It’s the first day of Spring Break! Woo Hoo! I love the school holidays almost as much as I did when I was a kid. Day one of a whole list of things to do together to have a super fun time. This is a very quick and easy sewing project to make an apron that I am doing with Minty and Rémy as part of that long list we put together, it’s meant to be all the things we’ve never done before although I see that No. 1 is Sleeping! Making the list was a really fun exercise in and of itself although not sure it counts as one of our 1000 things to do. We all came up with ideas – some creative, some active and others to do with food. There’s a trip to Sugar Fish for sushi, planting a veggie garden (probably will get scaled back to some tomatoes and herbs in pots), pack a picnic and go to the beach, set up a target and do archery in the back garden, hold a swimming gala and award medals, decorate a cake at Cake Mix, do a blindfolded taste test, pitch a tent and camp in the garden, watch a movie and develop a recipe based on it, a gymnastics special skills lesson for Mummy, redesign a piece of store bought clothing a la Great British Sewing Bee, go wallpaper shopping at Walnut, test drive the Fiat 500, make a music video and learn the lines to a scene from a Shakespeare play. That’s barely scratched the surface of our 50 things to do this spring break but you get the idea.
I really want Minty and Rémy to learn how to use a sewing machine, they are not very keen, and this is the perfect project to get them started – just two short straight lines of stitching. The finished apron isn’t in the league of one of my favorite creatives, Ellen Bennett, and her gorgeous apron line – Headley and Bennett – but for me it’s more about the fun in the journey and less about the aprons! I learned to sew on a sewing machine at an early age and have always loved it. At school my favorite O level was Fashion and Fabrics with Myrtle which I had to do in my free time because it wasn’t considered a serious enough subject and would have meant dropping Geography. My first wages, earned behind the bar at Balls Brothers in the City of London, were spent on a sewing machine from John Lewis. In New York I hand-made bags and sold my creations on Madison Avenue, as well as making 125 bags for Clinique. I still use my favorite Lucy Lean bag and look at it now and can’t believe I actually made it from scratch!
So here’s the instructions for the apron – super easy and really useful too. Remy’s tea towel was a gift from Kathy Delgado at Vintageweave – it’s a delicious piece of linen with useful conversions on it. I found Minty’s tea towel at World Market and couldn’t resist it as she bakes every day and she’s also founded a club at school called the Keep Calm and Carry on Club.
Easy Tea Towel Apron
You will need
One tea towel
3 yards of ribbon or twill
a sewing machine
a steam iron
What to do
1. Iron the tea towel and mark the top center with a pin. Using a ruler measure 4 inches from the center on both sides and mark with pins – (A) . Measure down 10 inches on both sides and mark with pins (B).
2. Fold from (A) to (B) and iron to the back on both sides.
3. Mark 1 inch from the fold.
5. Iron under 1/4 inch and press down.
6. Topstich to form a neat casing.
7. Thread the ribbon through the casing leaving a loop at the top for your head to go through.
8. Wear your finished aprons with pride – and keep calm and bake on!
9. If you want to add a pocket and use contrasting straps here are the instructions for a modified version that requires more sewing. I find making the straps really tedious and advise you to stick with the ribbon – if you want a fancy apron with pockets, that’s comfortable and practical and worn by the best chefs in America, you can’t go wrong with a Headley and Bennett – pop over to their site and buy one! There’s something about her hashtag #Made in America that appeals, I wonder why? ; )