Showing posts with label Sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sewing. Show all posts

1920s Ladies Apron Tutorial {and Giveaway}

While scouring the internet looking for inspiration for a 1920s era apron I found this image from an old pattern.

{via Apron History}

I loved that it required only two pieces and all the instructions and supplies were listed. The only thing I had to figure out was the actual pattern for the apron. After a little trial and error I believe I have it pretty close. The same amount of fabric and binding is required as stated on the pattern.


1920s Ladies Apron Tutorial


The 1920s style in women's wear is identified by the straight, low-waisted dresses {many times lower than the hips} to hide curves and produce a more boyish figure. This apron is no different with the straight sides and the "waistline," where the straps button, is actually at the lower hips. The gathered side edges produce a flowing ruffle for a touch of femininity.

Supplies Needed:
1 3/8 yd of 44/45 inch cotton fabric
3 packages of extra wide {1/2 inch} double fold bias tape or about 9 yds.
Two 1 inch buttons
1920s Ladies Apron Pattern {click that link to download the pattern}


1920s apron 01

Step 1: Cut out apron piece from fabric. Also cut out two strips of fabric 2 1/2 inches wide by 40 inches long {or longer if needed}. See the blue in the photo above. Cut along dotted line on the apron pattern.


1920s apron 2

Step 2: Gather the upper edge of the extended apron piece so it is equal to the other cut edge. Another option is to pleat the extended piece instead of gathering it.


1920s apron 3

Step 3: With right sides together sew the gathered edge to the straight cut edge creating a slight dart on each side of the apron.


1920s apron 4

Step 4: Sew long strips of fabric to shoulders, right sides together. Put apron on crisscrossing straps at back and bring to front along gathered seam you sewed in step 3. Pull straps as tight as you like them. You will cut off any excess from the strap but make sure to leave it 2 1/2 inches longer than you want it to be {see steps 5 & 6 for the reason why}.


1920s apron 5

Step 5: Fold each strap edge under 1/4 inch and stitch down {I like using a zigzag stitch}. Fold down another 2 1/4 inches. This lines the end were the buttonholes will be located.


1920s apron 6

Step 6: Round the end of the strip. The hook end of a plastic hanger works perfectly! I traced it, sewed along the pencil line, then trimmed the fabric close to the stitching.


1920s apron 07

Step 7: Bind all the raw edges by sandwiching them between the bias tape folds. Sew a buttonhole on each rounded strip end. Make sure the buttonhole is the correct size for the buttons you are using. Put apron on and pull straps to front over the gathered seam on the apron. Mark where the buttons should be located.


1920s apron 08

Step 8: Sew button on in the correct spot. Done!


1920s apron 08 004



Enter for your chance to win the apron sewn in this tutorial! Follow the directions on the rafflecopter.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sewing Basics: Nine Patch Quilt Sudoku Style Part II

Read the first part of the tutorial here.



Sew-doku pattern using a Sudoku puzzle

The next step in making your quilt is to start sewing! Follow your Sudoku puzzle, grid by grid, to sew each nine patch block together. Always refer to your fabric assignment paper to know which "numbers" or fabric you are to sew together (both are pictured above). I am assuming you know to put the pieces right sides together as you sew so when you press it open the seam is on the wrong side of the fabric.


Sew-doku nine patch block

(wow that's really blurry. And tilted. Sorry!)

Here is the first nine patch block Fudge (9) sewed following the first 3x3 grid in the Sudoku puzzle (top left of the puzzle) You can see how she has kept track of which blocks she has sewn together by coloring them in.



first row sewdoku quilt

Pictured above is the first row of nine patch blocks.



first row sewdoku quilt - nine patch blocks

Can you see how each block only contains one square of each fabric?



first row sewdoku quilt-rows

And each row only contains one square of each fabric? When the whole top is completed each column will also only have one square of each fabric. Fudge has one more row of nine patch blocks left to sew. Hopefully we'll be done by next week so we can post the next part of putting the quilt together!

As a side note, when my beginning sewers are sewing their first quilt I don't make them line up all the seams perfectly, although I do make them press the seams after sewing each one. Remember, we want this learning part to be fun not a chore!


Cocoa Signature with Candy 2 © 2007-2011 Chocolate on my Cranium, LLC all rights reserved

Sewing Basics: Nine Patch Quilt - Sudoku Style part I

Once we have gone over the very basics of sewing with a sewing machine my daughters start asking (incessantly) when they can start sewing their own lap quilt.


