All.Things.Sewing. Toddler's activity apron
A little while ago I decided to make Radha an activity apron or painting bib for when she paints etc at home. Also for when she is helping me in the kitchen (I try to make cookies with her every now and then since there are steps she can participate in!). I searched for a while online, and came up with two designs that I liked the best. They are both very different in terms of how long they take, but they both have good uses.
The first one, which you can see below, is the more complicated one to make. I found it at this site where you can download the free pattern as well as stencils for the apron and for the cute appliques she made. I did not use the stencils because the size I needed to make was SO much smaller. So what I did was measure the distance on one of radha’s fleece sweaters from the neck like to the shoulder, and compared that to the measurements on the pattern stencils. I figured out what that proportion was and applied the same proportion to the rest of the measurements. This seemed to work well. What I like about it is that it has long sleeves so arms and shirt sleeves stay protected, and it has elastic to put on or take off, so it is easy to use. The other thing I like about the sleeves is that they come all the way up to the neck – this makes a cool design, and makes it much less complicated to sew since you dont have to worry about armholes. However, because it has a full back, it does make it slightly more difficult to get on and off than the second design. That means that it is hard for me to get Radha to wear it when all she wants to do is draw, and not have to worry about the stupid clothes I keep trying to make her wear!
The things I’d do differently with this pattern:
1) I’d put slits on the side so that if you are using it as a cooking apron for a toddler who is going to be sitting on the counter the majority of the time, it wont keep riding up like mine …and…
2) When making the elastic areas, I would first sew the two ends of the fabric together, THEN fold over the 1-inch seam to make the pocket for your elastic. Leave a 1-inch area unsewn, put in your elastic, and then stretch it out and put it under the sewing machine to sew the last bit (or do it by hand…what?!?). In the pattern, she says to sew the ends of the fabric together, but to leave 1 inch if the seam un-sewn – which messed me up. I could very well be reading the pattern wrong…but when I did it as I described above, it worked perfectly well for me =)
Here is the second design. This one is SUPER simple and fast – which makes it great for presents!
I originally tried to put sleeves on it because i wanted it to cover her arms, and you can see the pictures with the sleeves above – but it didn’t work out too well. I have never sewn anything with sleeves before, and didn’t realize how much extra space you have to leave in arm holes! SOOO, after realizing that the sleeves would not go past the middle of Radha’s upper arm, I took them off, and now the main part of the sock is sitting on my table waiting for some TLC. The way I cut the arm holes leaves me no choice but to still try to put full length sleeves on them, but I’ll have to start the sleeves from scratch… BUT here is a picture of the finished product from the design as written. I made these for several friends’ kids for christmas – they were a big hit! (i think!)
What would I do differently about this pattern? Not really much – i think it rocks! Well, I guess the one thing I did do is joint the neck line on the back of the sock so that the elastic wouldn’t show through. But that was no biggie!
UPDATE: Feb 6, 2011
I recently tried puttig this apron on Radha again, and realized that because it is closed form the front and back, it is somewhat of a pain to get on. So, instead of putting slits o the sides like I mentioned above, I put one big opening down the back, and it is now MUCH easier to get on! It works well since you dont really have to worry about them getting their backs dirty!