Double Twirly Skirt Tutorial

Sorry I haven’t been able to blog for a while. I’ve got something new for you, though! If you are like me, you love a twirly skirt! With some fabulous fabric, a single layer twirly skirt is awesome. However, nothing compares to the fullness and twirl of a double twirly skirt! My daughter loves them! I love them. She looks so adorable and girly in them. They make her look more graceful (though they don’t actually make her more graceful). I can also make them longer, meaning they’ll fit longer and don’t look like some of the prostitot clothing they make for 4 year old girls these days. (Seriously, why is it so stinking hard to make clothing for little girls that makes them look like little girls? Why do they need to look like sassy teenagers (or worse)?)

Though this skirt looks complicated, it is simple. Super simple. Only sewing in straight lines simple. This is a great project for beginners, since your only pieces are rectangles. Easy! And the end result looks so… fancy and fabulous! (Couldn’t decide which word would best describe it!)

Here is what you need for the project:

– scissors

– sewing machine

– something with which to mark on fabric

– ruler and/or yard stick (I use both.)

– thread

– fabric (I used 4 different fabrics in my version, but you can use just two if you’d prefer.)

-You’ll need a double length of the under layer fabric. (I made my under skirt 15″ long, so I needed 30″ of fabric.)

-You’ll need a double length of the over layer fabric. (I made my over skirt 11″ long, so I needed 22″ of fabric.)

-You’ll need 6″ of your waistband fabric.

– If you MAKE a tie, you’ll need 4″ of fabric for that. You can also use ribbon, rope, twine, shoestring, whatever. You can also use double or triple elastic if            you prefer. The double skirt is kind of heavy, so it needs something more than just some 1/4″ elastic holding it up.

Cutting your fabric:

Decide how long you want to make your skirt. If you are making a skirt for an infant, you only want to use one width of the fabric, instead of two. (Having just one large rectangle, just one small rectangle, just one waistband piece, and just one length for the tie.) Anything over a 2T, keep reading. You under layer should be AT LEAST 2″ longer than the over layer. I typically keep it between 2″ and 5″ difference, depending on the fabrics. (And sometimes depending on how much of a fabric I have.) For my skirt, I made the under skirt 15″ long and the over skirt 11″ long. My model above wears a size 5 in little girl’s. So, the length you decide on will determine height of the rectangles you’ll cut.

From you under layer fabric: Cut 2 rectangles 20″ x the length of your skirt on the fold. (When you open the rectangle up, it will be 40″ x length.) (Mine were                40″ x 15″)

From you over layer fabric: Cut 2 rectangles 20″ c the length of your over skirt on the fold. (When you open it up, it will be 40″ x length.)(Mine were 40″ x 11″)

From your waistband fabric: Cut two strips 20″ x 3″ on the fold. (Opened they will be 40″ x 3″ each.)

From your tie fabric: Cut two strips 2″ across the length of your fabric.

**Tip: You can decrease the width of the skirt, taking some of the “poof” out if you’d like. I don’t recommend any less that a total of 40″ circumference. You can add poof by using all the fabric all the way to the edge, but I prefer to cut a bit off to make sure my measurements are even. Some fabrics may say 44″ wide, when they are in fact a bit more or less.

Working on the under skirt first, place the right sides of your two fabric rectangles together and sew the short sides. You’ll want to go ahead an finish your seams. I serge mine. You do whatever it is you do to yours. (Zig-zag, french seam, whatever.)

Once your side seams are all sewn up and finished, you’ll want to go ahead and do the hem. Hem in however it is you hem it. I serge mine, then turn the serging under and sew. You can do a double fold hem, or whatever hem it is that you like.

Put the under skirt aside.

Now, we’re going to do the same thing with our over skirt (the short layer). You’ll sew the short sides of the rectangles right sides together. Finish your seams. Hem the bottom. Now, you have both the top and the bottom layer done!

Now, turn your attention to the waistband. Sew the short sides of the two strips right sides together. I serge mine, but you really don’t have to finish the side seams of the waistband. The seams will be hidden inside the waistband of the skirt, so you can skip the finishing. I’m just weird. Instead of hemming the bottom, you’ll finish the top. I just serge mine, since it will be on the inside of the skirt. You can zig-zag over the edge if you prefer, or just do a single fold hem, since the unfinished edge will get enclosed in the waistband.