Brownie's Sew-doku Quilt

Nine patch quilts are timeless. The patterns can vary greatly with no rhyme or reason for some or definite patterns for others. The pattern I like to use also involves a popular logic puzzle - Sudoku. I like this way of making a nine-patch quilt because there is a definite order to it but the finished quilt still looks 'random.'

In a Sudoku puzzle the numbers 1-9 are are not repeated in a 3x3 grid, nor are they repeated in the same row or column.

Following a Sudoku puzzle for a nine patch quilt means there are nine different fabrics in each nine patch block, but also each row and column will only contain each fabric only once. (See Brownie's quilt above)

The next several sewing posts (every Tuesday!) will cover how to sew a Sudoku or Sew-doku quilt with your beginning sewer.

This week we cover the materials and preparation needed to get started.

  • 1 Sudoku puzzle completed correctly
  • 9 different fabrics - 1/2 yd. each
  • rotary cutter
  • self healing mat
  • paper
  • pencil
  • stapler


Sew-doku quilt block pieces
Fudge's choices for fabrics. My children look forward to this as we make a special trip to the fabric store just for them to choose whatever fabric they want!

Wash and dry your fabric. Iron if needed. Cut nine square blocks from each piece of fabric. We cut ours 6in x 6in as that's the size of our ruler. It makes for easy measuring!

Find a Sudoku puzzle and complete it together with your child. This site has easy ones! Or you can use the one I posted earlier in this post.


Sew-doku fabric assignments

Next on a piece of paper write the numbers 1-9 in three columns. Using leftover scraps of fabric, assign one fabric to each number and staple.

Keep all your materials - fabric and papers - together, either in a tote box or gallon sized ziploc bag.

Next week we start sewing!

Cocoa Signature with Candy 2 © 2007-2011 Chocolate on my Cranium, LLC all rights reserved

Sewing Basics: Tote Bag

If there is one thing I am not ashamed we have a lot of, it is bags. The more the merrier! When ever we see fabric with cute prints we always say, "That would make a cute bag!" and so we usually make one.

And since we have a lot of girls each of us have various colored bags of different sizes for all types of uses.

Here's a very basic tote bag that is good for beginning sewers. (I've pulled this from my archives.) We call it

Pretty Tote Handbag

We are love the contrasting fabric at the top and the buttons.

Materials: (see photo 1)
2 pieces coordinating fabric cut 9 x 22-24 inches ( I used the width of the fabric from selvage to selvage). Just make sure they are both the same length.

2 pieces from the main fabric 3 x 18 inches for handles.


2 pieces fusible pellon 3 x 18 inches to line the handles.

1 piece fusible pellon 9 x 22-24 inches to line the bag.

All sewing instructions assume a 1/4 inch seam allowance unless otherwise noted.


Step One: Fuse pellon pieces to back side of handle fabric and lining fabric.
Step Two: Iron each handle in half lengthwise wrong sides together. Fold and iron each long edge in 1/4 inch. (see photo 2)
Step Three: Fold the handle in half wrong sides together tucking the 1/4 inch folded edge inside. Sew down 1/8 inch away from edge to create the handle. Top stitch 1/8 from edge on the other long edge. (see photo 3)
Step Four: Fold the main fabric in half (bring 9 inch edges together at the top) right sides together. Sew down each side. Do the same with the lining fabric. (see photo 4)
Step Five: Turn lining right side out. Pin handles to each side and sew. No precise measurements here. Just make sure they match up on both sides. (see photo 5)
Step Six: Stuff the lining (still right side out) into the main fabric which is inside out. (see photo 6) Match top edges, pin, and sew leaving a three inch opening to turn the bag right side out.
Step Seven: Turn bag right side out by reaching into opening and pulling the fabric out.(see photo 7) When bag is turned right side out stuff lining into main fabric and pull up handles. Press top edge making sure to press the opening edges into inside of bag.
Step Eight: Topstitch 1/8 inch from top edge all around the top of the bag. (see photo 8)
Now you have a simple bag that we are going to embellish to up the cuteness factor.
Step Nine: Fold the top edge of the bag down about 1 1/2 inches all the way around. Press. (see photo 10) You can top stitch again 1/8 inch around the top edge if you want. I didn't.

