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In preparation for a week of cooking for 115 campers at Girls Camp, I have decided I need a new apron.  While this isn’t anything too exciting, I thought I’d document the process.

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First, I chose a piece of white canvas fabric from the stores in my closet, folded it lengthwise and laid it out.  I folded and tucked in the ties of an old apron and cut around the edges, with a couple of modifications here and there, but without any seam allowances.

IMG_0760The easiest way to finish off the edges, I decided, was to surge around the entire piece (or you could use a zig zag stitch), then enclose all the edges in a piece of extra wide double fold bias tape I had on hand.  I began on the bottom left corner and worked my way up and around to the other bottom corner.

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Unfortunately, the package only contained 3 yards of tape, which came just short of going around the entire apron, so I made a simple 1 1/4 inch hem along the bottom.

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After the hem was in place, I re-threaded my machine with silky red thread on top and played around with a few decorative stitches.

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The ties came next.  I cut three lengths of fabric about 3 1/2 inches wide (about 20 inches long for the neck and 24 inches each for the ties.)  I seamed them on one end and down the length, then turned and pressed them.

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As I came around with a decorative stitch along the side of the bias tape, I positioned the ties (one on each side, and one on the top left) to the back of the apron and quickly attached them.

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Then I came back around and secured them well.  Notice that some of the stitches vanished where I attached the tie around the neck. IMG_0766

 I pulled on a thread, instead of snipping it with scissors, and learned the hard way that the decorative thread isn’t made for high stress seams.

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IMG_0768 The picture is fuzzy, but I hope you can see how I pressed the prongs on a gripper snap through the apron and another little scrap of material from the right side of the fabric. IMG_0772

Then I positioned the other part of the snap over the prongs and squeezed tight with the gripper snap pliers. (This is the view from the wrong side of the fabric.)

IMG_0773When your apron is completely finished you’ll want to treat the edge of this little fabric scrap so it doesn’t unravel.   Fray Check is a good option, but you could also use clear nail polish (as I did) or super glue.IMG_0770

I followed the same procedure twice (making it adjustable) by attaching two of the other snap pieces to the neck strap.

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My daughter loves to use her fabric paints, so I solicited her help in designing some cherries.

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For the patch pocket on front, I cut two identical pieces the shape I wanted, sewed them right sides together, leaving a few inches to turn.  After turning it right side out, I top stitched to close the opening and added some decorative stitching before I sewed it in place on the apron.

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(Canvas, as it turns out, is not permanent press and even with a very hot steam iron would not give up the wrinkles.  But, as I said, this apron is going to CAMP so I’m not too worried about it.  It is sturdy and absorbent, and cost me nothing but time, so we’ll just look on the bright side.)

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The beauty of doing your own sewing is that you can customize your design.   You can see that when I tried it on, the top of the apron was “poochy.”  So I had to make a few tucks.   Making adjustments and design modifications as I sew is my “M.O.”  I always turn out something a little different from how I originally envision it, but I’ve discovered new techniques through trial and error, and some of my creations turn out even better than expected. IMG_0835

All ready to pack!  Girls’ Camp, here I come!  (Although, I feel a little like Maria in “The Sound of Music” when she first arrived at the Von Trapp family’s mansion–“OH, HELP!”)

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