For the tie, I like to place a buttonhole on my waistband. It seems easiest. Some people like to leave a portion of their waistband seam open, but I always mess that up somehow. A buttonhole near the side seam, toward the bottom of the waistband works out perfectly for me. Place it low enough that it will be on the front of the skirt, but high enough it won’t get caught in the seam. You can do the button hole horizontal, instead or vertical, but the placement is a bit more tricky that way.

Putting the under skirt and the overskirt together now. With the wrong side of the over skirt facing the right side of the under skirt, align the tops of the skirts, matching the side seams. Baste around the top of the two skirts. (Basting is sewing a straight line with the longest stitch setting.) You’ll want to baste the edges closer to the edge than your seams normally are. (If you sew with a 1/2″ seam, baste at a 1/4″.)

Now, you’re going to attach the waistband to the skirt. With the wrong side of the waistband facing the right side of the overskirt, sew around the bottom of the waistband/top of the skirt. Here is why it was important to baste closer to the edge than you normally sew. You’ll want your basted line hidden, and it will be now!

Press the waistband up. You’ll want your seam toward the top of the waistband. Believe me, this step will help the next go smoothly.

Fold the waistband over and sew down. I line up the top line with the sewn line on the skirt. Don’t fret if your line is not completely straight on the front of the skirt. No one will really see it.

If you are making a tie, you’ll need to sew the short sides of one side of the tie strips together. Just one side. Otherwise, it will be quite difficult to use.

Press the seam open.

Fold the strip in half and press. (See the picture for the correct version of half.)

Fold one edge toward the center and press. This is simple, though it does take some time to press down all 80″ of tie. Watch your fingers! Get them too close and you’ll suffer burns!

Press the other side in toward the center seam. Now, you have what looks like double fold bias tape, which would be exactly what it is minus being cut on a bias.

Sew down the middle of the tie. You CAN just do a straight stitch. I prefer to do a zig-zag.

Or if you happen to have a machine with some fancy stitches that you never get to use, you can use one of those. Ties are a great chance to use those stitches, and if you mess up, no big deal, it is just a tie.

Now, grab your piece of elastic. (You want the skirt to fit snug, but not too snug. The elastic really isn’t going to do much holding the skirt up, it is just for shape and keeping you from having to regather the thing every time you wash it.) Pin your tie to your elastic with the tie on the front. Also put a pin on the end of your elastic so it doesn’t just shoot straight through the skirt. The tie is long enough that you don’t have to worry about it.

Thread the tie and elastic through the waistband. Sew the ends of the elastic together. Pull on the tie and get it even on your skirt. The elastic will probably pop right into place while you’re messing with the tie.

Cut your ties to a manageable length. (That length depends on the waist of the wearer and how long you the tie to hang.) Tie the ends of the tie in little knots.

Tie the tie in a bow and you’re done! One of my favorite things about this skirt is that it lasts forever! This thing will fit your little princess for a very long time! It will fit until it is too short, no outgrowing the waist on this thing! My daughter’s favorite thing about this skirt is that it is SUPER twirly. She loves the princess-like fit. Enjoy!

Like all my patterns, you can do what you wish with this. You can make skirts for you, neighbors, friends, kids… You can sell the skirts you make. Just don’t claim the pattern as yours, cause that is just wrong. And feel free to share this tutorial!

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Petal Skirt

This skirt is very similar to the Pixie Skirt. In fact, the Petal Skirt and Pixie Skirt are so similar, I’m only posting one tutorial. Skip to the bottom for dimensions for the Pixie. Why the difference? Well, the Petal Skirt is for older girls and the Pixie Skirt is for younger girls. Simple.

This is the Petal Skirt. The longer length and fewer petals make it perfect for older girls. You’ll want to pick two or three different cotton fabrics and have about 3/4 of a yard of each. (You can make the underside of the petals in a solid color if you like. Or you can make each petal different if you’re daring.)

