Ok.. a couple of people have aksed me about the scrap apron dress and it's SUPER easy.. and so fantastic. It looks like a dress from the front.. but you can be wearing shorts underneath if it's hot (or a skirt.. or pants.. ) It's SOO versitile!!
so here's a quick tut of the apron for ya... Really the whole this is almost just a big rectangle..http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/2954/dscf0297mediumss6.jpg
The top is a simple rectangle of fabric. Make sure you LINE it because it will lay better.. I like to line mine in soft muslin, but it can be lined with anything. I usually try to make the top a neutral color, because the bottom will be made of scraps and more colorful.. but you can make it anything YOU want it to be
For the one I have on.. the top is made of a soft white eyelet, and it's lined with a soft muslin.
I make straps out of scrap fabric.. I usually do long (at least 25 inches-- you will be threading these through your back loops and tieing them at the back.. long straps are pretty when hanging down your back) 2 inch strips and iron them in half, then iron the sides in another half inch.. and topstitch all the way down. Voila.. straps. I like to tie a knot on one end, and then other end will be sewn into the top. I also make each strap 4 inches too long, so I can cut 2 2inch pieces off each one to make the loops.
For the measurments of the top..
Meausre your bustline.. Subtract at least 5 inches. This is the width you want the fabric of your top to be. (this includes the 1/2 inch for each side's seam..) This a backless piece, so you want to make sure you leave enough space in the back to be able to tie the top tight. You will be adding an inch to each side with the loops that the straps go through. If you make the top too big, you won't get a good fit. If you want more back showing, subtract a couple more inches.. the more you subtract, the more back will show. If you are a 34 inch bust, I would make the fabric 29 inches or so. The lining should be the same measurment as the top.
For the length of the top, I usully go about 2 inches above my waistline.. or an inch or so below my bustline. You don't want the top to go all the way to your waist. You want the top to hit just below your armpit, and go down just below the bustline.
I then pin the lining to the fabric, inside out. I then pin the straps in, so that the ends are pointing up and out of the top seam (this is so when you sew it, the straps will be sewn into the top of the dress) Make sure you measure your body so the straps will be in the right place.. You don't want them to be too far over onto your shoulders or they will fall down, but you don't want to make them too close to your neck, or they will rub. I usually do 10 inches between straps.. (find the middle, then 5 inches out each way.. and a strap goes there) but I have a wider torso.. make sure you find a good measurment for yourself.
Fold each 2inch strip in half and iron. Then pin into the top (again inside out)- 1 on each side(the corner) at the top (leave yourself room for the top seam.. you don't want to sew your side loops into your top seam, then you won't be able to use them..
), then depending on the length of your top, another half way down on each side, so that the ends are pointing out.
Ok.. so you now have a rectangle of fabric, pinned with ends sticking out of the top, and ends sticking out of the sides near the top corners and about halfway down. You can now sew the top together. I straightstitch first.. making sure I go back over the straps and the loops about 3 or 4 times each. These will get pulled alot, so you want to make sure everythign is super secure. Then I go back and serge my seams. If you don't have a serger, I would just use the zig zag stitch to reinforce the seam, and then trim excess fabric.
Turn the top rightside out.. you should have a rectangle with two straps coming out of the top, and 2 sets of loops on each side (one at each top, then one halfway down on each side) I now iron, so that it lays flat, and then topstitch each side and the top (you don't need to do the bottom.. we'll get to that next) The topstitching helps it lay flat and not shift. It also makes it look nicer and reinforces the straps and loops one more time.http://img523.imageshack.us/img523/2619/dscf0298mediumfi8.jpg
For the skirt of this apron top.. piece together a large panel of scraps. It should be as long as you want, but don't make it as wide as your top.. you want to leave about 4 inches or so on each side for the side panels (plus seam allowance). This piecing of scraps will take the most time out of anything in this project. everything doesn't have to "match" per say.. it will all look good once it's together. Don't be afraid to mix fabrics.. in fact I think mixing fabric makes it look better. In mine I have sequins, linin, cord, cotton.. even some gauzy and shiny satin. Make sure you piece the scraps so that you get a large rectangle. Then measure how wide it is, and then figure out how much room you have left on each side. This is the top width of each side panel (again, plus seam allowance.. don't forget to add an extra inch or so on each side.. otherwise it won't be wide enough to meet the ends of the top). These side panels can again be made out of any fabric. In fact they also don't need to match (mine are different) Make 2 a line panels, (leaving yourself enough for seams- i hate to repeat myself.. But i have forgotten this enough times, you can learn from MY mistake LOL!!). I like to make them about double width at the bottom then at the top.. this will give you a bit more flowy look, than just having a large rectangle. Hem in each side (very important to do BEFORE you attach to the top!!!!!!!!) and the sew each panel to the scrap panel. YOu will now have a big almost rectangle (a bit wider at the bottom than at the top) Either hemm the bottom or add some pretty trim. I added eyelet trim to the bottom of mine, to match the top.
You are now ready to attach the top of the apron dress to the bottom. Just pin the top to the bottom, making sure the sides line up and stitch together. Again, I stitch with my sewing machine first, then go back and serge. If you don't have a serger, just go back and zig zag to reinforce your seam.http://img124.imageshack.us/img124/6952/dscf0299mediumcy0.jpghttp://img124.imageshack.us/img124/9991/dscf0300mediumkx3.jpg
Voila!! you should have your OWN scrap apron dress. Thread your straps through the loops across your back and tie snugly. Go out and rock the town with super comfort and patchy style.
You can do this with all sorts of materials.. not just scraps.
If you want to make a complete dress.. the steps for the top are the same. I just add a couple more a line panels (or another scrap panel if you want) to make a complete skirt. I usually add some pleats or gathers when I sew the skirt to the top so there's more spinny room at the bottom without the bunch at the top.. http://img527.imageshack.us/img527/7369/dscf0269mediumxl5.jpg
I also add a ribbon drawstring across the back of the skirt (also attaching at the back corners of the top) so I can get a snug fit across the back. I use an eyelet or a buttonhole for the ribbon to come out and tie.http://img102.imageshack.us/img102/7189/dscf0268mediumfh1.jpg
I hope this helps.. NEVER throw away your scraps.. you can always use them later!!http://img409.imageshack.us/img409/2006/dscf0301mediumaz6.jpg