Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tutorial: Five-Minute Tea Towel Apron

Before a cross-country trip to visit my family's old stomping grounds in Portland, Oregon this summer, I was frantically thinking about what to take as gifts for our hosts. A family of four, including two pre-teen kids, they are HUGE fans of Baltimore's own Berger Cookies, and I knew they'd be expecting me to bring them. I did, of course, but I wanted to include something a bit more unexpected. Everyone in the family cooks, so I decided to whip up some easy aprons out of supplies I had readily at hand: dish towels, grosgrain ribbon, and twill tape. This project literally could not be faster, and yet feels special and handmade when you give it as a gift.

For a one-size-fits-most apron, you'll need:
  • 1 tea towel in the pattern of your choice. My inner textile junkie often leads me to buy tea towels for the fabric alone. The fact that they're functional, too, is an added bonus. If you don't have a huge stash of dish towels at your disposal, head to a thrift store or your nearest Target to stock up on cool prints for under $5 each. Be sure to wash and press any new materials.
  • 6-7 ft. (72 - 84 in.) of grosgrain ribbon or twill tape. I used 1" wide ribbon, but you could use wider for a broader sash.
  • basic sewing supplies - pins, scissors, sewing machine, or needle and thread. I like to use a thread that is slightly lighter in color than the ribbon I'm using.

  1. Fold towel in half along the long edge.
  2. Fold ribbon in half and line up center point with folded top edge of the towel.

  3. Unfold ribbon and pin so that the top edge of the ribbon aligns with the top edge of the towel.
  4. Starting at the outer side edge of the towel, sew a top seam 1/8" in from top edge of ribbon and towel. Repeat with bottom edge of ribbon.

  5. That's it! Wrap around your waist or the waist of a friend and start cooking!

  • If you have another 10 minutes to spare, cut an 8x8" square out of contrasting fabric to make a handy pocket, a la this {beatrice + the bird} apron:

  • For a debatably more "masculine" version, cut the ribbon in half and sew one half to each short side of the apron. Or use twill tape instead of grosgrain.
Happy sewing!

Written by: Lily of {beatrice + the bird}