Its a rare occasion that I can go to a vintage shop or thrift store and not spot a super cute girls dress. Its a good thing I had all boys or we would have been in trouble with setting a monthly clothes budget.
Recently I began toying with the idea of how to convert these sweet girls dresses into aprons. It seemed like a rather simple task. Essentially the front of the apron was done. It was just a matter of removing the back, adding straps and a waistband. Voila, right? Voila, indeed. The process really was almost that simple...follow along, I'll show you how.
First of all, Ayla is the most adorable apron model ever. Her mama is famed Chicago photographer extraordinare, Tina Carter, of Vrai Photography. A few weekends ago Tina and Ayla came over for a little afternoon photoshoot in the backyard. The weather was perfectly perfect. Spring had arrived in every way. Down to Ayla wanting to sport only her crisp, white undies. Oh to be a kid again...
This apron was originally a summer dress from Target. With a couple hours of free time and a bit of material, the dress became the sweetest 'Anthropologie-esque' kids apron ever.
Click below for the full tutorial. Loads of pics and easy instructions help make it a breeze. Have fun...and email me pictures of your dress to apron creation! I'm eager to see.
Material for waist ties 60" in length and 3-4 inches in width
Material for neck straps (if needed) 15" in length & 2-3 inches in width
Any additional embellishments or material for ruffles, etc... (up to you)
Sewing Machine & Thread
1. Here was the original dress. A Target dress purchased for roughly $2 at the thrift store. I loved the eyelet details and the straps were perfect for apron straps...which meant no need to make any.
2. Start by cutting the back of the dress off from the front, following the side seams.
3. Once you have the back and front separated from each other, trim the bulky side seam off of the edges. Toss those away. You won't be needing them. And either toss the back of the dress or use it for another project.
4. Focusing now on the front of the dress/apron (we'll start using the term apron from here on out),
fold over the side seam once, press with a warm iron, and then fold it over again and press to create a nice, clean side hem all the way up the side of the apron front.
5. Sew up each side of the finished hem with a straight line. It will look like this when finished. (Mine has straps already. If your's doesn't, no worries, we'll get to that).
6. Now its time to make and add the waist ties. If you have a 60" length piece of fabric, great. If you have two 30" pieces, you'll need to sew those together and press the seam open, creating one long piece, to get started. Take your long fabric and fold it in half (width wise) with the right sides together. Press to make a long center seam. With the right sides still together, sew a 1/2 inch seam along 2 sides (starting at the short side, lifting the foot to turn it to the long side and sewing down the length of the long end).
7. If you have a turning tool, awesome. I just use a pencil or a knitting needle as a turning tool. Whichever you use, you are going to want to turn the waist band right side out. It will take a bit of time, don't lose hope. Once you have it flipped right side out, press it with the iron. Tuck the short, open edge closed and sew closed.
8. At your child's natural waistline (or yours, if you are making an adult apron) measure and pin the waist band where it most seems appropriate~ making sure it isn't wonky or crooked. Sew the waist band/straps to the apron, both top and bottom of the band.
9. If your dress had the appropriate straps for an apron (a sleeveless dress), then you may only need to quickly stitch up the ends into a tidy hem. If you need to make straps, follow steps 6&7 to make the neck straps. Pin them in place, where it seems most natural or comfortable. Sew in place.
10. At this point, you can embellish to your hearts content. I added ruffles to sweet Ayla's apron because...well who needs a reason for ruffles? I considered buttons, yo yos and more frills and sweet things but the ruffles were just enough.