take their own art apron. It stays there all year and in theory comes back for a wash somewhere in July (last year's didn't come back at all).

T isn't there yet, but he was so overcome with jealousy when he saw the one I did for L, that I had to promise him his own one to use at home. Luckily, this was a promise I was happy to both make and deliver on, because since L started school I have been on a seemingly never-ending and by now slightly obsessive quest to find the perfect kindergarten apron design.

The pattern I used previously was Sew Liberated's Montessori Child's apron. It's a good design, but when it came to making another one this year, I realised I wanted something with more coverage - smock rather than apron.

Enter this tutorial.

Of course, not being able to leave a perfectly good idea alone, I adapted it to close with velcro instead of ties. To my mind this is much less fiddly, which is probably good for a teacher trying to get aprons on 28 kids at once, and with a bit of luck and practice I don't think it'd be that hard for a 4 year old to get it done up by themselves.

Now, I considered not telling anyone about the trial and error this took. But I'm a firm believer in sewing blog transparency (yes, I know there are more important things) and I'm not going to just post pictures of what looks like a perfectly finished, customised art smock and leave it at that.

This is what I did first at the back:

I sewed it closed, with a rather nicely executed back split for the velcro closure (my first ever, taken from the instructions for a pencil skirt).

Of course, getting T in and out of this apron was a wriggly disaster. In retrospect, what the hell was I thinking?? This was completely forseeable! And really not something that'll make anyone's life easier in class.

So, there followed some of this:

And then I tried to tidy it up a bit, by zigzagging around the corner and topstitching down what had previously been the back seam allowance.

By this point I was not that bothered about actually sewing in a straight line. (Actually, I wasn't in the first place - it's only an apron).

Now just to finish off the ends of the bias tape at the bottom hem. Fortuitously, I had earlier been anally retentive meticulous enough to sew the ends of it together with the join matching up exactly at the centre back seam. How's that for attention to detail! Careful unpicking had left me with about ¼" extra tape to try and fold over the raw edge. Sadly, this was not enough for me to do so neatly.

It's only an apron it's only an apron. No really, I actually hardly care.

And voil√†, much better:

Isn't he gorgeous? ;-)

Fabric info

  •  Front: Echino by Kokka, medium weight cotton. I had a fat quarter from Schleiper which was just enough.
  • Back: upholstery-weight stripes from Ikea.

I put pockets on the front to balance out the fact that the back was heavier. Full disclosure: I didn't have the foresight to do this in advance, I wrestled them on to the finished apron because it was hanging weirdly. I'm just not that good at thinking things through.

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