Sewing

DIY Upcycled Toddler Apron

My mom has been doing some spring cleaning in my Nonna’s closet (Nonna= grandmother in Italian) and has been giving me random dresses of various colours and patterns to use for future sewing projects. In the pile of treasures was this cute little dress (I have memories of my Nonna wearing it!).

My Nonna actually made that sailboat and lighthouse pattern so there was no way I could get rid of it. It also reminded me of the east coast and Nova Scotia where I lived for many years and where we still visit our family and friends every year. I was trying to think of an easy project that would salvage the adorable applique and I thought it would make the perfect apron for my kids to use when we bake, cook or do crafts. I went to Pinterest to help me with the dimensions for a toddler apron and found this post for a 2T apron (scroll to the bottom – last graphic entitled “Size 2T Kids Apron Pattern”). It was so easy to sketch. For this project I used:

  • An old cotton dress
  • A tie from another old cotton dress
  • Batting
  • Measuring tape
  • Iron
  • Chalk
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine and thread

    Step 1 – Press fabric. Draw out your pattern and cut. Fold the fabric in half and gently flatten with your hand. Use the measurements on the above noted pattern to draw your pattern. Use chalk to do this – it comes off easy and is easy to see. 

    Step 2 – Cut out the front and straps. Cut along your pattern and unfold fabric. I also cut the straps off of the dress to use as the neck strap for the apron – this saved me a lot of time. I also cut a fabric belt off another old dress to use as the waist ties.

    Front
    Ties to be used as neck strap

    Step 3 – Cut out the back and batting. You will now have one side of your apron. Do this again on another piece of fabric by tracing the piece you just cut. You can pin it down so it doesn’t move when you are tracing but I just placed it on top. I also decided to add some batting because the fabric was too thin and food splatter would go right through it. 

    Back

    Step 4 – Pin layers together and sew. Lay the back of apron down right side up, followed by the fabric neck and waist ties (line up end of tie with the edge of the pattern and lay excess inward – see pic below). Next lay the front of the apron right side down followed by the batting on top. Pin all layers/straps and sew together leaving a section open at the bottom and flip it inside out. Fold under the seam allowance of the open section, press, pin, and do a top stitch that continues around the whole apron. I used a zigzag stitch.

    When pinning, line up the straps like this and fold inward then continue layering the rest of your fabric.
    The finished product! One thing I may change is shortening the neck strap and adding Velcro to it because it seems a tad too long.

    This project cost me $0 and in the end I turned a sentimental piece of clothing into something cute for my kids. We will think about my Nonna every time we are in the kitchen now, which is kind of fitting since she is such a good baker and cook. She is also the queen of repurposing things so I know where I get it from!

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