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How to Sew the Vintage Touches Apron, Part 1

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Amanda Jarvis knitsA little bit of sewing + a little bit of crochet = a lot of charm in this Vintage Touches Apron project.

When Vickie Howell asked me to be on the “vintage touches” episode of The Knit Show with Vickie Howell, I had to come up with an appropriate project. Something a little bit retro, a little bit modern, and of course, with a crocheted edging straight from Every Which Way Crochet Borders. Because I’m getting back into sewing in a small way, I thought making my own apron and adding a cute edging would be just the ticket.

Follow the easy instructions below, and you’ll have your own apron ready to embellish when The Knit Show premieres online on October 5. 

Gather Materials

Find a cute cotton tea towel. Avoid terrycloth, and go for 100% cotton if you can. You’ll want one that is at least 25″ [64 cm] wide and looks good in “landscape” mode. You may be able to find a real vintage towel at a flea market or in your grandmother’s kitchen. I used the Artiste Vintage Stripe Towel Set, which comes in a two-pack.  It measured 20″ x 28″ [51 cm x 71 cm] before washing.  See below for additional options.

You’ll also need about 80″ {203 cm] of 1 1/2″ [4 cm] wide grosgrain ribbon in a color to coordinate with the towel, sewing thread in the same color as the ribbon, pins, and clear fabric glue or Fray-Check. And if you’re trying to coordinate colors and thinking ahead to the crocheting part, you’ll need Size 10 crochet cotton in a color to match the towel, plus a contrasting color. I used Red Heart Classic Cotton in Natural and Burgundy.

Oh, and you’ll need an iron, ironing board and sewing machine. Let’s not forget those!

Prepare Fabric

Machine wash and dry your towel. It will probably shrink some. Iron it.

Gather Top

Center PleatFold towel in half lengthwise and place a pin at center front. Open towel and place on flat surface with right side facing up. Fold in 1″ [2.5 cm] each side of center front pin to create a box pleat. Pin pleat. 

Measure for side pleatsPlace pins 5″ [12.5 cm] either side of center front pin. 
Pin side pleatsFold in 1/2″ [1 cm] either side of each pin to create box pleats. Pin pleats, then press.

BasteBaste two times: one line approximately 1/4″ [.6 cm] from top edge, and one line parallel to and 3/4″ [2 cm] from first basting. 

Sew on Waistband/Ties

Pin ribbonFold ribbon in half to find center. With right side of apron facing up, pin center of ribbon at center front of apron, aligning edge of ribbon with top edge of towel. Working from the center toward the sides, pin edge of towel along top edge of towel, aligning edges or allowing ribbon to extend a scant 1/16″ [15 mm] past towel edge.

Beginning at left edge of apron, sew 1/4″ [.6 cm] from top edge.

Beginning at left edge of apron, sew 1/4″ [.6 cm] from lower edge of ribbon.

Trim Ribbon

Seal ribbon endsTrim Ribbon ends at an angle. If desired, run a bead of Fray-Check or clear fabric glue along ends of ribbon to prevent fraying. I used clothespins to keep the glue off my tabletop while it dried.

The next step will be to embroider a blanket stitch on the three remaining edges in preparation for crocheting the edging.

That will be in a separate post, coming soon!

Watch for the release of Season 1 of The Knit Show with Vickie Howell on October 5.


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