This quick little project was inspired by my mom, who has a special talent for spilling food on herself. This is probably a function of the fact that she’s so incredibly busy that she rarely sits down to eat. I grew up watching my mom grab a quick meal standing over the counter with a tea towel draped over her chest. This year for Christmas, mom requested an “adult bib” – I drew inspiration from her old towel, but decided to disguise the “bib” as a full apron so that she doesn’t have to worry about any surprise visitors while wearing it! The finished project comes out as a simple apron with clean lines that is super easy to throw in the wash with the rest of your towels. Mom tells me that she loves hers, and I hope you love yours too!
First, gather your supplies. You’ll need a large tea towel (one with a design that works when it’s held lengthwise), a few yards of ribbon, and any decorative elements that you’d like to add (plus basic sewing supplies).
Step 1: give your towel some shape with darts. This will help it look less towel-like and more apron-like. Make a dart at the top of each side of the towel: mine were 8″ long, with the center of each dart positioned about 3″ from the edge of the towel. If you haven’t done darts before, they are incredibly simple, and I’m sure you can find some good tutorials somewhere.
Step 2: Press your darts (pressing the seam allowance towards the center).
Step 3: Grab a length of ribbon that is long enough to fit over your head. Sew each end to the top of the towel, positioning them about 1.5″ in from the side edges (I folded my ribbon ends twice before sewing to prevent fraying).
Step 4: Fold each side edge of the towel over the ribbon and sew all the way across the top of the towel. It should really have some shape now!
Step 5: Take another piece of ribbon (long enough to wrap around your waist and tie in back). Position it at about waist height on your towel (I found the height by slipping it over my head and eyballing), pin, and stitch using a wide zig-zag.
Ta-da! Your towel is now an apron! All that’s left to do is embellish. I kept it simple, just adding two rows of rick rack to the hem. You can basically do anything here: add patch pockets, embroider it, stitch on an applique…the possibilities for personalization are endless!
That’s it! Now put that baby on and bake some cupcakes!