First, you’re going to make your petal pattern. So, grab your graph paper (or whatever paper you make your patterns on), your straight ruler, your curve ruler (if you have one- if you don’t, you can eyeball it), your pen, and your paper scissors (never to be confused with your fabric scissors!).

Mark a line on the top of your paper 7″ across. Put a little mark at the halfway (3.5″) point.

Draw a line down the center mark 10″ down. The bottom of the 10″ mark is the bottom of your petal.

Fold the paper in half along the center line. Also, note how I marked the bottom of the 10″ line. Once your paper is folded, it can be hard to see where the end of the line is.

Grab your curve ruler and draw a curved line from the end of your 7″ line to the end of your 10″ line. If you don’t have a curve ruler, you can just eyeball this part. You are only marking one side of your folded paper.

Keeping your paper folded, cut along the curved line.

Unfold your petal. This is your pattern piece. (Ignore the “Pixie” written on the petals. These are Petal petals, not Pixie petals, but my pregnant brain had a slight malfunction in the labeling department.) Write all the necessary stuff on you pattern piece. I usually include the dimensions of the pattern piece and the dimensions of the pieces that are to go with it. Also, not the two pattern pieces above. Your pattern is your own. It may be more pointy or round than mine. In fact, you can make triangles and make a Pennant Skirt if you like. (That would be super cute in the summer for baseball season.) If you don’t like the shape when you unfold it, try again. For my skirt, I used the left pattern. I liked the rounded look of it.

Now, you are going to cut out all your skirt pieces. You will need to cut out 12 petals (front and back will make 6 completed petals). You’ll need 2 rectangles for the skirt body 20″ wide and 14″ long. You’ll also need 2 skinny rectangles for the waistband 19″ wide and 3″ long. (Note my pretty new scissors that The Pastor bought me for my birthday! He knows the way to my heart is not jewelry, but sewing accessories!)

First, we’re going to work on the petals. Take two of your petal cut outs and place them right sides together.

Sew around the edges, leaving the top open. Since these seams will be completely enclosed, there is no need to finish them. Clip the curves all the way around your petal so that when you flip it right side out, it lays nice and flat.

Repeat for the other 5 petals. Flip them right side out and iron them flat. If you want, you can topstitch once you’ve ironed them flat. I didn’t on this skirt, but have on others. It is really just for looks, so do whichever you prefer at the moment.

Set your cute little petals aside and let’s work on this underskirt. With the right sides together, sew the short sides of the two rectangles together, making a tube.

Go ahead and finish the side seams of your skirt. I serged mine. You can finish them however you like!

You are also going to go ahead and finish the bottom of the underskirt. You can do a double fold hem if you like. I serge mine, then flip that under and sew it down. I use a zig-zag stitch just because I like how it looks.

Pin your petals to the outside of the underskirt. I like mine to overlap a little bit. You arrange them how you want. There will probably be about 1/2″ more underskirt than there are petals. You are going to box pleat the center front and back underskirt. The size of the box pleat depends on how you want your petals arranged.

This is the best picture I have of the pleat. I like the pleat, because it adds just a bit of volume to the skirt. However, if you don’t like the pleat, take about an inch off the width of the underskirt. I usually don’t do the pleat for the Pixie Skirt, since it is smaller and shorter and naturally holds a little more volume.

Sew the petals to the underskirt. Make sure you sew close to the top edge.

Sew the short sides of the waistband together (with right sides together). I go ahead and serge what will be the top of my waistband. You can do it now or later, it really doesn’t matter. With the right side of the waistband facing the right side of the skirt, sew the waistband to the skirt.

Fold the waistband over and sew it closed, leaving a small hole to feed the elastic through. It may be easier if you press the waistband fold before you sew. You do whatever works for you. I didn’t want to walk across the room to the iron, so I just flipped it and eyeballed it.

Here is the hole I left for the elastic.

My elastic is now ready to thread through the waistband! The length of elastic you cut will depend on two things. The first is the girl who will wear the skirt. Clearly, skinner means shorter elastic. Wider means longer elastic. The maximum waist on the skirt is about 37″. The second factor is what kind of elastic you are using. I use a gentler elastic that doesn’t dig in or squeeze as tight. I find it more comfortable to wear. Your elastic may squeeze tighter, therefore you’ll want it a bit wider than I make mine. Eyeball it.

