Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kangaroo-pocket apron

I found a hand-drawn pattern for this "Kangaroo Pocket Apron" in my files when I reorganized my  workroom. The directions were typed and signed Linda Theil, 1978. The original called for hemmed edges and ribbon ties. For this version, I made self ties and cut a full facing to finish the top of the apron. I seamed the pocket right side to wrong side and turned the pocket to the front to finish all the edges. This method left a chancy bit where the pocket and the top facing met, but not enough for me to worry about. I think if I made this again I'd just make it with a full lining and a smaller, applied pocket. The apron is generously sized, and can be adjusted to fit all sizes with an adjustable neck tie and wrap-around waist ties.

You will need 2-1/4 yards of fabric and a D-ring set for the neck tie. If you want a contrasting pocket and ties, use a different fabric 3/4 yards in length for those pieces. You will also need a bodkin to turn the apron neck tie and waist ties, such as the Dritz Ezy-Pull Bodkin, although there are many manufacturers available.

The photo, above, shows half the pattern for the Kangaroo Pocket apron. The long, straight side of the pattern will be placed on the fold of fabric as described below to make the apron pieces. The long side of the pattern is 34-inches long. The top of the bodice is 6 inches wide on the pattern. The armhole is gently curved from the end of the bodice top to a point 10-inches down on the bodice. (The apron waist ties will be stitched in place at this point at the bottom of the armhole curve along the side of the apron.) Sixteen inches from the top, the pattern is marked with a double line where the pocket will be placed on the apron. The pattern is 13-inches wide at this point, and the pocket is 18-inches deep from the top to the bottom of the apron. The pattern is gently curved along the outside of the apron bottom.
Draw the pattern and cut two copies from tissue paper. Cut one copy of the pattern apart across the double horizontal line that marks the top of the pocket, creating a separate pattern for the pocket and for a facing for the bodice.

Fold one-yard length of fabric over 13-inches lengthwise and place the apron pattern on the fold. Cut one. Note: You must add one inch to the top of the pocket and one inch to the bottom of the bodice facing when cutting -- do not cut these pieces without checking to make sure you have added this length to both pieces. Place the apron bodice facing on the fold. Cut this piece out, adding fabric for a hem at the bottom of 3/4-inch. Place the pattern for the pocket on the fold. Cut out the apron pocket, adding 3/4-inch to the top of pocket for a hem. Cut three 3-inch wide strips across the entire width of the fabric making strips three-inches wide and about 42-inches long.

Bodice facing: turn up 1/4-inch on the bottom of the bodice facing and press. Turn up again another 1/4-inch and press to create a hem. Machine stitch hem.

Pocket: do the same for the hem at the top of the pocket, and machine stitch with a plain or decorative stitch.

Ties: Fold each tie RST (right sides together) lengthwise and press. Stitch along entire length of each tie, using a 1/4-inch seam allowance and closing one end of the tube by tapering the seam to a point. For each tie, trim seam allowance at the point, and using a bodkin, turn the tie right-side-out, and press. Pick one of the ties to use as the neck tie, and cut a three-inch piece from the NON-pointed end.

Fold the three-inch tube of fabric in half, enclosing the two D-rings inside the fold. (I used one circular ring instead of a D-ring set, which works okay, too, but D-rings are nicer.) Pin the folded tube with the D-rings inside to the right side of the top of the apron, 5/8-inch from the  edge of the side armhole, with the raw edges toward the top edge of the apron bodice.

Close-up view of the D-ring assembly. Stitch the D-ring assembly to the bodice.

On the right side of the fabric, pin the raw edge end of the remainder of the neck tie to the other side of the top of the apron, 5/8-inch from the side of the bodice, with raw edges at the top, and the finished tail of the neck tie hanging free.

Close-up view of the neck-tie placement. stitch the neck-tie to the bodice.

With right sides together, pin the bodice facing to the top of the apron, matching the apron top and armholes. Stitch around armhole, across top, and around the second armhole using a 5/8-inch seam allowance. Do NOT stitch sides of bodice facing to bodice at this time. Clip armhole curves, turn the facing to the wrong side of the apron top and press.


Pin the kangaroo pocket to the WRONG SIde of the apron with the WRONG side of the pocket facing up. In other words, pin the right side of the pocket to the wrong side of the apron.

