Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Aprons for the Nieces & Nephew

So, good news: I have officially completed all birthday presents for my sister's 3 kiddos for 2012 - yes! The bad news is that I can't share pictures with you until the gifts have been given. However, seeing as how their birthdays are in January, March, and May, you don't have all that long to wait. In the meantime, how would you like to see the Christmas presents Monkey Boy and I made for them?

I wanted to make something simple, something we could make for both the 2 nieces and the nephew, something useful, and something that Monkey could help me design & execute. The answer? Personalized aprons, perfect for crafting or cooking! Plus, they're reversible, so different moods can be accompanied by a totally different apron look. Here is Monkey modeling Z's (and in case you're curious, that's what my room looks like after a weekend of Monkey visiting). One side of her apron features white flowers on a purple satin background, cut from upcycled pajama pants!

Next, Monkey grins as he shows off cousin J's apron - very appropriate color choices for a boy, yes? I can't take credit for that, it was all Monkey. Did you notice I hadn't sewn the bottom seam yet?

Finally, there is little E's apron. Since she's the youngest and the smallest (almost 4), we decided to make her apron a little mini compared to the others, so it won't overwhelm her in length. Monkey chose navy twill for this side, with a pretty sky blue for the monogram. See that half-mangled Safeway bag next to Monkey in the photo? You may have missed it, perhaps distracted by his Zoolander pose...anyhow, that bag is not mere clutter or recycling gone awry! We use a paper grocery sack to create the pattern for the aprons. Monkey also cut out a rectangle from a grocery sack to use as a template for the pockets. Finally, I showed him how to make block letters and he then drew large ones onto a grocery sack, which I was able to cut out, flip over and trace onto the material Monkey selected to put his cousins' initials on their aprons. Always good to label semi-matching gifts for families with multiple children, right?

I couldn't keep Monkey still enough to get modeled photos of the finished products, but here are some flat pictures so you can see how they turned out. I used various colors of thick ribbon, hanging out in my sewing box from previous projects, to make a large loop at the top of each apron and two tie straps on the sides. Originally, I was going to make them with velcro ties, but figured the ribbons would keep them adjustable as the kids grew.

I'm happy to report that the aprons were a hit, as well as amused to report that once my sister put the packages under the tree, the kiddos were so excited that they harassed her continuously until she finally gave in and let them open the aprons about a week before Christmas. Hilarious!

Want some more inspiration for making child-sized aprons?

I loved the Montessori By Hand original pattern for the Montessori Child's Apron. Meg at sew liberated posts all kinds of amazing patterns, so make sure to bookmark her blog!

How about the Classic Reversible Apron prepared by Joanna Armour at Stardust Shoes? Joanna has beautiful pictures on her blog and I love that she posts about the winter doldrums that are so easy to get here in the Pacific Northwest.

For something in an adult size, try the Simple Apron Tutorial, posted by Cindy at Skip To My Lou. Although she looks waaay too young to have three kids, the oldest of which is 17(!), Cindy posts wonderful craft tutorials and ideas for special celebrations.

Happy crafting! Please link up pictures if you make some aprons of your own - I'd love to see them!