Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Turning Papa’s Shirts Into Fun Aprons

Last summer I thought it would be a cute idea to ask Papa if we could have a couple of his old shirts so that I could make art smocks for our little sprogs for Christmas. I took my time and pondered how exactly I would pull off this project. I had every intention of telling Papa what I wanted to do for the rug-rats little angels. Unfortunately due to my procrastination, I never had the chance to pick the shirts up from him; Papa was called to Heaven to be with Gram-Gram unexpectedly. Now more than ever, this project has gained extreme urgency.

Papa's old shirts

I have been searching the Internet like a wild determined woman tying to find just the right pattern. I didn’t want it to look like any old ordinary apron; it needs to be obvious that it was once Papa’s shirt.
Truly, it was all in vein. Since I couldn’t find what I wanted, I decided to just design my own.
Oh, My, Goodness…I haven’t designed anything in years! What was I thinking!?

In the end I came up with the following design; I hope you enjoy it as much I have enjoyed creating it.
Due to this project being of special importance to us, we wanted to laminate the material to keep it safe from stains. I bought some Heat n Bond  iron-on vinyl and followed the instructions on the package.

Separate the front of the shirt from the back; cutting off both sleeves.

Remove all button and pockets. I laminated the breast pocket with the Heat n Bond for protection.

Line up the two pieces that made up the front of the shirt where it buttoned & stitch together. After I got the two front sides attached, I pressed it with the Heat-n-Bond.

Carefully remove the collar from the back.
Press and stitch the bottom edge of the collar closed. I added a personalized tag where the shirt's original tag used to be.
Lay one of the sleeves flat, cut off the cuff, unfold it and cut it to the size of the sleeve width.

Turn the cuff onto the sleeve, pin together the rough edges, and stitch together.  The sleeve is going to be the artist's supplies pocket on the front of the apron. I ironed-on some of the vinyl to protect it as well.

Place the sleeve in the middle of the apron where you would want the pocket and top-stitch to secure.

I used my embroidery machine to stitch 2 labels that say "My Papa's Shirt" (one for each apron)...I would've done this by hand, but my stitching is about as bad as my handwriting.

I then top-stitched one of the labels onto the breast pocket and then top-stitched the pocket in place on the front of the apron

Attach the back of the shirt to the front (right sides together) and stitch. Make notches in the curved portions where the sleeves were attached.

Turn right sides out and top-stitch around the 2 sides and top (leaving the bottom edge open).

Pin the side of the collar that once had a button attached to the top corner of the apron and stitch in place.

On the opposite corner sew one of the buttons on that was removed.

Gather up all the buttons that you removed and begin to sew them into place where there are visible button holes. (Don't forget the cuff on your supply pocket)

Attach some straps to the sides in order to tie around the waist.


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