Seam the pocket to the apron using a 5/8-inch seam allowance around the entire bottom of the apron. Clip curves. Turn the pocket to the right side of the apron. Press seam. 

Pin each waist tie to the right side of the apron at the base of the armhole curve with the raw edges of the tie even with the outside edge of the apron.

Close-up view of one apron tie, pinned in place. Stitch each tie  to apron front along the side of the apron.
Pin each side of the bodice-facing to the bodice, right sides together, enclosing  the ends of the waist ties. Stitch each bodice side to bodice-facing side using a 5/8-inch seam allowance. Turn and press. If desired, topstich all around perimeter of the apron.

Measure 8 inches in from the side of the apron and draw a vertical line from the top of the apron pocket to the bottom of the apron. Topstitch along this line, to make a divider on the pocket. Repeat for the other side of the pocket, making a three section pocket for the apron. Pull the neck tie through the D-rings to adjust the neck tie length. 















Note about sizing: although this apron adjusts easily to any size, if you wish you may easily reduce the size of this apron by cutting one or two inches from the long straight edge of the pattern that goes along the fold of your fabric. To shorten, simply reduce the length of your pattern along the bottom by one or two inches, then round off the curve of your new length.

UPDATE: 07/23/12
Sandy models he updated apron version with full lining and patch pocket.




Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Quilt-as-you-go placemats


I made a set of placemats using the quilt-as-you-go technique that I saw at The Quilt Patch in Tecumseh, Michigan last month. The Quilt Patch models featured a holiday print for the central medallion, but I used a 8-1/4 x 7 teacup block that I pieced using instructions from the "Crazy Little Teapot" quilt in Still Crazy by The Buggy Barn. I used all fabrics from my (recently re-organized) stash to make four 18 x 13 placemats.

Materials needed to make one placemat:
  • one central medallion 8-1/4 x 7 inches
  • coordinating backing fabric sized 20 x 15 inches
  • lightweight fiberfill sized 18 x 13 inches
  • iron-on interfacing sized 18 x 13 inches
  • Color A = two pieces 3 x 7 inches
  • Color B = two pieces 1.5 x 7 inches, and two pieces 15.25 x 1.5 inches
  • Color C = two pieces 2 x 9 inches, and two pieces 18.5 x 2 inches
  • bobbin thread to match backing fabric
Recommended: walking foot for sewing machine
RST means place fabric pieces with the right sides together
Use 1/4-inch seam allowances.

Instructions:
Iron interfacing to wrong side of backing fabric, centered, leaving one inch of backing fabric on all sides.
Pin lightweight fiberfill to backing.
Center 8-1/4 x 7 inch medallion right-side-up on fiberfill and pin in place.
Place one 3 x 7 inch piece of fabric Color A RST(right sides together) along a 7-inch side of the central medallion. Align the edge of the face down fabric with the edge of the face up medallion. Pin in place and stitch using 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Pull the bobbin thread through to the top side, tie off, and clip thread to an inch or two in length. (Note: always pull bobbin thread through, tie, and clip for each seam sewn on this project.)
Press fabric open along seamline.
Repeat process with the other 3 x 7 inch piece of fabric Color A on the other side of the medallion.
Pin 1.5 x 7 inch pieces of fabric Color B RST to each 7-inch side of the placemat motif completed thus far.
Closeup of fabric Color B pinned in place. Stitch, pull bobbin thread through, tie, and clip thread then press open along seam line. Repeat on the other side. 
Place 15.25 x 1.5 inch piece of Color B RST across horizontal aspect of the motif and pin in place.
Closeup of 15.25 x 1.5 inch piece of fabric Color B pinned to motif. Stitch, pull thread through, tie and clip, and press open along seam line. Repeat on opposite horizontal side of motif. This will create a complete surrounding border of fabric Color B on motif.
Pin 2 x 9 inch piece of fabric Color C RST along both vertical sides of motif. Stitch, pull thread, tie and clip, and press open along seamline. Repeat for other vertical side of motif. 
Pin 18.5 x 2 inch piece of fabric Color C to both horizontal sides of motif.
Stitch, pull thread, tie and clip, and press open along seamline. 
 This will create a complete surrounding border of fabric Color C on motif.
Press backing fabric over 1/2-inch on all sides of placemat.
Miter corners of placemat.
Fold over backing fabric to bind all edges of placemat.
Hand-stitch binding in place.
 I hand quilted the elements of the central pieced motif.