Thursday, January 19, 2012

My very first sewing tutorial! Girly Ruffle Apron


I'm a little nervous to put this out there since, I do not, in any way, consider myself a professional  or even skilled enough to be teaching anyone! :) But I thought that maybe I could inspire one of you to TRY! Especially if your like me: where sewing your own clothing is like a dream come true but it seems very far away and unattainable. This project seems to open some doors for me (in my mind anyways) and I'm excited to see where they lead me. :)

This is my tutorial for my Girly Ruffle Apron! This was my homemade gift to the Secret Santa name I picked out! I wanted it to be something that she wouldn't have to wear just to make me feel like she liked it, when really she didn't at all! This way- an apron you can wear at home (or not wear it at all) and no one would know the difference! Except maybe her husband! (My brother: I'll have to check in with him- haha kidding!) And it seemed pretty easy...

I bought my material @ Wally World some late night (because of my rush to get it finished!)

3 yards printed material
2 yards corresponding print or solid material
thread that blends (I used a light grey)

First, measure about how much you would need to cover just the front of your body. I would say that aprons are one size fits all because of the ties, but you want to make sure it doesnt wrap all the way around your body.

I did I quick measurement and cut off the excess (and made sure that the piece that was left was enough of something to work with!)
The arm holes I eye-balled. First fold in half and cut out the shape for arms. I later cut them more because I didn't like how it looked- so that's always an option. Don't forget: you can always cut more but you can't cut less once its already cut! :) I know you are all saying DUH.... and than it happens!

Before sewing anything (or it could even be your first step) I got the ties made!
Equal lengths- two for the top and two for the sides.

I took the lazy way out and didnt want to iron them: I just folded them, sewed along the edge and than turned them inside out. :)

I tucked the tip in like this:

Then I sewed around all the edges to give it a finished look. Sew around three sides. The other end isn't necessary because it will actually be sewed into the side of the apron and not seen. :)

With these made, you can start the apron! I decided to sew in the top straps first before getting to the ruffles. I think its a good idea to have the two layers of apron forms some how sewed on to each other so that they don't keep moving around!

Reverse the material. Lay the straps (inside the apron) almost to the very end on both sides- leave a little room to finish sides- and sew down the top. When you turn it back inside out, the straps will be attached to the top!

I tried in on again with the straps and re-cut my arm holes- I got a better visual when I did this and realized I wanted them to be lower. But maybe you like how you cut yours initially! Then I went ahead and sewed down the sides of the arm holes. This step made me very happy because it was becoming somewhat of an apron! I thought- hey, if the ruffles don't turn out, I have basically an apron still made. :) Don't think so pessimistically as me! Or would you call that negatively optimistic? Anyways, it will turn out! Don't doubt yourself :)

 YAY! See what I mean about it almost coming together!

Now, for the ruffles: the material will need to be about double in length of the width of the apron. Wow, I don't know how to reword that! If you want the ruffles to be subtle, you can survive with material 1 1/2 the width of your apron.

Sew down the top edge of the strip, only back sewing on one end. This is a smart idea because it holds the thread and you won't lose it like I did (about two times!!) Then take one thread and start GENTLY pulling it, causing the fabric to ruffle. It can rip and you'll have to start over. But its wonderfully easy! Then hem the bottom so it has a pretty edge.

Go ahead and make two more, alternating the material. This is where you can play around with it and decide how you want the fabric to go. Aaccording to the width you cut the material and length you want your apron, you might need more or less ruffle layers.

Than pin the first ruffle to the apron, making sure it is on JUST the top layer. I tried it on again, tying the straps that were already sewn on and marked where I would like the ruffles to start. I decided I wanted it to be right under the arm notch. Leave room for a "band" to cover the ruffle mess.
Sew down the ruffles, again so its just on the top layer, removing pins as you go :)

Next, have a piece of material that, when hemmed, is the width of your tie straps. This is the "band". Fold over one end and pin it to the apron just over the ruffles. (only on top layer) Then sew. I calculated the other end, when hemmed, to just cover the top of your ruffle mess.Try to sew as straight as possible- these lines will be visible!
Pictures explain it better...

Next, fold over the bottom part and pin! An iron comes in handy here to make sure you make it straight. Sew along the edge.

This is where you take the next ruffle and pin it underneath the first one, making sure that the first ruffle covers the mess of the next one!

Add next layer. Repeat. 

Turn inside out and pin down the sides. Pin the straps inside to where the band is across the front of the apron. I pinned the very end of the ruffles to the side as well.  Sew!

Hem the bottom (cutting off the access if you want it shorter) and sew across the bottom.

I went back and sewed the edge all around the top part to give it a "completed" look and also hold together better for after its been in the wash!

Complete! Now go cook something! :)

Or just wear it around because its so girly and pretend your going to cook! I can't wait for little Em to get older so I can make a matching one for her! Now I hope my secret Santa won't see this before she receives her gift!

Hoping to find the time to post again soon!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Our Homemade Christmas

Why hello there cyber space! Happy New Year to you all!

With that said...

My title probably made you cringe a little, right?! :) Well, its just toooo good not to pass! 

This year, my BIG family which includes our amazing parents, 7 children, and 5 "in-laws" (which includes my hubby!) decided that instead of doing Secret Santa like we usually do for Christmas gifts, it would be HOMEMADE SECRET SANTA! I KNOW!! It's an awesome idea! :)

The idea really began for us when we were kids. Our parents decided  that for Christmas one year we would make gifts for each other. I still have a neat wooden box with a wooden lid that my daddy made and stained for me! (I will have to post a picture up sometime :). The idea is brilliant and easily can become a tradition in your family!. Since younger children usually don't have the means to buy a present for their sibling or parent, this is a great way for them to show their love and appreciation! It's the thought and effort that goes into a gift that will make the memory live on and on... I also believe its something you can teach your child to love! I believe that most of our "craftiness" and the artsy qualities that me and my siblings possess were instilled in us from our parents. I grew up watching my mother sew dresses, embroider beautiful pillows, and both of them remake and sell antique furniture! I probably began cross-stitching when I was 8 or 9 years old! Not to mention our fashion runway shows my sisters and I had in the barn! (but that's another story for another time!)

Our parents were and are definitely an inspiration!

Since this all was decided almost last minute (a family full of procrastinators haha!) we decided the exchange date would be New Years instead of Christmas. 

The Rules were: 
1. Your allowed to buy something from the thrift store but you must REMAKE it somehow. 
2. Your also allowed to get help if you feel like your crafty-challenged.

My beautiful sister-in-law picked my name and I was speechless when I opened my gift! I really thought she cheated and bought something! And to think she was afraid of doing this to begin with!

Let the pictures speak for themselves... (or they might not because I cannot capture all the yumminess!)

 Love the "store name" :)
 YUMMMM To me, this would have been enough! Chocolate is all I need to make me happy :)

 But than seeing THIS!!! I absolutely adore it! And it's so much more beautiful in person! I used flash so you can see the color a little more, but it still doesn't do it justice!

Just gorgeous!

This is one of the most beautiful things anyone has ever made me. I know it has created a memory and I'm not letting anyone touch it! :) Thank you, Inessa. It made me feel special. 

I hope to catch some pictures of what everyone else made! Can't wait to show you all what I have been working on for my Secret Santa! :)