TUTORIAL: Placemat Aprons

by Dana on July 6, 2008

A few months ago I bought some vintage placemats because they were just, cute. As I carried them up to the register I folded them in half, making it easy to pile my goods onto the counter. I looked at that semi circle half, then looked over at Lucy and realized that it would make the perfect little kids apron! So here you go, a very simple handmade gift idea.
Turn a placemat (old or new)…..
into an apron!
Hooray!
They’re the perfect size for little girls and boys.
For those girlie girls, use satin for the sash. Add as many or few embellishments as you’d like.
I’m pretty sure they will love it.
Let’s get started…

NEEDED:
1 placemat, which will make 2 aprons
5 x 45-60 inch rectangle of fabric for the sash, per apron
I prefer using satin (polyester) for these because it really spices up the simple placemat and because girls like to touch soft satin; makes them feel like princesses.
Some polyester satins are nicer than others. The stiff cheap kind is easier to work with but it doesn’t look as nice as the softer poly satin, which tends to pucker or become wavy at times (unless cut on the bias). So pick your battle. Of course you can always use good old cotton too!
You need a 5 x 45-60 inch rectangle for each apron. I say “45-60″ because you really want your sash to be one continuous piece of fabric. So, the length really depends on how wide your fabric is, off the bolt. If it really isn’t long enough to fit around your child, you can definitely piece together a couple strands of fabric. But one long sash is ideal.
Use your cutting mat and rotary cutter to prepare all the sashes for your aprons. Cause if you’re making 2, you should just make 8 right? Then you have gifts for all the kids you know!
Start with your first sash and iron it in half, length-wise:
Then open it up and iron the edge over on both sides, about 1/2 inch:
Iron the ends in as well.
Grab your placemat (this can be an oval or a rectangle, etc)
And cut it in half, right down the center:
Now you have two semi-circles. Perfect for making 2 aprons!
If you’d like to add a label to the inside of the sash, measure where the center of the sash will be and sew the label in place (sew only on the inside of the sash, so the stitching doesn’t show through on the outside)
Now sandwich the placemat between your sash (make sure the sash is centered on the apron). If your satin sash is a bit see-thru, like mine was, you may choose to only sandwich it in part way:
Pin everything down,
All the way around to the ends of the ties.
Then start at one end and sew all the way around and back up to the other side to your starting point.
Do some quality control, to make sure there aren’t any holes (see below) and make your fixes.
You’re done! One little yellow apron!
Now for the pink…..
You’ll need rick rack. Most fabric shops sell this by the yard or in pre-cut packages. Measure around your placemat half, so you know how much you need.
Pin it around the edge of your apron.
Go all the way around. If this is too tedious, you can lay the rick rack down as you’re sewing. But I find that pinning keeps everything in place nicely.
Sew the rick rack in a straight line or a zigzag, whichever you prefer.
Then sandwich the placemat inside of your sash and sew it in place!
For the brown apron, do the same.
Then spruce it up with two buttons on the front or an appliqued heart, made of red satin.
And you have, placemat aprons!
In no time, you’ll have a huge stack of them ready to be gifted.
And two happily aproned girls.
Happy Sewing!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Julia Aikens January 1, 2014 at 10:39 am

Great idea, why not cut in half use the ribbon to space it and make a top and bottom (a full length apron)? My girls get more on the top. Love the it and plan on making at least three…..maybe more.

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