Thread the elastic through the waistband. Sew the elastic closed. When sewing elastic closed, you want to sew along the length with a stretch stitch (or a zig-zag). I always sew about an inch, that way there is very little chance of an overly zealous dresser snapping it.

Sew the hole closed and YOU ARE DONE!

Pixie Skirt. I added a matching hem band on the bottom of this one.

To make a Pixie Skirt, rather than a Petal Skirt, follow the directions above and just change the dimensions. (Also, don’t pleat the underskirt.)

For the petals: Make a pattern with a 7 and 3/4″ top and 8″ long. You are going to cut 16 petals for the Pixie Skirt, since you are making 8 full petals. I also make my Pixie petals a bit more pointy. It just seems right to me.

For the underskirt: Cut two 26.5″ x 11″ rectangles.

For the waistband: Cut two 26.5″ x 3″ rectangles. (If you want a more narrow waistband, try making them 2″ wide instead of 3″.)

Follow the directions for the Petal Skirt.

As always, this tutorial is free for you to use in any way you like. Make them to keep, sell, gift, whatever. Just don’t take credit for the pattern because that just isn’t cool. Share the free and link back here.

 

Hoarding Apron Tutorial

I’ve been promising this one for quite some time and it is finally here! Say hello to my toddler/preschooler hoarding apron pattern tutorial!My hoarding apron is perfect for preschoolers and toddler who seem to think they must carry all their stuff at one time. (Why they can’t play kitchen without every pot and pan on their person is beyond me.) This apron is unisex and makes an awesome gift. It is easy (if you can get past the complicated directions) and uses only 2 fat quarters of fabric. (Also known as half a yard.) You’ll be drafting a pattern for this one, so get ready for a long tutorial!

Grab your drafting supplies and let’s get going! (If you are clueless on what pattern drafting supplies would be, I’ll help you out: a ruler (mine is 18″ long and 2″ wide), a pair of paper scissors (not your fabric scissors!), paper (I use graph paper and I tape it together to make pieces large enough. You can use any kind of paper you want.), and  a pen (or pencil). I also use a variform curve ruler.)

You’ll be using the edge of the paper as the center of the pattern. (You’ll line the edge of the pattern paper up on the fold of your fabric.) Here are the measurements (though since you are the pattern maker, you can adjust it as needed!):

1. At the top of the paper, measure 4″ in from the edge. This will be the top of the apron.

2. Measure 8″ down from the top line. Mark it.

3. Across the 8″ down mark, measure 8″ in from the edge. This line will be parallel to the top line. This is the “hip” line.

4. Measure down 20″ from the top line. Mark it.

5. Across the 20″ down mark, measure 8″ in from the edge. This line will be parallel to the hip line and the top line.

6. Connect the two 8″ lines. This will be the bottom side of the apron.

7. Draw a line 2″ down from the top 4″ line, squaring the corner.

8. Connect the 2″ line to the edge of the hip line. I use my variform curve ruler for this, moving it around until it looks right.

Look at your pattern you’ve drawn, decide if it looks right. Chances are, if it looks okay, you’ll be fine. Make sure your corners are squared. And cut it out.

Make sure you mark everything on your pattern. You may remember when you make the pattern, but by the third or fourth time you pull it out, you’ll have no clue what all your markings mean.

For the sewing portion of this program, you’ll need two fat quarters. Yep, you’ll only need two fat quarters. You could also buy half a yard of fabric, if you’d prefer.

Pin your pattern onto your fabric with the edge of your pattern on the fold of your fabric. I don’t fold my fabric in the center, I fold it as far to the edge as I can, while still being able to fit the pattern. You’ll want nice scraps to make strips for the binding, so try to fit the pattern on there the best you can.

This is what it will look like unfolded.

Fold your pattern in half along the hip line. You’ll use the bottom half of your pattern to make your hoarding pocket.

