Saturday, October 22, 2011

Apron Sewing and Fabric Flowers

Sometimes in the evening I try to make time to read blogs I've saved to check out later "when I have time"!  They have either been recommended by someone, or I've accidentally stumbled on them through another blog.

One of the blogs I "stumbled" on earlier this summer was Sew4Home.  A sewing friend was talking about all the great projects you can find on this site, so I decided to check it out.  One of the things I REALLY wanted to follow up on was an apron project called
Citrus Holiday: Hostess Apron with Dreamy Bow.

I loved her fabric choices and the flirty skirt of the apron...however I was looking for a pattern I could easily convert to use with vintage fabrics.
I specifically wanted to use the vintage tablecloths I had purchased to make my sister something for her birthday.

One important thing to note...I do buy linens that can be cleaned and reused...but I also buy dirty, torn linens that can only be "re-purposed."
These are the best to use if you are going to cut them.  I can't bring myself to cut into a tablecloth that has no major defects.  I love using them, especially if they come clean and look almost new!

My linen choices for this project all had major issues!

You also need to be careful when you are cutting more than one layer since they become "misshapen" after so much washing and usage.  Make sure your borders and centers match up the way you want and that they won't twist when you get them sewn.

I wanted to incorporate this vintage dresser scarf for the bib portion of the apron because my sister loves birds, so this piece was a must.  I chose to use the bird piece in a way that kept the original small crochet edging.  The backing is more vintage linens, but it was top stitched along the inside edge so the trim would be visible. This small hole in the scarf has an iron on fix on the backside. 

(Sometimes you'll find that a prior owner has taken great care to properly mend your cloth.)

I lay out all my pieces to ensure everything can be cut using existing borders, designs while avoiding large holes and tears.  Sometimes it's not avoidable, but you have opportunity to adjust as to where the hole will end up!

For my waist ties I was able to use the good edges of one tablecloth.  They weren't quite as long as the pattern required (I think they were an inch short) but they had enough length to still tie.

The ruffles were created from two different tablecloths.
The background fabric is the center piece of the tablecloth I used for the middle ruffle.

I think the project was a success.

As I also promised yesterday, I want to show you how to make some fabric flowers.  I wanted to complete my apron by creating a fabric flower to cover the hole on the dresser scarf.
I started by cutting a long strip of edging.  I used pinking shears and followed the edging of the tablecloth.

I folded under the straight end and sewed the edge so I could pull the bobbin thread to create a ruffle.

Once the fabric is pulled to create a ruffle, I began rolling it around the bottom sewing and stitching the bottom together as I rolled.  I started tight in the middle and rolled more loosely as I completed my flower.  You can always use this "rose" as is, but I wanted mine to be a fuller flower.

So..for the base of my flower I cut 6 flower shaped petals.

The bottom two petals are layered on top of each other,

and the four petals left are folded in quarters and layed on top of the bottom two flat ones.
I machine stitch a cross in the center of the petals to tack down the top layers to the bottom layers.

You can now use these flowers as is,

but I stitched my rose in the center of these layers to give it more dimension.  As you can see, I did not sew it on top of the hole in the bib (it seemed an awkward location once I got it made.)  I'll have to find "something" else to cover the flaw....

I also completed two other fabric flowers, but for these two I sewed a decorative button in the center.  You can make them your very own by laying more petals and using larger decorative's all up to you!

So...a very HAPPY (belated) birthday to my sister (who I love very much!) I know she'll enjoy many hours of cooking in her apron.  (I also found a second tablecloth to match her apron!)

More sewing in the coming week,
till tomorrow...

1 Cowgurls said:

Hollace said...

The apron is as cute as can be! [I have a thing for vintage table linens, too, whether it's embroidered pillowcases or hankies or card-table cloths. I found an apron made out of hankies that was cute--somehow all the hankies were the same, which would be hard to find.]
I remember your daughter's wedding with all the vintage cloths blowing on the reception tables!
The bib on this apron is especially sweet--your sister won't make spaghetti in it, I'm thinkin'. And I think that little mending square is so dear! Looks like my Grandma did it. Thanks for the tutorial.
Actually, I wish you could tell me how to set my computer so that clicking on an image enlarges it to full size, as yours does. I am also on
Thank you =) Have a great week!