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Appliqued Aprons for the Boys + Sewing with Plaid Fabrics

My great nephews have grown out of their fire engine aprons, so I need to replace them with larger ones, reflecting their new interests!  

Here are some of the other boys aprons I have made.  I made them lined as I thought it was easier than turning narrow edges or adding bias binding, and it hid all the 'workings'.  I have to confess I was always disappointed with the quality of my patch pockets, I could never get them straight, but I love doing the pictures!  

This time James (the eldest) wants a horse as he is learning to ride, and Harry wants a dog. I have a horse pattern I can use, which I will cut out in corduroy.  For the dog I showed Harry this collection I bought from Sew Sweet's Etsy shop, and he chose the all-white Scottish Terrier.  I can't help but think any of the others would have been easier!

Here he is cut out ready to sew.  Cute isn't he!  I have enlarged him by 200% and used white cotton drill rather than felt.  I don't know if I could do the hand stitching for the fur effect as well as Emma has, so I will do free-motion machine stitching instead.

I'm using this navy and cream plaid Laura Ashley curtain fabric for the aprons.  To make the two different sizes, I am cutting out the same pattern but adding 1/2" seam allowance to one of them. I found the ideal tool for this on a recent workshop and bought it in my local Quilt Shop.  It clearly says DUROEDGE KeyRuler KR-331 on it, but nothing came up when I googled that, so I can't give you a link to buy one, sorry.

I trace my designs onto Vilene Bondaweb (similar to Pellon WonderUnder) then fuse it to my fabrics.


*TIP to save getting glue on your iron by accident* I keep a piece of grease-proof paper and ALWAYS put it over the applique before fusing.  When I make a mistake and press the wrong side, it adheres to the paper not the iron, and can be peeled off, turned over and reapplied.

Once it was fused in place I stitched it on with a narrow zig-zag stitch in a coordinating thread.  I hand-stitched the eye.

Next is my Scottish Terrier.   His head was supposed to be at more of an angle, but it seems to have straightened up in all the excitement. He reminds me of Tintin's Snowy! To adapt Emma's design for applique I had to reverse the sewing order and skip the padding.  I waited to do it in daylight as sewing white on white makes seeing the edges a little difficult, so for the last step (adding the face) I actually traced around the outside with my blue Frixion (heat erasable) pen so I could 'see' the edges.  

With the applique and embroidery complete, I could assemble the apron.   I am giving them both a full width pocket divided into three (like my Christmas Aprons) rather than patch pockets.  I use my overlocker to go round all the edges, turn under 1/2" on the top edge and stitch that down.  I place the strip right sides together so it will be about 2" above the hem, and machine it on, then turn the pocket up the right way and pin and stitch the sides and two dividing lines.  I like to topstitch across the bottom edge of the pocket too.

I am using navy herringbone tape for the straps rather than make my own, and have laid a strip along the top of the pocket to disguise the fact I couldn't get the plaid to match up!  I find that so annoying, and really notice it at the bottom of the pocket.  I have used my overlocker to neaten all the apron edges and baste the straps in place.  Then I pin the straps out of the way, and its ready to add the lining.

I am using navy poly-cotton for the lining.  I used my overlocker to neaten the top edge of the lining piece only, as the rest of it will be overlocked when I attach it to the front, but I am leaving the top of the bib open for turning.   I hadn't tried it this way before, but it worked well.  Here it is turned right side out, with the overlocked top edges turned under 1/2" and pressed, ready for the next step.

I finished if off by top-stitching all around the edge, closing the opening and re-inforcing the strap stitching.  I like to use my 'stitch-in-the-ditch' foot for that, moving the needle closer to the edge.

I hadn't put tape across the top of the pocket on the dog apron, as I had managed to match up the plaid.  However, the extra accent looked so good on the other one I went back and hand sewed tape across the top of this pocket too.  Finished!

Aprons for the Boys, 2016

More Sewing with Plaid Fabrics:

Sewing with Checks and Plaids from FashionSewingBlogTV

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