Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Simple Apron Sewing Project – Creating Memories with Loved Ones

Kitchen Apron Sewing ProjectEvery year, I have my nieces come visit me. We call it “Camp Aunt Mary” and it is a tradition. I always try to have a craft project as part of the fun and this year we sewed aprons.

We wanted aprons that we would actually use, so we chose a style that is more like a general purpose “craft apron” with 3 pockets to give them a more modern, updated look — less like those frilly things from the June Cleaver era.

Apron patterns in the fabric store are priced at $16.00 and you can use them if you are not very creative but making your own pattern is very easy and will save you lots of money. That’s what we did.

We made our own patterns by tracing a store bought apron that I had onto a brown paper bag, cut open to get a larger piece of paper. We only needed two pattern pieces — one for the pocket and one for the main apron, and pinned them to the desired fabrics before cutting.

Picking out the fabric was the most fun — from everyone’s perspective. Each of us (Emily, age 12, and Hannah, age 10, and I) started with our own favorite color and latched onto an “inspiration fabric” that grounded the whole theme. Is it any surprise that mine has circles!

I encouraged them to vary the scale of the patterns on the fabric and trim and to mix patterns for that matter. Each of the aprons that we made had three different patterns that worked great together. We mixed circles, stripes, plaids, and prints.

Using extra wide double fold bias tape for the edges, first sew the binding to the top edge of the pocket. Then pin the pocket to the apron and sew the binding all around the edge of the apron.

To make the pockets, simply divide the pocket into thirds and sew two vertical lines to connect the main pocket to the apron to make individual pockets.

Finish the apron by sewing one-inch polyester ribbon for the ties at the neck and waist. Make them long enough so that you can tie them into nice bows in the front. This really shows off the pattern on the ribbons.

It only took me 10 minutes to sew mine. It took longer for the girls since they did not have that much experience with my sewing machine and sewing in general.

This was a super simple craft project and the girls were very proud of what they had done — and rightly so.

  1. During Camp Aunt Mary, I try to do things with the kids that complement what their parents do. I am always amazed that even though my brothers and I were raised the same, they expose their kids to entirely different experiences.

    For example, neither sets of my nieces and nephews had ever gone to a county fair! Well, I immediately resolved that and Hannah and Emily really got into it. It was so funny because one of them used their cell phone and recorded a sheep’s baaah and sent it to her dad. He just laughed and laughed.

    Last year, we went to see the Annie Oakley museum in Greeneville Ohio. I always loved that story and to see that she was a real person really made history seem more real. Afterwards, I rented the movie and they loved it! They were even singing some of the songs when they visited this year.

  2. Sue, this year, just my 2 nieces. Alas, the numbers change as my nieces and nephews get older and more involved in other things.

    Last year I had two separate Camp Aunt Mary’s when additionally, my other brother’s kids, who are older, came (14 year old nephew and 17 year old niece). My niece is now 18 this year, working a summer job and starting as a freshman at Toledo University.

    As new generations come along, it will continue. I actually have two grand nieces and they want to come next year. The logistics will be a little more challenging as they live 800 miles away in Florida.

    I work and it is a challenge getting caught up when they all leave. But it’s all about family when the dust settles, isn’t it.

  3. Debbie, it all depends on the age of your kids and their experience with sewing.

    This project was done with two girls 10- and 12- years old. They had only done one sewing project before, the previous year, where they were sewing straight lines for quilting blocks.

    I always do a separate project with them where I show them what to do on my project and they repeat what they learned on their project. I stand over them the entire time, watching them to make sure they learn good sewing habits (like lowering the pressure foot before sewing, etc.) and sewing terminology (like feeddog). I only step in and actually sew on their project if the thread gets tangled or they are getting frustrated at a difficult spot like corners.

    I want them to feel that they achieved success through their own efforts (not mine).

    It may not be perfect when they are done, but they don’t care. My one niece said “I didn’t know I was such a good sewer!”.

    The important thing is that they have a positive experience and that you share time with them to create priceless memories.

    The most time consuming thing was probably pinning the binding around the edges before sewing. I made a second apron myself and tried experimenting by eliminating the pinning step and I don’t know that it saved any time at all.

  4. hi mary johnson! what a wonderful idea! how long does it take to do this sewing project? oh and i was wondering if one of your neices could reply back and tell me what is there favorite things to do at camp aunt mary because i was wanting to do this with my neices too! thanks again!

  5. Christy, the sewing project takes 3 hours depending upon the age of the sewer and how much individual attention they need in cutting out the pattern and sewing it.

    As luck would have it, we are in the midst of Camp Aunt Mary 2009 and my niece Hannah is here with me now. Look at her comment following this to answer the other part of your question.

  6. Hi christy!
    My favorite part of camp Aunt Mary is probably all the fun activities we do such as the arts and crafts and the cooking. i loved making the rag dolls and the cooking is the best part. we once made cranberry raisin pie and Aunt Mary has this bread making kit soo we just made this whole weat raisin walnut bread! i hoped this answed your question.


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