Pin the folded pattern on the fold of the fabric. Remember, you’ll be making 2″ strips for binding , so you need to make the most of your space. (But don’t freak out about it! If worst comes to worse and you just can’t make it work, you can always use scraps for the strips.)

Now, cut as many 2″ strips of fabric as you can. This will be the binding for the apron. If you despise making binding, you can always buy double fold bias tape if you want to short-cut it. I was able to cut 5 strips from my contrast fabric (the pink) that were 2″ wide and about 18.5″ long. From the green, I got one strip that was 2″ by 21″, one that was 2″ by 4.75″, and two strips that were 2″ by 8.25″.

Take two of the longer strips and go ahead and make them into binding. (I used one of each color.) These are for the top of the pocket and the top of the apron. The rest of the strips will be sen together and made into one long strip.

To make binding- Fold and press the 2″ strip in half.

Now you’re going to tuck one edge in toward the center and press.

See what I mean?

Tuck the other edge up into the center, too, and press. Now, you have binding! Ta-de-dah!

Now, sew the binding onto the top of the pocket. Just sandwich the fabric of the pocket between the binding. Sew along the edge of the binding to attach it to the top of  the pocket. You’ll have too much of the binding and that is okay. Just sew to the edge of the fabric and cut the excess binding off. If you are short on binding in general, you can sew the scrap into the rest of the big strip if you want.

Attach your other piece of binding to the top of the apron. Do it the same way as before. And like before it will be too long and you’ll just cut the excess.

Now, you’re going to attach the pocket. Lay the pocket behind the apron body. You’ll want the right side of the pocket facing the wrong side of the apron body.

Sew around the edge, using about 1/4″ stitch.

Flip the pocket right side out and press.

Topstitch around the edge of the pocket. Use about 1/2″ seam. It will encase you previous inner 1/4″ seam. This is also known as a french seam. (Now you can do something fancy!)

Sew all the rest of your 2″ strips together. You can arrange them in any way you would like. Just put right sides together and sew them end to end.

Press all the seams in your now very long 2″ strip to one direction. I usually press away from the center. You can press the in toward the center, haphazardly, open, whatever. Just press the seams.

Now, press all the strip into binding. You’ll do the exact same thing you did before, just more of it. This is not a difficult process at all, it is just a process. Fold in half, press. Tuck one side toward the center, press. Tuck the other side toward the center, press.

Position the center of the binding so that it makes the neck loop of the apron. I generally just eyeball this. How big your neck hole needs to be really depends on the kid. Err on the side of slightly too big, because you can always tie a knot in the neck to shorten it a bit if you need to. If you make it too small for a fat head, you’ll have far less options of fixing it.

Put a pin to mark the binding where it will meet the top edge.

Here is where you are going to start sewing your binding on. (You’ll finish the rest of the tie on that side later.) Starting at the hip, sew the binding (that is encasing your edge) to the main apron body. The first little bit will be a bit difficult because you’ll have quite a few layers there in that corner. You’ll want to make sure the apron body stays within the binding. It will seem a little strange sewing binding to a curve the first time you do it, but you’ll get used to it in no time!

When you get to the top of that side of the apron, you’re going to keep sewing the binding, making the neck loop. Just keep sewing until you reach your pin, then check and make sure your apron body is well inside your binding and continue sewing. Sew down the other side of the apron.

When you reach the hip on this side, keep sewing to the end of the binding.

Flip your apron over, sew the binding closed on the other side, creating the tie on that side. You’ll want to start about 1/2″ before your initial start place there on the hip seam, overlapping the seam a bit. Sew to the end of the binding.

This is what your end ties will look like. Line up the hips on your apron and cut the ties to make sure they are even. If they seem unnaturally long, you can trim them shorter. If they seem short, you can just pray it will fit around a toddler (and chances are it will).

Tie a knot in each end to finish the ties.

And you’re done! Clear as mud, right? Hopefully once you make it once, you’ll realize it sounds a heck of a lot more complicated than it really is. Seriously. Enjoy!

As usual, you can do what you want with this pattern. Make it for yourself, your kids, your friends, your neighbors. Sell it. Give it away. They are your skills, my friend. I do ask that you not take credit for the pattern and feel free to direct inquiring minds back here! Share the free.

