Vintage Style Apron

folded apron on bench

I have been slow to complete this latest project. I am getting burned out with all of the activities going on around here. I am pleased to put together this easy to sew tutorial, but I am going to be taking a break for a couple weeks after this, including stepping away from my FB Live Learn to Sew posts for now.

There are so many big things happening here. Graduations, weddings, work on the house, planting the garden. I can’t keep up. Also I have been working on my Newsletter, which you should be getting in your inbox soon. If you aren’t currently a subscriber be sure to sign up, I am offering a FREE download of my Learn to Sew Worksheets for new scribers, you won’t want to miss anything!

This all adds up to not enough time for blogging. We are entertaining soon for our son’s Graduation, taking a school trip and have a number of weddings and parties to attend. I have been meaning to work on my ebook for a while, and I want to finish a few larger projects that I started months ago. The blog is growing all the time, and I need to spend time working on the things that help make it happen.

finished apron

So, back to the apron. I love vintage style aprons. I have been looking at them on Pintrest for a while now, searching for just the right fabrics to put together to get that vintage look. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of vintage style fabrics out on the market. I finally settled on these prints from Riley Blake Designs. They came in a Fat Quarter Bundle which you can find for only a few dollars at any craft store or fabric shop. The good part about Fat Quarters is that since they are made for quilting, they are all cotton and are easy to work with  for a the beginning sewer.

The bad part about the Fat Quarter Bundles  is that you only get a 1/4 yard of each fabric, so it did require a little creativity to piece the entire thing together and have enough fabric for the entire apron.

Here’s what you will need for this project:

1 Fat Quarter Bundle of at least 4 coordinating floral prints

1 1/2 yards 2″ wide lace trim

Matching Thread

Machine wash and dry fabrics before starting to sew. Remove salvages and block each piece so it’s square.If you aren’t sure how to do block your fabric, see my Facebook Live tutorial here.

Choose 2 prints to use to make the skirt of the apron. I used a smaller print on the pockets, and a solid print for the sash.

apron sections and pockets

Rip or cut the two prints for the skirt into 4″ sections. I left one section 8″ wide for the center panel of the skirt. Your fabric will rip the length of the piece, so it will be 1/4 yard long when finished.

Stitch the pieces together to make one wide panel. I sewed three 4″ pieces on each side of the wider 8″ panel.

Finish the side seams with a 1/4″ rolled hem. I also finished the inside seams with a zig zag stitch to keep the edges from unraveling. Stitch two rows of basting stitches along the top edge 1/2″ from raw edge. Use a long stitch, size 5 or larger on the sewing machine. Leave long threads at ends to pull and gather the top when needed.

Finish the bottom with 2″ wide lace. Zig zag the lace over the raw edge of the fabric.

front and back of pockets

To make the pockets, cut two 9″ squares from a contrasting print. Fold the top edge over 1  1/4″ and press raw edge to the back. Pin lace trim on FRONT of pocket, 1″ down from the folded edge. Zig zag stitch lace onto pocket from front side. This should catch and finish the raw edge of the pocket on the backside at the same time.

Stitch 1/4″ rolled hem on pocket sides and bottom. Pin pockets 2 1/2″ down from top edge of skirt where desired. Top stitch in place by stitching carefully over the first stitching for the rolled hem, pivoting at corners. No one will know they were stitched twice, and the extra stitching makes a nice finished look to the pocket.

Rip or cut the solid fabric horizontally into 4″ sections. Stitch sections together at short edges so you have a continuous piece. Mine measured 4″ by 56″ after sewing. Fold right sides together. Stitch ends closed and make the sash, leaving an 18″ opening to attach to the skirt of the apron.

Turn sash right side out, press. Pin to right side of skirt, making gathers by pulling up basting stitches to fit skirt into opening of sash. Pin all layers together, stitch. Sandwich  fabric over gathers and topstitch on the right side.

Here it is all in a nutshell. I am loving these little video segments, I hope it makes the entire process clear and easy to understand. Please let me know if you have any questions!

