The Proud Cook-er and the Proud Sew-er
My daughter is 3, and much to my chagrin, she is, by all accounts, an incredibly picky eater.
When I do get my daughter to the table, she eats from a limited menu of typical child foods. I don’t get too irked by these shenanigans, as I spent my youth eating buttered toast and drinking chocolate milk. However, I do try to encourage healthy food habits, primarily by getting my daughter in the kitchen with me. She definitely likes to play sous chef to my chef de cuisine. Stirring, we can agree, is one of the best things ever. As she works on her stirring technique she usually announces, “I am the best cooker!” This pleases me to no end, because I know this means she feels proud.
Feeling proud is not something I come by easily, but when I do feel a sense of pride, I think I must light up like a Christmas tree. I feel like I light up like a Christmas tree. Each time I make something that I think is excellent, whether I made dinner, a throw pillow, a piece of jewelry or a piece of art, I feel a greater sense of respect for myself. When someone else then enjoys what I made, I feel a little bit more fulfilled than I would have if I had not taken time out to make something for someone.
In addition to being an avid stirrer, my daughter loves to dress up. If you are fortunate enough to be here during a birthday party for Cookie Monster, you will discover that she has enough fairy wings, tiaras, and wands to keep a small army sparkling. Needless to say, it became clear that G needed her own apron for when she was being a “cooker.”
As part of my personal mission to (a) improve my sewing skills, and (b) make something everyday, I decided to whip up an apron just for the monkey. She had become quite enamored with a new kitchen towel I had procured from Ikea. It has a delightful and colorful cupcake pattern and it looked like it would be just enough fabric.
Although G cannot seem to remember the word “apron,” and refers to it as “something that will keep me from getting messy,” she does seem to adore her messy-prevention device. Her enthusiasm makes me feel good, and like the best sew-er. I love when G shows off something I have made her – especially when she proudly announces that, “Mommy made this for me.” It is at those times that I know I light up like a Christmas tree, and I truly feel proud.
Dishtowel Apron For A Little Cooker
I want to apologize in advance. These instructions are pretty awful because I did not keep track of the process as I went, and I am so new to sewing that the proper lingo eludes me.
You will need
- A dishtowel. Pick a festive, yet inexpensive one!
- A measuring tape
- Tailor’s chalk in a contrasting color to your dishtowel
- Sewing machine or a needle and patience for handsewing
- Scissors or other fabric cutting device
- An iron and ironing board
Start by measuring the apron recipient to determine how long and wide the apron should be. G is just a smidge taller than 3 feet. I made the apron 18 inches long, so I cut the fabric at 19 inches, allowing for a .5 inch seam allowance, in which I folded the edge over twice for a more finished look. Mark the desired length from the bottom up, and cut the remaining fabric from the top.
Then measure, mark and cut for the width. I cut at 11.5 inches, to make a 10.5 inch wide apron, with a doubled over .5 inch seam.
The dishtowel should now be cut to size with two finished edges left. In my case, I had a finished left and bottom.
Fold, pin, press, and sew your the right or left edge (whichever is unfinished). As noted, I folded the edge at .5 inch and then over again so that the apron would have a nice finished look in the back.
For the top of the apron, finish the hem straight across in the same manner as on the side . Then fold in the top corners to create a tapered top. I measured, folded, pressed, pinned and then stitched creating a .5″ hem.
To make the neck and ties, I used the longer piece of excess fabric. I cut it into three strips. I took the first strip, and with the right side of the fabric face-down, I folded the right and left edges in, lengthwise, so the edges just kiss in the middle. I then pressed the folds. Then I folded the strip lengthwise again, this time in half, and pressed and stitched, leaving me with a long strip with finished edges. I repeated this process with the next two strips.
I attached the side ties just below the taper on both sides of the apron and I attached the neck at both sides of the top.
For the pocket, I cut a piece of leftover fabric from the original top of the dishtowel. I had two finished edges (left and top) so I pressed matching hems on the right and bottom – I made them a little wider the .5″ so I was sure they would be sewed into place when I attached the pocket.. I then pinned the fabric into place and stitched the left side, the bottom, and the right side at .5″. I sewed the length of the entire piece of fabric, rather than pivoting, to give the corners of the pocket a little extra reinforcement.
Tada! And that is the poorly described process of turning a dishtowel into a toddler-sized apron. Again, my apologies.