You can see a few of these (with fancy rounded corners) in my store, Moose and Wormy.

I Love Etsy!

No lie, I love Etsy. Yes, there are other sites out there to buy handmade goods, but Etsy is my favorite! Here are a few items on Etsy that I love right now!

Awesome poncho from The Trendy Tot!

Little Red Riding Hood Pigtail Set by My Little Red Wagon. I love her pigtail sets. My princess has several pairs with more coming soon in the mail!

Refrigerator Magnet Meg by Weirdolls.

Milk and Honey Gnome Soap for Love Lee Soaps. (How awesome is that?!)

Moustache Teether from Little Alouette.

Greek Alphabet Blocks by quercusdesigns.

Clothespin Bag Migo by Mauk.

Head over to Etsy.com and see what super awesome stuff you can find! (And you can check out my shop Moose and Wormy.)

Tiny Hostess Apron Tutorial

My little princess is always wanting to play “hostess.” Even when it is just our little family around. So, I designed this quick little (frilly) hostess apron for her. She NEEDED it! (My poor boys rarely get Mommy made stuff. But they don’t NEED this kind of cuteness.)

You’ll need two fat quarters (and you’ll have some scraps leftover). With your “main” fabric, you’ll just want to cut your fat quarter in half (making it 18″ wide by 11″ long). The other half of that fat quarter is scrap. Take your contrast fabric, and cut it as follows. You’ll cut three 3″ strips (3″ x 18″). (If you would like a wider waistband, you can cut 4″ strips if you wish- you’ll have enough fabric for it.) Then you’ll cut two 5″ strips (5″ x 18″)- those will make your frilly little top!

Sew the 3″ strips together end to end (you can sew them on a diagonal if you are concerned with bulk- I just sew mine straight). You now have one long 3″ strip that will be your waistband and ties.

Sew the two 5″ strips together. This seam will not be hidden, so you’ll need to finish it. I did a french seam. It just “seamed” like the right thing to do. (ba- dum- ching!) Now you have a 5″ strip that is twice the width of your apron front. Finish the side and bottom edges of this strip. (Either do a double fold hem or serge and sew them to a nice finish.)

Finish the sides and bottom of your main skirt body. Do it in that order- sides then bottom. You can do a nice double fold hem. I serge my edges (because I have to use my serger for something) then fold the under and sew close to the edge.

Put a basting stitch into the top edge your ruffle (that 5″ strip that now has finished sides and bottom) so you can gather it.

If you’re new to sewing and don’t know what I’m talking about- a basting stitch is just a temporary stitch. Set your straight stitch on your sewing machine to the longest length you’ve got. You want to put it about a quarter of an inch from the top edge of the ruffle. Leave a long “tail” of thread at each end of the stitch. Pulling on just one string, slowly pull the thread to gather the fabric.

Pin your ruffle to the top on the apron body and sew together. You want your ruffle the same width as your apron body. This top unfinished edge will be encased inside the waistband- so don’t worry about finishing the edge.

Take your 3″ strip and press it in half (long ways). Tuck the unfinished edges into the center and press again. (Think- double fold bias tape.) In the picture above, I am opening the creases so you can see.

Line the apron body up in the center of the waistband/tie. (You can use your seams as guides. The middle section should be about the right size for the apron body.) Pin the top of the apron body to the waistband. You’ll slip the upper unfinished edge of the apron body into the middle of the waistband, sandwiching it inside. Sew close to the lower edge (the one toward the apron body) of the waistband. Sew past the apron body to the end of the tie. Flip your apron over and finish the tie on the other side.

Tie a knot in the end of the tie.

All done! Now your little princess has her own hostess apron!

As usual, you can do what you like with your finished product of my design. Sell it. Swap it. Gift it. Keep it. I don’t mind. Just don’t take credit for the design itself. And for the love of free- share the design!

Visit my shop, Moose and Wormy! Want a tiny hostess apron but don’t sew? Contact me here or via my shop and I’ll make a custom apron for your little hostess!