 

7 Easy Beginner Sewing Projects

 

It’s nearly the end of the week and I haven’t accomplished much of anything on my to do list. I have had a million distractions here. I am also working on some bigger projects, but can’t reveal those just yet. So, I decided to put together a few posts that you may have missed. These are easy sewing projects for the beginning sewer. They also happen to be some of my favorites!

 

designerssweetspot.com

This is Maggie. She is one of my all time favorite pooches, and she was my model for this DIY Dog Bed project. You can read the whole story below:

DIY Dog Bed

designerssweetspot.com

This simple blouse is great for warm summer days. It is flattering for any figure type and super easy to throw together for the weekend. Here’s the link:

Sewing a Cowl Blouse

 

designerssweetspot.com

Sewing a Fleece Robe

Sewing a fleece robe is another easy project. Fleece is easy to work with because you don’t have to finish the seams. This robe is warm and fluffy, every girl should have one in her closet for those cool evenings at home.

Gifts Wrapped in Glass: Day 16

Pajama pants are another easy item to make. You can make them from fleece, flannel, cotton, etc. They also make a great gift!

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I love reusing fabric from different sources, this DIY Apron is made from an old flannel shirt. I love it for those really messy DIY projects!

DIY Apron

31 Days of Pintrest DIY: Day 23 Wool and Burlap Pillow

These pillows go back to my early blogging days, I still love them.  The photos aren’t my best but oh, well. You can make pillows from just about anything, these are made from burlap and old sweaters. Here’s more pillow ideas.

 

Be sure and sign up for my newsletter for updates on new projects!

 

 

Simple Pillow Tutorial

Finished Pillows

This post was sponsored by Fairfield World. Any opinions given are completely my own.

I have spent the last few days working on the porch decorating. I have been sewing pillows left and right. I can’t wait to share the entire project with you! This week’s fun project is sewing a Simple Pillow.

Wicker Sofa and porch

There are still a few more things to finish on the porch, but I thought I would give you a peek at what we have done so far.

The inspiration for this room came from this beautiful Tommy Bahama fabric. It just screams summer to me. I love the green and blue tones, it makes the outdoors feel closer some how.

Pillow with a hand

This Simple Pillow Tutorial is part of my Learn to Sew series. It’s easy enough for a beginner, but has a few little tricks that make fun for anyone to learn. Thanks to Fairfield World for sponsoring this post!

Sofa with yellow and paisley pillows

I used 18″ x 18″ pillow forms from Fairfield World for this project. They are very nice quality, and the size is big enough to fill in the space nicely behind your back and the rather prickly wicker sofa.

I cut my fabric with 1″ of ease in both directions for the pillows. This extra room makes it easy to slip the pillow form inside the cover without it being too tight. I cut my fabric 19″ x 19″ to give it plenty of room inside and compensate for any shrinkage in washing later on.

I use 100% cotton thread when I sew, it’s a bit heavier and holds up very well in the machine. It is also the best choice if you are a beginner sewer. You can find it labeled as thread for machine quilting, it’s a bit more expensive than the regular polyester/cotton variety but it is well worth it.

I put together a little video tutorial for this project, hope you enjoy it!

 

 

 

How to Hem Jeans

I have a new tutorial for How to Hem Jeans, it’s been one of my most popular sewing posts to date. It’s been featured on several different websites and blogs. Who knew jeans would be such a popular topic?

How to Hem Jeans - FB

I have been blogging for 6 years now. Hard to believe it’s been that long! I have hundreds of posts on this website. I am in the process of refining my brand and developing my future goals. One of the things I am working on is adding video tutorials to some of my old posts.

 

I think everyone I know wears jeans, probably all of us have had a pair or two that needed… Click To Tweet

You will need your jeans, tailors chalk (or a sharp #2 lead pencil), and a measuring tape or a ruler.

First try on the jeans (after they have been washed and dried), and roll up the hem to the desired length. I know you know how to do this!

Then, take off the jeans, and measure the amount you rolled up. It was 2 1/2″ on these jeans.

Turn the jeans inside out, matching the leg seams and smoothing out the fabric. Because denim is so heavy, you will need to work with one leg at a time. Calculate the amount of fabric to cut off by subtracting 1″ from your orgininal measurement, to compensate for the seam allowance needed for the hem.

