I received this set of really cute flocked iron on appliques of a butterfly and a stylish Calavera Catrina. It was love at first sight. You can click on each photo to see a larger version of them as well.
When I opened the package, my first project idea was a doggie fiesta dress for my Chihuahua Bettie. . I immediately thought I could alter one of her shirts and make the dress but she didn't have ANY plain doggie t shirts So much for that craft idea!!! I'll write that in my "Projects to Make" notebook for a later date. I think I'll make two so both dogs have have matching "Crafty Chica Chihuahua" dresses.
So with that idea dead, I decided to make a fun apron to wear while teaching or as an over-skirt for a plain dress. I decided to only use products I have for this project. If you are like me, you have a TON of supplies already, and its fun to see how creative you can get with stuff you have. While gathering supplies I wish I had had some rick rack and some faux marigold flowers to add to this apron, but I can do that on the next one I make. The basic supplies needed for this apron project are:
White fabric (recycle a sheet!)
Bright Thread (I used hot pink)
assorted colorful fabric for ruffles
1/2 inch bias tape
sewing machine or needle/thread for hand sewing
iron and ironing board
acrylic paint and textile medium or paint pens
Tacky glue and micro glitter or glitter glue
Puffy Paint to accent if desired
additional trims, rhinestones, sequins or flowers as embellishments.
Since I am a Voluptuous Vixen. (aka plus size) I made this to fit from side hip to side hip. . If one of my thinner friends wants to wear it, it will go around them 3/4 around or more.
Creating a simple apron is very easy, basically its a rectangle with a long skinny rectangle for the tie. I did not use a pattern, although there are many free tutorials on line.. I just cut mine to the size that looked good on me. Since I am a Voluptuous Vixen. (aka plus size) I made this to fit me from side hip to side hip with long ties. Based on your own size, height and preference you can easily make one that looks great on you.. If you aren't a sewer, you can buy a plain white apron and embellish it up to make it your own.
For the Apron Body:
- I cut a rectangle from the white fabric that was 35" wide and 24" long. If you are smaller and shorter than you will want a smaller rectangle.
- Turn over the short sides 1/4", iron then sew 1/8th seam.
- To create the bottom hem, turn up the long side of the fabric 1/2" and press with iron.
- Turn it over on itself, iron then sew.
- Fold the apron in half width wise to find the center and lightly iron at the top to create a fold. This will be your center mark when you add the waistband ties.
Making Ruffles: To make the ruffles I used leftover fabric I have in my stash in bright colors. Cut your fabric 2 times longer than your finished ruffle should be and 1/2 inch wider.
- I cut two 45 inch long by 3 1/2" wide strips of fabric for each ruffle. I have three ruffles on this apron. You can make just one ruffle if you prefer or five for a really festive apron.
- Sew those two pieces of matching fabric together at one end with 1/2" seam to make one 89" long strip of fabric.
- With the right side of the fabric down on your ironing board, fold one of the long edges up 1/4 inch and iron it flat then.Fold the same edge up another 1/4 inch. Press again.
- Sew 1/8th seam using a zigzag stitch to add a little detail to the ruffle. Repeat this with the other fabric pieces you cut for your ruffles.
- To gather the fabric,sew a basting stitch (longest stitch setting on your machine) the length of your fabric (long ways).
- To make it gather up, pull the bobbin thread (the bobbin is the thread that is under your needle).
- Pin the ruffle to the bottom of your hemmed apron. Adjust the ruffles as you pin to make sure the ruffle reaches the full length of the apron. Sew down.
- Repeat this gathering with your other ruffle fabrics. To sew on the next ruffle, pin it about 1 inch above where you sewed the last ruffle. To cover up the cut edge of the top ruffle, I sewed a 1/2 turquoise bias tape over it. You can embellish this with rickrack, sequins, rhinestone trim, flowers, etc...
The waistband: To make the waistband, I used a 4ft long by 5 inch wide piece of black cotton fabric. I like long ties on aprons but you make yours as long or short as you like!
- Turn the long edge of fabric up 1/2 inch and iron it flat then, repeat on the other side.
- Repeat with the short ends of the fabric.
- Then fold the fabric in half lengthwise, with the folded fabric on the inside. Press well with the iron. Your strip will be 2 inches wide.
- Take your strip and fold it half lengthwise to find the center. Iron lightly to create a fold mark.
- Open the folded black fabric insert the apron body. Match up the fold center marks and pin in place. Create pleats or gathers with white apron fabric to add some fullness to the apron. Pin in place.
- Sew a zigzag stitch all around the edges of the waistband.
Place the applique on the apron where it looks good to you. Follow the instructions on the package and allow to cool thoroughly before pulling off the plastic. Now it's time to gather supplies to add color and sparkle!
To color in the fabric, I mixed acrylic paint with textile medium and used tiny brushes to paint it in the applique. Fabric ink pens would be FAR easier, and I'll be getting some before my next project. Crafty Chica has "Juicy Fabric Ink pens" I think would be perfect for this.
I had ONE lone Stickles glitter glue to use so I used Fast Grab Tacky Glue and microfine glitter to add sparkle. Glitter glue goes much faster. If there are Crafty Chica products in your Michaels you should get the Fabric Sparkle and Shimmer set!
I went a little color crazy on the butterfly, but I think it works for the Dia De Los Muertos theme.
I also embellished the butterfly with little dots of puffy pearl paint. Somewhere I have a small skull bead that will be a PERFECT head for this colorful mariposa when I can find it!
I had a lot of fun with these appliques and I want to thank Kathy for including me in this Design Team blog campaign!. I will be begging some friends to pick more appliques up for me at their Michaels so I can create my Chihuahua Crafty Chica dresses!
If you'd like to get some of these awesome craft supplies to play with, Click here to see if there is a Michaels store in your area that is carrying the Crafty Chica line. If your store doesn't carry it, ask them too-that's what I did!
Disclosure: I received this complimentary product(s) from CraftyChica.com as part of the Crafty Chica Design Team, and was asked to share an original DIY project.