Half Yard Apron Tutorial

My mother asked me to design her an apron not so long ago. Of course, I agreed. She needed it to be easy. “Straight lines only!” she said. I can do that. After all, most sewing involves straight lines. She needed it to use as little material as possible, while still looking like a nice “vintage” half apron. Okay. Now is where it gets tricky. I knew I had made aprons using a yard of fabric. But could I use just half a yard? Yes. I most certainly could (and did). Here is my half yard apron design! (And thank you, Mother for the fabric!)

First, you are going to cut up your half yard of fabric, just a bit. You’ll need to cut 4 strips off the side of your half yard that are 18″ long and 3″ wide. You just cut off 12″ from the side of your half yard. The big piece is your apron body. Now, take one of those 18″ x 3″ strips and cut it in half. Now you have your apron body, three 18″ x 3″ strips, and two 9″ x 3″ strips. The strips will become your waist band.

Sew the three long strips together- end to end. (Right sides together, sew across the 3″ end) Now, you have a long strip. Sew a 9″ x 3″ strip to the ends. (If we kept it all together, the front waistband of your apron would have a seam in the middle. I like my front waistband to be nice and solid- thus the two smaller strips are the end. If you only use the 3 strips, without the extra 18″, you’ll be able to tie your apron only if you’re skinny. I made the first one with three 4″ strips, and I cold tie it, but couldn’t get it into a bow.)

Press your seams however you want. I do mine toward the ends. You can open them if you want. It is your apron.

Finish the sides and bottom of your apron body. You can do a double folded hem. Or you can do what I do and serge all the edges, then fold the serged part to the inside and hem. Either way, finish the sides first, then the bottom. (If you serge it, you can serge it all, then hem it sides first, then bottom.

Sew a basting stitch across the top of the apron body. (You’ll use it to gather the top of the apron body.) Don’t know how to do this? Sew a long straight stitch 1/4″ from the top of the apron body, leaving long tails of thread. Pull gently on one of the threads on one side at a time, gently working gathers into the top of the apron body.

Now, with the long strip you’ve got, press it with the raw edges tucked inside. (Think- double fold bias tape.) To do this, fold in half and press. Then tuck the outer raw edges to the inside seam and press again!

Turn your attention back to this gathered edge. You’re going to encase the raw edge of the gather into the double folded strip you just pressed.

Pin the edges of the apron body to the edges of the center section of the long strip/tie. You can stretch out your gathers or gather them more as needed to fit the section. Pin as needed. Try to eyeball and see that your gathers are evenly gathered and you don’t have a bare spot.

Sew along the edge of the double folded strip, catching the apron body, encasing the raw gathered edge. Start at the seam where the apron body is attaching. You’ll go back and finish the rest of that side later.

When you get to the end of the apron body, keep sewing. Sew all the way to the end of the tie.

Flip the apron over and finish the tie on the other side.

Tie a knot at the end of each tie.

And you’re done! And yes, my friends, that is me.

Enjoy your new apron. Or give it as a gift. Or sell it for some cash. Whatever.

Visit my store, Moose and Wormy!

Plastic Bag Holder Tutorial

A friend of mine asked if I could make her a plastic bag holder. Of course, I accepted! I looked online for a tutorial or something. But none of them fit what I wanted it to look like. Most of them were just tubes with elastic at the top and bottom. Very basic. I usually like basic, but I thought it needed a little extra oomph! So, I did what I do. I sat down with my graph paper and sketched out a plan. This is another fat quarter project! Yay! (Fat quarters are 18″ x 22″ pieces of fabric, sold at fabric stores that sell quilting fabric.)

I use reusable bags, but always end up with plastic grocery bags anyway! You could also use this bag to store other things. (I stuffed on with fabric scraps!) And, as always, if you want one of these, but don’t have the skills, time, or desire to make it yourself- you can always contact me! (Check out Moose and Wormy on Etsy!)

To make a plastic bag holder, you’ll need one fat quarter, a 4″ strip of a contrasting fabric, 2 small (4″ or so) pieces of elastic, and one small piece of ribbon (6″ or so). (You can also make a fabric “loop” to hang the bag by. It is up to you!)