Step Ten: Now fold the handles back up. Tack them down by sewing on a button. (see photo 11) You're done! Wasn't that an easy way of creating a coordinating stripe without having to do any extra measuring, cutting, and sewing? The finished measurements are about 8 inches wide by 9 - 10 inches tall.


I'd love to know if you make any bags of your own. I continue to get a great response from my Reversible Handbag Tutorial. It's terrific knowing others are out there adding their own touches to the basic bag.

Have fun creating!


Here's another tote bag tutorial from several years ago.
Reversible Handbag or Scripture Tote









Cocoa Signature with Candy 2 © 2007-2011 Chocolate on my Cranium, LLC all rights reserved

Sewing Basics: Child’s Dishtowel Apron Tutorial

This is another simple project my older daughters' first sewing teacher made with them. It is a great beginner project for boys and girls! And another useful item to have in the house. These are also pretty cheap to make which is a plus!
dishtowel apron 01

Materials Needed:
a standard dishtowel (mine measured 15 x 24 inches)
1 package extra wide double fold bias tape
dishtowel apron 02

Step 1: Open your dishtowel and lay it flat. On one short side measure in 3 inches from each corner. Mark with a pin. Mark down 9 inches from the same corner on each long side. (See photo above. The short edge is on the right, the long edge of the towel on top)
dishtowel apron 03

Step 2: Cut a straight line on each side from the 3 inch mark down to the 9 inch mark. Your dishtowel will look like the photo above.
dishtowel apron 04

Step 3: You need 80 inches of your bias tape. Find the halfway mark of your bias tape (40 inches) and measure 8 inches on each side. These two marks will be where the tape meets the top of the dishtowel. Pin to the dishtowel at these marks and go one down making sure to stuff the raw edge of the cut dishtowel into the fold of the bias tape so that the tape fully encloses the raw edge. (see photo above) You will have 22 inch ties and a 16 inch neck hole.
dishtowel apron 05

Step 4: Beginning at one end of the ties sew the bias tape together right along the edge and continue all the way around sewing along the edge of the bias tape closest to the fabric (see photo above) and down the other tie.
dishtowel apron 07

As stated in last week's Girls Kerchief tutorial, I don't make my beginning sewers try to fold the end of the bias tape in so there aren't any raw edges. Instead we just tie a knot at the end of each tie. (see photo above) DONE!!
dishtowel apron 06

See? Quick and easy with no hemming.
dishtowel apron 08dishtowel apron 09











This apron will fit ages 4 (for full body coverage) to teens (for basic coverage). These make great gifts with a cake mix and come cupcake liners!
For a really cute baby apron try this tutorial, The Bapron, from Mr. Ferrero Rocher's cousin and this Vintage Tie Apron from Smashed Peas and Carrots.

Sewing Basics: Girls' Kerchief

This beginning sewing project is for girls. It is very simple and basic but with cute results. Of course the girls love it!




Materials Needed:

14" square piece of fabric
Double Fold bias tape cut into the following pieces: 2 - 14.5 inch pieces, 1 - 30 inch piece

Step 1: Cut the square fabric in half from corner to corner. Now you have created the base for two kerchiefs.


Step 2: Notice that when folded the bias tape has one side that is a tiny bit shorter than the other side. (top photo) Make sure when pinning that this short side is on top. Pin one 14.5 inch piece of bias tape to one short side of the triangle fabric enclosing the fabric edge inside the fold of the bias tape. It will be a bit longer but that is okay, we will trim it after sewing.

Step 3: Using a straight or zigzag stitch sew along the very edge of the bias tape closest to the fabric. (see photo above) Trim edges even. I am showing a straight stitch in my photos.

Step 4: Pin and sew the other 14.5 inch piece of bias tape to the other short side of the triangle fabric piece. Trim edges even.

At this point with my beginning sewers I don't worry about making sure the point of the triangle is totally enclosed. That is a bit too hard for little fingers to manage so we just leave that edge raw. (see photo above)

Step 5: Match the center of the 30 inch piece of bias tape to the center of the long edge of fabric. Pin the bias tape along the edge working from the center out. You will have about 3 inches of over hang on edge side. You'll need those to tie the kerchief. Sew as you did the short edges.
That's it! You know have a cute kerchief to wear while playing.



The photo below shows one made with the other triangle of fabric for a younger sister using a zigzag stitch with contrasting thread.

Cocoa Signature with Candy 2 © 2007-2011 Chocolate on my Cranium, LLC all rights reserved