I am so excited to share this tutorial with you! (Because being crafty and thrifty at the same time makes me giddy!) I am about to show you how, with some supplementary bias tape, you can make not one but TWO aprons and TWO caps out of a fifty cent pillow case!
Behold, the pillowcase! I’m telling you, this is the stuff that dreams are made of. I chose this particular pillowcase for this project because I liked the piping trim that was close to the edge. I thought this would make a nice detail on the pilgrim caps.
After cutting off this decorative edge to make the Pilgrim caps, I took a seam ripper to the side and bottom seams of the pillowcase to open it up.
And, here it is. Now it became one, larger, rectangular piece of material.
I measured and marked how long I wanted each apron to be and drew a line using my favorite, Dritz Disappearing Ink Marking Pen and a ruler. *Disclaimer* I am an Amazon Services LLC Associates Program member. Any purchases made through my Amazon links will earn me a small commission. I am careful to only promote products that I personally use and love!
Then, I cut along this line to create two apron panels. One was for Emma, the other was for Eliza.
Next, I decided to make Eliza’s apron a little narrower than Emma’s so that they would have the same amount of fullness, in proportion to their sizes. This is totally overkill, but I am persnickety like that! Feel free to ignore this part.
I connected my lines and blended them together to make one, long, straight line for cutting. This Draft N Cut ruler is another one of my standard tools. It helps me to keep the pieces I am making square and with straight edges. Snip, snip!
Did you think I was going to throw away that little trimmed bit of material? Well, you should get to know me a little bit more before making such a crazy assumption! I turned that strip of fabric into the waistbands for the aprons. I also serged around all the raw edges.
You don’t have to serge your raw edges, but one reason I really like to do so is because I can use the stitching as a 1/4 inch hem guide. This helps me to speed up my sewing because I don’t have to measure and pin for every single step. So, here you can see that I folded the sides of the apron over, one time, using the serging as a guide. Then, I stitched them down.
Next, I folded each apron panel and waistband in half to mark their centers. I pinned the edges of the apron to the edges of the waistband and matched the centers.
This begins the process of subdividing the excess material in the apron panel to gather evenly into the waistband. You could make the gathers with a large running stitch and eyeball making them even. However, I like the assurance of symmetry that this folding and pinning process gives me.
You can see how I kept portioning the material into smaller and smaller sections.
Here’s a top view of the gathers.
Even more pinning…You can see how I would match the center of the next bit of waistband to the middle of this bit of the apron. The more pins you use, the more you can control exactly where each gather will lie.
I think that’s enough pins!
Next, I sewed a 1/4 inch seam to bind the apron to the waistband. Once again, I used the serged edge of my material as a guide for that 1/4 inch.
Here’s a top view of the stitched gathers.
I folded the side seams over another 1/4 inch by rolling them over themselves. I stitched them down.
Now, the sides of the aprons were totally enclosed with no raw edges and no serged edges to be seen.
Time to bust out the bias tape! I used Wrights White Double Fold, 7/8 Inch Wide Quilt Binding bias tape to make the apron strings.
After determining how long I wanted the apron strings to be, I folded the waistband of the apron over the bias tape. The bias tape acted as a stiffener inside the waistband. I left long tails of the bias tape at each end to form the apron strings.
I opened up the bias tape at the ends of the apron strings and used the Draft n Cut ruler to help me mark and cut straight edges.
I marked a 1/4 inch from the edge of the ends of each apron string. I stitched this down with the bias tape opened.
I had designed the finished width of the waistbands to be 1 inch, so they just barely wrapped around the bias tape. I pinned the material over the bias tape. Then, I hand-stitched the waistband down on the backside of the apron, using an invisible stitch. My, what a lovely thumbnail I had. (Stick with me long enough, and you will see how rough I am on my hands.)
To finish the aprons, I stitched down each apron string so that the ties would remain folded and so the raw edges at the end would be encased.
I sprayed each apron down with Heavy Starch from the Dollar Tree and ironed them.
I gave Eliza’s apron a deeper hem so that it would fit her at about the same length as Emma’s would land on her. More of that proportion pickiness! I can let the hem out as Eliza grows.
Here are the finished aprons! I will share how to make the caps in my next post!
*History snob sidenote* Pilgrim women and girls would have probably only worn white, linen aprons for Sunday best. They would have worn sturdier, colored wool or linen aprons for their everyday work. So, you can decide if you want to make Sunday or everyday aprons. I went the Sunday route to create a more iconic, Pilgrim look.