I needed to shorten our jeans 2 1/2″, so 2 1/2″-1″= 1 1/2″ for my total.

Measure from the bottom of the pant leg and mark the distance with a piece of tailors chalk or lead pencil. My distance was 4″. Be sure your cutting line is parallel to the bottom of the pant leg.

Keeping the pant leg inside out, put the leg over the arm of the machine, turning back a 1/2″ seam allowance. Conveniently the presser foot is the same width. If you use it as a guide, you will not have to measure and it will save you time. Also, forget the pins. Pins ruin sewing machines, and you will be a much better sewer without them. They do not use pins in professional production because they would completely slow down the process. It’s the difference between sewing like a pro, and sewing like a homemaker. No pins.

Lower the presser foot and begin sewing, but do not start on the thick part of the side seam. Begin either slightly before or after the seam. Most machines will just sew right through the thick seam without a problem if they have a running start. Center your needle in the seam allowance, and continue sewing around the entire pant leg. When you get to the end, over lap the stitching slightly to lock it in place. Trim your threads, and remove the pant leg from the machine.

Here are my best tips and tricks for sewing with denim:

  1. Use a heavy duty needle for denim fabrics. I have broken more sewing machine needles  than I can count by sewing jeans. Denim is by far the heaviest material I ever work with. Recently I noticed you can buy packages of needles just for denim, what a great idea! Pick up a package or two to have on hand when ever you need them.
  2. Always use a new needle for each pair of jeans. Needles get dull very quickly on fabrics like this. It will save you lots of headaches if you use a new, sharp needle each time you sew with denim. It may seem like overkill, but you just have to trust me on this one.
  3. Purchase 100% cotton thread for working on jeans. Thread that is designed for machine quilting works well, it’s strong enough to hold up during sewing on denim. I use black or navy for hemming, you don’t have to match the gold top stitching that most jeans have, in fact I think it looks better if you don’t.
  4. Don’t bother with pressing your jeans. Denim is heavy and hard to work with. After you have hemmed your jeans, wash and dry them as usual. They will look and feel great. The new stitches will blend in with the fabric like they were always there. Besides, pressed jeans are just weird.
  5. Help your friends learn to hem their own jeans, I am sure they will be grateful for your help!

That being said, it’s time for the tutorial! I had fun putting this video together, hope it helps you hem your jeans!

 

DON’T FORGET TO PIN THIS POST!

How to Hem Jeans

No Sew Lavender Sachet

Yellow, green and pink sachets with lace and ribbon trim

I love the smell of fresh lavender. I would love to visit Calefornia or France during the peak season and see nothing but fields lavender for miles around. I think I would take an extra suitcase and bring it home chucking full of fragrant flowers.

My sister sends me lavender dried flowers to make soap with occasionally. I came across my soap supplies recently and decided I needed to find a way to use these flowers more often. I came up with this easy No Sew Lavender Sachet craft for those who don’t sew or who aren’t quite ready to sew just yet. (See more about learning to sew here) This will make a great gift for Mothers Day, birthdays, wedding showers or a treat just for yourself.

 

Here’s what you will need:

Pre cut quilt squares 6″ size, you can find them in any fabric store or cut your own fabrics into 6″ squares

Dried lavender flowers or other herb of your choice (available online)

White rice, uncooked

Scraps of lace and ribbon trims

Colorful buttons

Satin flower bow

Fabric glue or craft glue

 

Directions:

Mix the dried lavender with the rice, I used 1/2 cup of each. The rice adds stability to the sachet and absorbs any excess moisture from the flowers. It also stretches the flowers a bit so it costs less to make each sachet. The cost on these sachets is less than $1.00 a piece. Don’t worry, the lavender will still smell great!

Pink the edges of fabric squares if they are not pinked already. My quilt squares were already cut so I didn’t have to do it. Place your fabric square face down on a table, spoon in lavender mixture. Spread a bead of glue around the edge of the fabric, 1/2″ from raw edge. Place top fabric square over the herbs, pat edges together. Glue lace trim, ribbon, buttons and satin bow on top. Let dry overnight.

I had fun making this video tutorial for you, hope you enjoy it.