by Jerusalem Jackson Greer
This time of year is the season of weddings, graduations, showers, births and party after-party. It can be hard to know what to bring as a gift – whether it’s for the party hostess herself or the honoree-hostess-to-be, for each and every event. Here is a simple homemade gift idea that works for the seasoned and novice hostess at a reasonable price.
To make this apron use:
2 generous in size flour sack towels
2 large grommets
5 yards of 5/8″ cotton twill tape
coordinating thread (I used red)
Step 1: Wash, dry and iron your towels.
(This last bit – the ironing – is a tip from my mother who is a master seamstress. Even in my limited sewing experience, I’ve become true believer in the importance of washing, drying and ironing my fabric before setting a single stitch.)
Step 2: Next, stitch down the middle of your 1 1/2 yards of twill table using a zigzag setting on your sewing machine to make the neck ties.
(Note: Here’s why I’m never going to make these aprons to sell. I stink at all the finishing details. Don’t look too closely at the ends of my twill tape ties or you’ll see a bit of folded, stitched mess.) With the exception of finishing the ends, making the stitched twill tape ties (which I bought in bulk from Amazon) was easy. I love the simple detail of the red against the white, and the zigzag just adds a hint of whimsy
Step 3: To create the shape, lay one towel horizontal and then lay the other towel on top of the first vertically. Next pin the remaining plain white twill tape across the middle of the vertical towel where it met the horizontal towel, thus securing all three elements together and creating a waistband. To sew them together, start at one of end of the twill tape (the part that was for tying in a bow) and stitch them down the center of the twill tape, securing the two towels together at the waste using the zigzag stitch, running the stitch all the way to the other end of the twill tape.
I made the tie extremely long, because I like to be able to wrap around and tie my aprons in the front. Feel free to adjust your length as needed.
Step 4: For the neck ties, add two large grommets about 2 1/2 inches in from the edge of the vertical towel and about 3/4 inch from the top. (I used silver grommets and a grommet punch.) Next, run your neck ties through each grommet and then knotted the ends. This will create the neck loop.
My favorite thing about this apron is the “hand towel” created by the bottom half of the vertical apron. I’m forever wiping my hands on towels and my apron when I am working in the kitchen, and I like having this little flap so close at hand. Also, it’s good for gathering eggs from our chicken coop.
I also love that this apron is unisex, a good fit for most sizes, and the neck strap is easily adjustable. And it’s easy to make and easy on the budget which comes in handy when going to multiple events in the spring and early summer months.
Want to round out your gift a bit? Consider adding homemade jellies or jams, an artisanal loaf of bread from a local bakery and maybe a cookbook by a local author to your basket that includes your apon.*
(*Don’t sew? That’s OK; you can find lovely handmade aprons on Etsy or at local flea markets and craft fairs.)
Arkansas Women Blogger Jerusalem Jackson Greer is a writer, speaker, nest-fluffer, urban farm-gal and author of A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting and Coming Together. Jerusalem lives with her husband and two sons in a 1940s cottage in Arkansas at the crossroads of beauty and mess with an ever-changing rotation of pets, including a hen house full of chickens. As a family, they are attempting to live a slower version of modern life. She blogs about all of this and more at http://jerusalemgreer.com