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Picture of Quick and Fun Apron Made from Two Dish Towels
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A fun and simple apron for people at all sewing levels. I chose dish towels because whether time or skills are a factor, the hems are already done for you! There are so many cute and stylish dish towels out now, or you can use a vintage towel you have been saving for a special purpose, and combine it with a newer one. This little apron is very quick to make and would be a fun project to whip up for a themed party or to make as a hostess or shower gift. Lets get started!

This is my entry for the Sew Useful contest:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6472134
 
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Step 1: Getting Started!

Picture of Getting Started!

Please read through all the instructions before you start. I have written very detailed directions, so the beginning sewer will have every step spelled out.

This is a basic design. Just pick two coordinating towels. Depending on your towel's design, you can add all sorts of creative touches... buttons, fabric yo-yos, ruffles and just about what ever you want. But it must be washable.

To begin, choose your two towels. They should measure approximately 26 inches by 16 inches, give or take a couple of inches. What is important at this point is to PRE-WASH your towels. Most new towels will shrink an inch or two when first washed. Other supplies are:

1. 3 yards 1&1/2 inch wide ribbon, or trim, for the sashes.
2. Enough trim, or ric-rac, to go across the top of your towel, approximately 16 to 18 inches.
3. 23 to 24 inches of 1 inch wide trim or ribbon to make the neck loop. Here you could also have two longer pieces that you tie in back of your neck, it is your choice.
4. Two buttons for the top corners as an accent.
5. Matching thread.

If you do sew, you probably have all the notions and trims that you need, already.

NOTE: All hemmed edges should be facing the inside, or "wrong" side of the apron.

Step 2: Cutting

Picture of Cutting
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After you have washed and dried the two towels, press out the wrinkles.

Then take the towel that you will be using for the side panels, fold it in half shortways, and press the fold so you will have a guideline to cut by. Then cut it in half on that foldline. You will end up with two pieces the size of the plaid towel in Picture2 (approximately 16 inches by 13 inches).

On the RAW edge be sure to mark (with a pin) the top right and the top left so your designs will be matching when you apply the side panel to the center towel. See box in Picture2.

Step 3: Construction

Picture of Construction
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Cut the sash ribbon in half so you have two, one and a half yard pieces.

Take one piece and square it up in the left corner of your right side panel. Sew ribbon down 1/8 inch from edge. See Picture1.

When you come to the corner of the towel with the hem, see Picture 2, pivot and continue sewing to bottom edge of the ribbon. Pivot again and sew back to the raw edge where you started.

Picture3 shows the ribbon end. To finish it, simply turn the raw edge under once and then over on itself again and sew 1/8 inch from edge to finish.

Repeat the same for the left side panel.

Step 4: Top of Apron

Picture 1 shows you how the top of the apron looks after all the following steps are completed.

Now sew your trim across the top of the center apron panels shown in Picture2

Next, fold down the corners of your apron (to the wrong side) three inches as shown in Picture 3. Take your neck ribbon and insert it into the corner until the raw edge is covered over by the corner flap. See picture 4. Start sewing the flap down by stitching over the trim stitching (backstitch at the start), when you come to the point, pivot and stitch to the edge and then backstitch a couple of stitches. Repeat for the other side.

To secure the neck ribbon, top stitch over the trim stitching, backstitching a couple of stitches at the beginning and end. Repeat for other side. Picture 5.

If you added longer ribbons for ties, finish the ends just like you did for the sash ties.

I added a snap to the neck loop because I felt the apron hung too low, Picture6. If you need to shorten it you could do the same, or take a little tuck in the ribbon. If you use the snap, just follow the directions on the snap package.

At this point you can add the button trim to the corners. Picture 7.

Step 5: Attatching Side Panels

Picture of Attatching Side Panels
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This is what your apron will look like once the sides are attached, Picture 1.

Now align the raw edge of your right side panel to the bottom of your center panel, placing "right" sides together, see Picture 2. Pin along the edge, from the bottom to the top.

Next stitch from bottom to top, 1/4 inch from the edge, backstitching at the beginning and end. Press the seams to the outside and top stitch 1/8 inch from the seam line as in Picture 3.

Repeat for the left side.

Step 6: Finished!

Picture of Finished!
You are now done! At this point you could add additional little details. A ruffle along the bottom or trim somewhere else. There are so many fun and cute possibilities with this design...just use your imagination. I hope you have fun with this Instructable!

Great apron! I've been looking for some inspiration for a project and this helped me a lot!

For anyone having problems with the PDF- You can copy paste the entire instructable into a document on your computer. Go ahead and copy all text into something such as Microsoft word, or open office writer, then copy the pictures one by one, and place them in the correct places that correspond to the instructions. (save often!) using the insert picture option. It takes a bit longer to copy, but the pro account lets you download the PDF for quick easy convenience. The instructable is still free! :)

broomcin1102 years ago
Love the apron - although it is free, guess someone is making their money by making your join "pro pdf" in order to save this file for printing. Guess I don't need this apron that badly. So much for free
barbs75812 years ago
I love this idea. The pdf file cannot be opened or saved.
tyneeone5 years ago
why can I not download a PDF file.
wurlybird96 years ago
guys cook and clean too. Maybe could make a man-sized one using beach towels? :-P
LooknUp6 years ago
Terrific idea, BEAUTIFULLY done! Excellent, Easy to follow instructions too! I have these exact same towels from sets I found at local ROSS :> No matter how anxious you are to begin this project Do Not skip the pre-wash & dry step ;>
I just went out and bought the cutest Halloween towels- i'm going to sell them at a craft show this weekend. Thanks for sharing your design with us.
Mickiswing7 years ago
This a adorable! What a fantastic idea - I'm going to have to whip up a couple. Thanks!
ShadowGirl7 years ago
Oh, this is so cute! Thanks...tutorial is very good!
leintsv7 years ago
Adorable! I bought some great retro looking dish towels at Big Lots for $1 each awhile ago - now I know what to do with them! I especially love the ribbon and rickrack touches.