A Little Girl’s Vintage Apron

I was hoping to post my new blog post sooner, but I have been so busy with my first collaboration! My handmade biz, NorahJane Boutique is gearing up for a Spring collaboration with some really creative moms. It’s a lot of work but has been exciting and I will definitely be blogging about it (soon?)!

This year, I’ve really been putting a lot of focus on how I can repurpose beautiful vintage linens.  I came across some inexpensive table linens in an antique store right outside the city. There’s something about a store filled with beautiful and old treasures that makes the creative part of my brain kick in.

There was a time when the lady of the house would sit at her lovely dressing table and get herself ready for the day. I’d like to imagine she had a bunch of kids and a husband bothering her the whole time, but at least she had a pretty table. And on it, she’d have pretty dresser scarves to show off all her beautiful brushes and jewelry boxes.

And that’s when I thought, “This would make a cute apron! In fact, if I cut it in half, it’d make two!” Today’s little sewing adventure is a really simple one. It takes just the basic sewing skills and not too many supplies. It is a quick project, too. You’ll probably be able to make two aprons in an hour. Etsy and EBay are also great places to find dresser scarves. You can also use doilies! They come in lots of different styles and sizes. The smaller ones work great for a toddler.

Here’s what you’ll also need : scissors, pins, fabric, and a pattern piece to make the apron band and tie (pic 1). I took one of the pattern pieces from one of my patterns, but if you’re good at cutting straight lines, you can easily make your own pattern piece. The fabric should measure about 40 inches in length and at least 3.5 inches in width. This is the perfect size for my babe, but you’ll need to adjust if you’d like the ties to be longer for a big kid. Or maybe you just like the look of a wide ban, so just add some width.

First, you’ll place your pattern piece on your fabric and pin it. And then cut it out. Fold the fabric in half, length wise. Make sure the right sides of the fabric are now facing each other. Now pin it. You’ll want to leave a space in the middle open so that later you can turn the apron band and ties right side out. I tried to show this in pic 2. The amount of space you’ll leave open is the width of the apron (or dresser scarf).

Now it’s time to sew. Make sure you start at one end of the tie end (pic 3). Stitch close to the edge. You’ll need to stop when you get to that opening (pic 4) and then pull out your fabric and go to the other end of the tie and repeat.

Next, you’ll want to cut the corners off of each end (pic 5). This helps make your corners look nice when you turn it right side out. Now, you’ll turn your fabric right side out. Here’s a little tip: I use a chop stick to help me get right into the corners. Just be careful and not jab your chop stick in there too hard (yes, I have torn fabric this way and yes, I wanted to bang my head on my sewing table).

I’m not a big fan of ironing and I know all the sewing books tell you to use your iron and use it often. Um, no thank you. But, this next step requires an iron and you’ll actually have to use it. With your band and tie ends turned right side out, you’ll need to tuck in the “raw” edges (that’s the part you left unsewn) so you can’t see them. Now press the whole band and tie ends nice an flat.

Now you’ll sandwich your apron into the opening and pin it (pic 6). Back at your sewing machine, start at the end again and stitch all the around until you get back to where you started. This ensures that the opening is now closed (pic 7).

You’re all done! Super easy, right! Feel free to leave me a comment if you tried this project.

An adorable girl’s skirt made from a vintage pillowcase

I love Pinterest! I probably spend a little too much time pinning new favorite recipes, craft ideas and projects for the kids. Recently, I came across a post by Craftaholics Anonymous for a pillowcase skirt. I’ve seen tons of pillowcase dresses, which are pretty but also pretty much everyone knows how to make one by now.

Having a handful of skirts for your little girl is the perfect clothing piece when she just doesn’t want to wear a dress. Luckily, my three year old will wear just about anything I put on her. I love the idea of being able to throw a t-shirt and skirt on her and we’re off to the fabric store, grocery shopping or lunch with Daddy. You can even put some leggings under, if it’s a bit cooler. Or dress it up with a nice blouse and tights!

In this blog post, I’ll show you how I made my first pillowcase skirt. I’ve included step by step pictures and easy instructions. You should have basic sewing skills, because I pretty much only use basic skills. I promise this will be a very simple project, and with basic skills, it will probably take you an hour to complete one skirt. Well, it took me an hour at least, because I have a crazy house full of kids. The best thing about this project is that you can make it in almost any size. If my nine year old wore whatever I put on her, she’d have a handful of them, too.

First, I went to Ebay, Etsy and antique stores to find some vintage pillowcases. You can buy really expensive ones, but you don’t have to. Do a little window shopping and find a price you like. The one featured today cost me $7 including the shipping.

I’m in love with ones that feature cross stitching. They are usually done by hand, which is just amazing in itself. Some even have hand crocheted edges which not only is ready to go trim for you, but also really beautiful. After you pick out your pillowcase, you’ll need scissors, sewing machine, measuring tape and elastic. The size of the elastic depends on how wide you want the waist band to be. I like half an inch. You can add coordinating buttons and ribbon, if you’d like.

Now that you have all your supplies ready (pic 1), you’ll want to lay your pillowcase down lengthwise. The roses are conveniently placed at the opening part of the case, which will be the bottom of the skirt. And, it’s already hemmed for you!  Next, you’ll need to do a quick measure of your baby. This will depend on how long you’d like her to wear the skirt. I prefer just below the knee. I also wanted to make sure I left enough room at the top of the skirt for my decorative buttons (pic 2).

Now that you know the length, add 1.5 inches. This is what you’ll need for the casing of the elastic. If you’re using a smaller width elastic, you can adjust how much you use for the casing. Mark your length with a fabric marker. Now you can cut a straight line across the width of the pillowcase. I’m saving the part I cut off for another project.

Next, fold the pillowcase inside out and make your casing. I like to place my elastic close by to make sure I’m leaving a wide enough casing for it to fit (pic 3). Now you’ll take your skirt to the sewing machine (pic 4). Stitch your casing and make sure to leave an opening for the elastic. Run your elastic through the casing and finish stitching up the casing. I won’t go into how to do this because it’s pretty basic and I’m sure you already know how to do that.

Finally, flip your skirt right side out and add a bow and buttons if you’d like. I also added some lace to the bottom, which is super easy and geez how cute and vintage! Let me know how you liked this project. I’d love to hear your feedback.

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