Measure your fat quarter. It should be about 18″ x 22″, but sometimes they are slightly larger. You’ll want to cut your 4″ strip of contrast fabric so you have two 4″ strips to go across each 18″ side. If your fat quarter is 19″, then cut your strips 19″ to fit.

With the right sides together, sew the contrast strip to the main fabric along the 18″ edge. Repeat for the other side.

I serge all my edges, since I am usually selling what I make. If you’ve got a serger, go ahead and finish those edges. If you don’t have a serger, you can omit the finishing if you want, or you can pink or zig-zag the edge. Since this is not a wearable object, or an object that will get much washing (if any) it isn’t necessary to finish the edges at all. So, don’t feel bad if you choose to skip that step!

Pin your ribbon loop (or fabric loop) a couple inches from the top of the main fabric along the 22″ side. (Which is not a 30″ side, since you just attached two 4″ strips to the ends!) If you put your loop too high, you’ll be fighting it while you sew the elastic casing or it will end up on the ruffle. So, try to put it low enough it will be out of the way, but still at the top of the bag. (You can turn the top ruffle down and see where it will hit if that helps you. I just eyeball it and hope for the best!)

Fold your fabric in half long ways (with your contrast fabric on the top and bottom) and sew with right sides together. Serge or finish the edge as you did with the other seam!

Serge the top and bottom edge of your contrast fabric (you can see above that the edge of the pink fabric is serged). If you want to skip that step, go right ahead!

Now, press the contrast edge in. (See above!) You want to leave about 1/2″ or so of your contrast fabric showing on the front.

(In the photo above, I am showing you the contrast fabric showing on the front.) Repeat for the opposite end. Press it down, leaving about 1/2″ (maybe a little more) showing on the front.

At this point, you’re bag is looking something like this. It reminds me of the cat tunnel project in In Stitches by Amy Butler. (Don’t know what project I’m referring to? It is a tube, much like this, lined with faux fur for your cat to play in.)

Now, we make our elastic casing! Yay! Sew along about 1/2″ from the edge of the contrast fabric. Sew all the way around, sewing back over your first stitches.

Sew all the way around again, this time sewing as close to the edge as you can. Also, you’ll need to backstitch the ends and leave a small opening (preferably near the back center seam) to guide your elastic through.

Repeat for the other side! Now, you are almost done!

Grab your two pieces of elastic!

Here is how I thread my elastic. I put a large safety pin along the back end. It keeps the elastic from slipping all the way through. (Believe me, that is a pain!) I attach a small safety pin to the front end (the end I’ll be pushing through the casing).  Make sure your safety pins are firmly attached. It really sucks when a pin slips off because you put it too close to the edge.

Thread your elastic through the casing.

Sew your elastic together by overlapping it and sewing it with an “elastic” stitch. (The awkward looking zig-zag stitch on your machine that is more “lighting bolty” than “zig-zaggy.” If you don’t have that stitch, a small zig-zag will work. (You may have to reset the width of the zig-zag so it fits on the elastic.)

Repeat for the other side!

Flip it right side out an you’re done! I know, you’re wondering why I didn’t finish closing off those elastic casings! Well, to be honest, it is a pain in the butt and it serves no real purpose. You can fight through it and close them up if you’d like, but I see no reason to. I backstitched the ends, so I made sure it was nice and secure. The elastic is so tight, You’ll find great difficulty stretching it out to sew that little bitty hole closed. And I see no point in closing it. You can if you’d like, I don’t.

See the lovely loop on the back! You can hang it in your pantry or, if you’re like me, you can hang it on your kitchen wall! (Use some snazzy fabrics and you’ll liven your kitchen up!)

This is my favorite aspect of the design! The top and bottom “mouth” of your bag holder have a nice little flirty splash of contrast! I love it!

Go! Make some as gifts, for yourself, or sell some! (Yep. You can feel free to sell anything you make from any of my free designs.) As always, I just ask that you not take credit for the design and that you’d share the free tutorial with others! (No hoarding freeness!) Have fun!

Courtesy of Moose and Wormy! (visit my shop at mooseandwormy.etsy.com)