I love these simple apron tops on my monkey. They double as a cool top to wear in the summer heat as well as something visually busy enough to catch the watermelon and popsicle drips without showing. The top can be made to fit any size. For materials, the design here uses three different fabrics. One print for the bodice and sides, another print for the middle panel (divided into 3) and one solid coloured fabric to frame the other pieces. You may also want to use bias tape to make the straps, otherwise, just cut them out of the solid coloured fabric.
Begin with three measurements: chest measurement (measure around the widest part), from underarms to bottom of bust (to make the bodice portion) and from underarms to how long you want the top to be (desired length). (I think I may be getting too involved with windows paint... who knows of a good free drawing program?)
Using the chest measurement, figure out how far around you’d like you apron top to go. A guide line for the kids I’ve been using is chest measurement minus 1”. This allows for growth so they’ll be able to wear it for a few years. For adults, try the chest measurement minus 2” to 3”, though it’s really about how much coverage you want.
I’ve created a couple of formulas for cutting the fabric for stripwork design here. Just plunk in the appropriate number, based on your three measurements, and then cut the fabric to that size. The formulas are all width x length. Each colour represents a different length of cut fabric, not necessarily different fabric.
A = desired width (based on chest measurement)
B = desired length of bust (the bodice portion)
C = desired length minus B Note: for the gray portion of the map, the formula is for one large piece that will then cut into three equal pieces lengthwise.
Another note: these formulas use a ¼” hem. For a larger hem, the lengths and widths have to adjusted accordingly.
For the straps and hooks for the corset lacing, either cut 1” wide strips of fabric and double fold and stitch closed to make straps, or use double-fold bias tape cut into appropriate lengths and stitched closed. The straps can be as long as you need (and if you are lacing up yourself, go for longer rather than shorter). I usually cut six hook straps about 1 ½” long.
Once your fabrics are cut, it is simply a matter of piecing the stripwork together. Don’t neglect to press your seams as you go.
Use a ¼” hem to sew the bodice pieces together widthwise.Next, piece together the bottom of the apron length-wise (with the center piece cut into three). Sew the bottom piece of the frame on, then the sides.
Press under the top, bottom and sides of the pieced stripwork and stitch down a ¼” hem all the way around.
Add the straps to the stripwork panel as shown: For the fabric hooks, fold over a 1/2" long bias tape (or cut material made into a strip) and stitch both ends together on the wrong side of the panel (as shown above).
Lace up and off you go!
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