When your child wants you to make them an apron, but you’re not a natural seamstress, there’s only one thing to do. Cheat! When it comes to sewing, I like the idea but lack practice. I have made a few basic things over the years, but only really under the watchful eye of (and with helpful guidance from) my much-more-expert mother. But she doesn’t live nearby (yet!) and so for this project, I had to use my own wits.
I started with a two-pack of tea-towels in contrasting colour and pattern – one bright coral with white polka-dots and one floral. I figured that at least half of the hemming was already done for me! I folded each tea-towel in half lengthways and cut them to size. Then used the off-cuts to make a rectangular pocket to put on the other apron. So far, no-sewing, so-good! The next step was to iron the unfinished seams in preparation for sewing them. Chief Stick Collector and Bird Girl were transfixed at this stage, and their utter bewilderment and wonder (bewonderment?) at the concept of ironing made me realise just how reliant on ‘fold clothes straight out of the tumble dryer and skip the ironing stage’ I am. Chief Stick Collector has got to nearly five years old without once having seen me do any ironing! “What are you doing Mummy?” “Ironing”. “Ironing? What’s ironing?”. (Embarrassed face.)
I realised just how long it was since I last tried sewing anything when, after consulting the sewing machine manual to work out how to thread the thing, I embarked on my first seam. I lined the fabric up, popped the foot on the machine down and applied my own foot to the treadle and… oh dear, the fabric went the opposite way to what I had expected. I had to take it out and start again at the other end. Once I had figured out what I was doing, it didn’t take too long to secure the seams, then all that remained was to fix on the pocket, neck strap and waist strap. I used a zig-zag stitch for these. I don’t know why – it just seemed right. For the neck strap I sewed it on at one end, and secured the other end with velcro, so that it would be adjustable as Ottilie grows. I secured the waist strap with a D-ring belt loop.
And that was it! Easy to make… surprisingly difficult to photograph. But it has given me the confidence to try something a bit more adventurous next time.