Monday, February 11, 2013

Sewing on a Budget - Aprons and Napkins

With Valentines day almost here, it was impossible for me to resist this free pattern from Hot Patterns for Abakhan Fabrics Creative Budget Challenge. These challenges are now on Pinterest and the board is a very useful collection of projects which can be completed on a budget. Abakhan are also running a Pinterest competition to win one of 4, £20 vouchers which is worth checking out.

The Sweet Nothing's Retro Apron Pattern is a great pattern to sew and would make a perfect gift at any time of the year. I made some slight changes to the pattern by using bias binding for the ties as well as using pre-ruffled trim. This saved me both time and fabric, so I was able to make two aprons.
The fabric and notions I used were:

100% Navy Cotton with Strawberries 112cm wide x 1 metre for £6.25
Pleated Polka dot ribbon and tulle Trim x 4 metres for 1.30 = £5.20
Spotted Bias Binding x 4 metres for .55 = £2.20
Super stitch Thread 457 metres x 1 for £0.59
Total = £14.24 (for 2 aprons and 8 napkins)

These aprons were a lot of fun and such a simple and quick make. I sized down the pattern to make the smaller apron. Though I didn't have enough ruffled trim for the circumference of 4 pockets, I had plenty to add trim to the tops.

The pictures could be better, I'm not sure if it was the light, or if it was the contrast between the red and navy, which affected the focus.


There was some fabric left over, enough to make 8 table napkins. I could have hemmed each of them, but it would have made them much too small, so I planned to bind all the edges. I had yellow fabric left over from a previous project for Abakhan, so there was no extra cost. But the biggest problem was the mitred corners. I have tried these a few times before, and they have never looked good.

This time I persevered 'Fearlessly'! I checked YouTube and found a very helpful video, and then practiced!!! Each napkin has 4 corners, and with 8 napkins, that's 32 times to practice mitred corners on binding.


It almost worked like magic! I'm not sure there's a secret, but folding the bias binding in half lengthwise, pressing, then sewing both raw edges to the right side first as in the video link. The corners just formed this neat 'mitre' on the front - I can't believe it worked so well and it feels like a major achievement.

I think I sewed some very respectable mitred corners! and have completely lost my fear of them.


(The fabric and notions for these aprons and napkins were chosen by me and supplied by Abakhan Fabrics, free, as part of their challenge to sew on a budget)

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  1. Very nice! Thanks for sharing the link to the video...I definitely have a fear of mitred corners too.;)

    1. Thanks Cindy :-) I don't think of checking YouTube often enough, it can be so helpful!