Nostalgia: Plaid Apron

Often, in this blog, I talk about how I’m very new to sewing. I appologise, but that’s not strictly accurate. While it is true that I’ve only really taken sewing seriously for about a year I had actually been sewing for a long time before that. I sewed badges on my Girl Guide and Brownie sashes, did small cross-stitches and learned to knit very badly too. And before you think I’ve been leading you horribly astray I’d like to mention that before January 2012 I hadn’t used a sewing machine in at least 6-ish years.

So, with that in mind, I’d like to share with you one of the first things I ever sewed:


This blue plaid apron was probably made circa January 2004, when I was about 14 or 15. I’m guessing that it was made in January, because this is when we have the long school holidays in New Zealand.


I used newpaper to trace around an apron that we had in the cupboard at home and added an abritrary amount on the edges for a seam allowance. Unbeknowest to me, I made a pattern!

It looks to be made out of plain old quilting cotton. Check out that topstitching! There was definately something wrong with the tension here…


I even included a facing! Go 14 year old me!


I clearly wasn’t too hung up on things like accuracy and neatness…


In case you’re wondering why this looks so worn out, it’s because it is. To this day my dad still┬áproudly wears this apron when cooking.

What was the first thing you ever sewed? How did it turn out?

Vogue 8872: My First Blouse!

After a brief fret about button hole spacing I have completed my very blouse! This is Vogue Easy Options 8772:


I made view E which is sleeveless and is a longer than the other versions. In spite of this I took out a whopping *16* cm from the waist (lengthen or shorten here line). This would definitely be a dress if I had left it as the pattern suggested.


I decided to cut a 14 for this pattern as I have an absolute and deeply held loathing of blouses that are too tight in the bust. (This surely stems from high school when our uniforms consisted of blouses that were slim fitting and had little allowance for any bust siriusly??) Despite this I took the blouse in by 1cm on either side beginning after the dart. I could have perhaps taken it in a little more now that I look at the photos…

20130109-173610.jpg It’s a hot and windy day in Auckland

The other alteration I made was that I found the bias tape for the arm holes was 2cm to long. Aside from that this top went together pretty easily. As I was the first time that I’d sewn anything with buttons or collars this was a test run for one of my New Years Aspirations: to make some blouses and shirt dresses. I think it went pretty well and there were no great debacles to be had, if anything there was a bit of hemming and hawing, but it was probably good as it meant that I slowed down and actually read the instructions!


Now I face the dilemma of making another blouse (really enjoyed it!) or making something from my Christmas present The Colette Sewing Handbook (really looking forward to getting into it!)

Bunting Tutorial

All my friends are leaving. Well not quite. [Another friend has just confirmed she is also leaving.] But two of them are. One is doing a university exchange to the UK (London) and the other is doing Camp America (New York state). Pretty much I’m quite jealous of their travels and will miss them both.

But enough of me and on to sewing – what this blog is REALLY about. I decided that as a going away present I would make them each some bunting. This way when they get to their, respective, new accomodation they will have something to put on the wall and make it a bit more homely. I must give due credit to {re}purposed mind for this gift idea.

I decided to go with a green gingham (I heart gingham) and fabric with Pohutukawa blossoms and Tui (I also heart kiwiana).

You will need: scissors, a ruler, some bias seam binding, some card board or paper, thread, some fabric, pins and a pen.


1. Using your ruler measure a triangle. This will be your template to mark your fabric with. Remember to include a 1.5 cm seam allowance. I made mine 13 x 18 cm.


2. Trace around your template to mark your triangles. Cut them out. Remember you’ll need twice as many triangles as flags.


3. Pin your pieces together.


4. Sew them together.


5. Trim off the end of the triangle and the excess on the sides at the end.


6. Press the seams open. This will help the flags to lie flat.


7. Turn the flag inside out and give it another press.


8. Count your flags and measure the length of your seam binding. Decide on a distance that you wish to spread the flags out by. I decided on 4 cm between each flag.
Pin the binding over the raw edges at the top of the flag. Sew together.


9. Hang and enjoy.

I’ll post some photos of it finished when we have some good weather here!