Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sew a Child's Potholder & Dishtowel Apron

Materials needed:
Dishtowel - 18"w x 28"l
hem gauge or sewing gauge
seam ripper

Turn the towel sideways, and fold it in half. It'll measure 14"w x 18"l.  Cut off a 2"w strip from the top of the towel. 
Then cut a 4"w strip.  I used a rotary blade and mat - but you don't have to.  Your towel should now measure 28"w x 10"l - unfolded.

 Cut your 2" strip in half, then set aside for now - these will be your neck straps.
Lay the 4" piece with the right side down. Fold over the raw edge 1/2" on both sides (use your hem or sewing gauge), and iron. Fold the piece in half and iron again. Fold the piece in half (side to side) to determine the center - mark with a pin. This will be the waistband.


 Set your machine to a gathering stitch (or the longest stitch) and sew the raw edge of the dishtowel.

Turn the potholder sideways, and gather the dishtowel (by pulling the bobbin thread), until it's the same width as the potholder.
After it's gathered, fold the dishtowel in half to find the center - mark with a pin. Match up the center pins, open the waistband and pin the center of the pieces together. 
Sandwich the rest of the gathers inside the waistband.  Pin down using a LOT of pins!

Starting at one end of the waistband, sew all the way to the other end about 1/4" from the edge.

NOTE: It's starting to look really cute, and you could stop right here (don't forget to top-stitch the top edge of the waistband).  Anyways, add some lace, a pocket or other cutesy stuff to dress it up a bit!
Flip the apron over so you're looking at the wrong side.  Put the potholder, with the right side down in the center of the gathered part of the apron (eyeball it) - the loop needs to be pointing down.

Make sure the bottom of the potholder lines up with the bottom of the waistband and pin.

Starting at the edge of the potholder, top-stitch 1/4" from the top edge of the waistband - remember to back-stitch at the beginning and end.

Sew over your stitches once more to make sure it's secure.

Starting at the edge of the potholder, go over the stitches in the waistband holding the gathers in place - remember to back-stitch at the beginning and end.

Look at the middle picture to see how the apron looks so far!

Next step, use your seam ripper to take out all the seams on both of the neck straps.
Iron the neck straps flat, then fold them in half (longways with right sides facing), and iron again.  Sew 1/4" on the long sides - leave the shorter sides alone for now.  Turn inside out and iron flat.

Tuck about 1/4" fabric inside both ends of the straps, then iron flat.  Top-stitch 1/4" from the edge all the way around both straps.

Arrange the straps evenly along the top of the pot holder (on the wrong side).  Set your machine to a triple stitch (if you don't have this setting, just sew over your stitches two or three times), and sew over the potholder's stitches on the right side.

Do the best you can, if you're using matching thread you won't have to worry about being exact.
All done!

To add a little flair, sew on pockets, bows, lace, and/or buttons too!

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