I found these fabulous cloth napkins, but anyone who knows me knows that I am not a cloth napkin kind of girl! Solution? The three napkin apron!
What you will need:
3 napkins from Pier 1 Imports - 2 of the same and one coordinating
sewing machine and matching thread
1. The napkins are 21" "squarish". At least they are close enough that it works. Start by determining which way you want the pattern on the apron to go on the two matching aprons. These will become the bib and bottom of the apron. Using your rotary cutter take the finished seam off of the bottom of one of the napkins and the top of the other.
2. With WRONG SIDES TOGETHER - pin the two raw edges together and sew 1 1/2" seam.
Press the seam open. This seam on the right side of the fabric will be covered by the waistband and makes sure you don't have any raw edges showing anywhere on the apron.
4. Cut the coordinating fabric into 5 strips. Two that are 5 1/2", 2 that are 2 1/4" and one that is 4". Depending on how off square your napkin is you might have to make the 4" section a little narrower. Note: Make sure you leave the "ends" in tact. That way your apron stays the full 21" wide and you don't have to re-finish any of the seams!
5. Using the 4" piece turn under (and press) 1/4" on each of the long sides. Lay it right side up on top of the apron bottom and top sections. Make sure the seam is centered in the band. If the ends don't quite line up run a gathering stitch on the part that is too long and adjust it to fit.
As close to the edge as possible, sew the waistband into place. Leave the ends open.
6. Now take the 2 5 1/2" strips and fold them in half RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER. Using a 1/4" seam allowance sew along the raw edges and also sew one of the ends together (use a wide enough seam allowance that you don't catch the finished seam from the napkin into your stitching). Trim and turn right side out, making sure you ease the corners to make them nice and sharp. Press.
7. Decide how tall the bib portion of your apron should be. Do you prefer that the waistband sets more on your hips? Leave it longer. Like it at your waist? You will need to cut more off. Just make sure you leave the top 1 1/2" longer than you need it.
8. Turn under 1/4" on the top of the bib and then another 1 1/4". Sew as close to the edge as possible, making a casing.
9. Trim off the finished hem on one end of each of the 2 1/4" strips and with RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER sew them together on the trimmed end. Press the seam open and then fold, and pin, the strip in half lengthwise. Using a 1/4" seam allowance sew it together leaving a few inches on each end open. Turn right side out and press.
10. Pin a safety pin to one end of the neck strap and run it through the casing. Decide where the neck fits comfortably and still allows you to slip the apron over your head. Trim off the excess, leaving enough for a 1/2" seam allowance and sew the neck strap RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER. Note: Make sure you have not twisted the neck strap!!!!!
11. Press the seam allowance and then sew as close to the edge as possible. Pull the neck strap through the casing so that the sewn section is hidden in the apron bib casing.
7. Pin the bands into place and adjust the fit. This apron does not have ties; it buttons into place. Because of this, one band will be left long and the other will be shortened. You want the short band to be long enough for the other band to be able to button into place. Cut the bands to the length that will work for you...KEEPING IN MIND YOU NEED TO LEAVE ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO SEW INTO THE WAISTBAND.
8. Tuck each band into the open ends of the apron waistband - one on each side. Sew into place.
9. Pick a fun button and sew it to the short band and sew a button hole on the end of the long band.
10 Yippee!!!! Apron complete. It's too adorable, and made out of fabric you just can't find at your local fabric store.