Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dress Shirt to Apron Tutorial

I think that re-purposing clothing has to be one of my favorite hobbies right now. So my next few posts might include some of those ideas.

My Daughter was invited to a double birthday party this week and in an effort to save a couple of pennies I decided to make part of the gifts. I ended up with these two darling kid-sized aprons. Then I included some kid sized cooking tools for the girl and a paint a birdhouse kit for the boy.


Here is what the aprons looked like in their previous life. Dress Shirts (size L and XL) from the thrift store. I think I spent $2.50 for one of them and $1.50 for the other.


Here is the basic pattern I used for these aprons. I measured and cut the pattern out of a newspaper then pinned it to the back side of the dress shirt.


The pink apron was big enough it didn't go into the yoke portion of the shirt. The denim apron needed the yoke part but it added to the work style I was going for.


Then I unpicked the pockets off the front of the shirts to be re-used later on the apron.


I also cut 3 inch wide strips out of the shirt front. and Saved the button hole portion for a hammer strap on the little boys apron.


Using both shirt fronts I cut maybe a total of four different length 3 inch wide strips. Then I sewed them together and ironed on a slightly smaller strip of lightweight fusible interfacing.


On the denim apron I saved part of this portion of the shirt for an extra pocket on the front. Using the button edge for the pocket top.


Then I took the main apron body folded and ironed a hem on the top and sides.


Top-stitched those hems into place.


Now it's time to add the straps. I marked the center of my long sash and measured down 8 inches before I attached the front side of the sash to the backside of the apron. They've been flipped out for this picture.


On the lower portion of the sash I sewed right sides together and trimmed the end to an angle. I used a wooden spoon handle starting at the end to work the apron sash right-side out.


Sadly I neglected to take a picture of these next step. But I pressed a hem in the unsewn, top part of the apron sash, folded it over (wrong sides together) and top-stitched it into place. The top stitch shows beautifully on the front side of the apron.

I also positioned the pockets where I wanted them to be and sewed them into place.

To personalize the aprons. I took some white material and fused it onto the double sided iron on adhesive. I used to buy it when it was called wonder-under. Not sure what it's called now. Other than a fusible, no-sew, adhesive.


I then traced and cut out the initials of the little people I was making the aprons for.


After taking off the paper backing I then ironed (fused) them into place where I wanted them to go on the aprons.


My sewing machine is a bit ancient but it can still pull a zig-zag stitch out. So I zig-zagged around the initials for added durability.


The pink apron didn't have as many pockets so I used the sleeves and portion of the front shirt to make a little chefs hat.


I found the free pattern for the chef's hat at You Can Make This. Click here to see. I had to add an extra seam down the middle of the hat. But it's not noticeable when finished.


These aprons I made for little kids turning 7, but you can tell that they would probably fit a child up to 10 years of age.


This gives you an idea of where I placed the pockets and hammer strap on the little boys aprons.

If you looking for an adult sized apron from a dress shirt there is another tutorial by The Farmers Wife. She amazingly took this pink men's shirt...

pink shirt

and using a bit of sewing magic turned it into this lovely number.

pink apron

Her instructions are in two parts.

Click Here for Part 1

Click Here for Part 2

Your ideas could be limitless. I was thinking how cute it would be to have swapped the denim straps and pink gingham and made the aprons two-toned. But I didn't think the little boy would be happy with the pink gingham sash. It would have worked for two girls. Seeing as I have plenty of kids I could try something like that next time.

Happy Sewing!


Jonathan and Cheri said...

you're 'sew' talented! they turned out super cuteness - too fun =)

Tink said...

Wow! That is so awesome! What a great idea to give as birthday gifts. You are incredibly talented!!!

Amy Jo said...

What a great project! I've been thinking about making an apron for my little kitchen helper. I"ll go scour my husbands closet for something I can snag!

The American Homemaker said...

Those turned out so great! Good job!

Natalie McHenry said...

I stumbled across your blog while looking for a pattern for a "denim apron for boys." This tutorial is PERFECT and inspired! Thank you so much for sharing!