Thursday, April 16, 2015

GYCT's Make Believe Week! - Reversible Apron Tutorial

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Hi! So happy to be part of GYCT's Make Believe Week! What better way to celebrate your child(ren) than to have an entire week full of fun ideas for free play?

The doctor is in. Sending your prescription off to your favorite pharmacy! Technology these days ;)
Even doctors need a checkup.
Remember playing "house"? How about dreaming about what you want to be when you grow up? (I'm still wondering!) At different times in my childhood I wanted to be a nurse, a teacher, a mom (that one came true!), a musician...I don't even remember what else.

Two of the toy sets that my daughters have are a little doctor/nurse kit, and a play kitchen. I decided to make a one-piece costume - a reversible apron that will satisfy the imagination in the home or the hospital!

I used Ellie Inspired's FREE Christmas Apron pattern as my base, modified to be reversible, and include a neck strap. You can find the measurements on the pattern - just join the Facebook group here and check out the files!

Here's the rundown: Take your measurements, and cut your pieces - times two! You want one set from each of the two fabrics you're using (or more, I only used two to keep it simple, plus one more for accents). Here I have an white-on-white floral motif, a fun springy hexagon print, some dark lavender with white pin dots, and a little bit of red floral for an accent. I also used a lightweight woven interfacing on the white fabric - it's very thin and nearly see-through, but the little extra body doesn't hurt the apron, either!

draw your design on the paper backing before cutting Heat'n'Bond or fabric
I cut a 6x6 square of the red floral, and ironed on a square of Heat'n'Bond Lite (just a bit smaller, say 5.5"). I made myself a grid and drew a four-inch cross with 1-inch wide arms on the paper backing, then pressed it to the fabric. Cutting through both layers together ensures neat edges. I also did a simple straight stitch around the perimeter to help keep it in place should I ever wash the apron. If you don't want to stitch, I suggest Heat'n'Bond Ultra.

I cut a bib, skirt, and two waist ties according to the pattern measurements, then a neckband - it's the waist tie piece, cut on the fold. When you're finished cutting, you should have two bibs, two skirts, two neckbands, and four waist ties. My accents are the red cross symbol and my freehand pockets - 14"x 7.5" for the nurse side, 5.5"x 8" (times two) for the kitchen side (child small size).

First things first - press down your seam allowances (I used 3/8") on the wrong side of your pocket pieces and topstitch the top edge (since it won't be sewn down, it needs to be stitched beforehand.) Attach your pockets to your skirt pieces. I also stitched vertical lines down my "nurse" pocket to make three separate pockets, 2 narrow and a wider one in the center.

Prepare your waist ties and neck strap. Place one piece from each "character" of your apron (nurse to kitchen) right sides together. Stitch around all three ties, leaving one short end open for turning. Turn them right side out, press, and topstitch. I chose to round the ends of mine off - you can make points, or leave them square! Just make sure you trim your corners, or clip your curves, so the ends will lay nicely.

Center your bib on your skirt piece, and stitch it on - I used a 3/8" seam allowance. Flip up the bib and topstitch. Press.

Pin your straps in place. Your waist ties should be flush with the top of your skirt after turning - pin them even with each other, with just enough room at the top for a seam allowance. (Maybe leave an extra 1/16" so you know you won't catch your ties when you stitch!) The neck tie should be flush with the top of the bib - make sure the rest of it is inside the apron, and remember you're only stitching one side! Watch your seam allowance!

Sandwich the whole of the neck tie inside the bib pieces.
Also, note that your apron pieces and straps should be "matching sides together". This will ensure that your nurse apron doesn't end up with your cook's waist ties!

purple to purple, white to white
Lay your other apron on top of the first one right sides together, and stitch all around the outside. Start at the bottom middle, and make sure you leave yourself a gap so you can turn the apron right sides out - about 3-4" should work.

Topstitch to close.
Trim your seam allowance and clip the corners. Clip into the seam allowance (but don't clip your stitches!) on the inside corners where the bib and skirt meet. You want to cut a little V in there, that will allow the corners to turn and lay neatly.

Turn your apron out, pushing the corners out, press, and topstitch! Voila! A cute little reversible apron - perfect for a doctor, a nurse, a chef, a butcher, a store owner, a construction worker - you're only limited by your imagination. That's what Make Believe is all about!


  1. Super cute!! What a fun idea!

  2. I love this idea. I am definitely going to have to do something like that. My girls love cooking and doctor.

    1. Melissa, that's great! I loved your mailbag, my oldest wants one of those now too! Lol