Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Needle not required: Tea-Towel Apron

I've been meaning to make one of these for a while, and projects are piling up around me .. but I had 10 minutes to myself this morning and decided it might be cathartic to tick something off the list - and this was a quick win. I had intended on sewing this but decided to challenge myself and make it entirely no-sew, making it a suitable project for complete novices or more confident crafters looking for a super quick project.
I'm not an overly 'girlie' girl, but I really liked this tea towel when I found it, the 'keep calm and...' formats are quite popular at the moment, and as a lot of my baking tends to be cakes I thought it would be nice to turn it into an Apron.

What you'll need:
1 Tea towel (with an interesting portrait pattern)
Hemming web
2 D-Ring buckles (I used 25mm)
A roll of 20mm cotton tape (ideally 1mm thick, or fuse double thicknesses)
Measuring tape
Tailors chalk/pen
An iron and ironing board
Firstly prepare the tea towel, mine had been scrunched up in a projects bag for a while so needed a good iron. To start turn the towel portrait (so in my case with the word 'keep' at the top) measure 5 inches in along the top edge from both corners and 10 inches down on each side, marking both with a tailors pen.

At the the point of both marks fold the fabric towards the centre and press. Repeat on other side (for a smoother more professional finish you can trim and hems these pieces). Unfold and cut hemming web along all three edges of the overlap triangle (highlighted above in purple). Gently flip the corner back into place and using manufacturers instructions to fuse the fabric together. Repeat on the other corner. This should give you an overall of 'house' shape.

For the straps, cut two 33' strips of tape, one 25' and one 5'. In my case because the tape didn't feel as sturdy as I would have liked I cut double lengths for each measurement and fused two layers of tape together with hemming web, but if you use the thicker tape for this it shouldn't be necessary.
Before doing anything else you will need to hem the ends of each length to prevent fraying. To do this without sewing simply cut a 1 inch piece of hemming web, place this at the end of your tape (photo left). Fold the end of the tape (with the end of the hemming web) to the halfway point of the web (see middle photo). Now fold again,which should sit against the end of the hemming web and iron to fuse (photo right).

Once all the ends are hemmed, you're ready to secure the neck strap. I prefer Aprons with adjustable neck straps so I used D-rings, but you can just make a simple loop. Take the 5 inch section, fold in half and press, thread on your two D-rings to this halfway point and seal the two ends of the tape together with a piece of hemming web. Use an addition piece of hemming web to attach this to one side of the top of the towel (one of the points on the roof of the 'house'). Then secure the 25 inch section of tape on the other side.

[photo to be uploaded]
Measure 12 1/2 inches from the top of the tea-towel, mark this on both sides. This is where you will attach your waist ties. Take the last two sections of cotton tape and attach one to each side.

And that's all there is to it, your apron is ready for your next baking project!
This might also make a nice gift - I've already had a request to make one for my Mum. And I'm very tempted to make a union jack one ready for the Jubilee. You can never have too many aprons!

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