Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Make a Clothespin Apron ~ A Simple Sewing Project


This clothespin apron could also be used as an impromptu kitchen apron or for a child beginning to explore the culinary world. The best part is that is takes minutes to make, uses only simple sewing skills and can be prepared with fun fabrics or vintage linens from your stash.



Simple Supplies:
  • large napkin, bandanna or other squarish-linen (our napkin measured 18 by 18 inches)
  • handkerchief or other finished fabric such as a place-mat (measuring smaller than the main piece so that it can be your "pocket or pouch")
  • long ribbon to use as a tie for waistband
The first step is to iron out your pieces and arrange them attractively to resemble an apron. Your handkerchief (or other scrap) should be a bit smaller than your main piece. Your ribbon should be long enough to tie around your waist or the recipient (should it be a gift).


The second step is to make a fold along the top of your napkin (about an inch or so) and iron down. Make sure you have enough room for your ribbon tie to be placed under your fold as this is your waistband. Once everything fits properly, sew your fold down at the bottom so that you have a long pocket across the top (see photo below) to string your ribbon through (more on that later).


Next, arrange your handkerchief (or fabric scrap) so it is centered on your napkin and pin down the sides and bottom. Make sure to leave the top part open as this is your pocket. My hankie was a bit too long so I folded it under prior to pinning it so that it would fit on my napkin.

A word of caution: Make sure your "pocket" fabric is sturdy. A vintage piece is lovely but if you will be using it for your clothesline, your clothespins will eventually break through if the fabric is too delicate.


You are now ready to sew around the three sides that you pinned for your pocket to keep it in place. We gave ours a 1/4 inch seam around.



You may want a shallower pocket so that you aren't bending your hand down so far to reach your pins. I ended up sewing an extra seam higher up because of this.


The final step is to prepare your waistband. Simply pull your ribbon through the top area that you created earlier.


To make it easy, attach a safety pin to the end of your ribbon, push it though, gather your fabric through it and continue to push through until you reach the end.


Alas, your project is complete! Now you must decide what it will be for... We chose to use ours for clothespins so that they are easily within reach when hanging on our line.


"The clothes may dance upon the line,
And flutter to and fro:
My faithful clothes-pins hold them fast,
And will not let them go."
~ Excerpt from "My Clothes-Pins" Poem by Marian Douglas, 1875


Should you desire more wash day inspiration, I invite you to peruse the following:




29 comments:

  1. Great idea! I need to make something for my clothespins, too. Right now they're in an old tin bucket.
    Thanks for the tutorial. Have a great day!

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    1. It is very nice on the back to have an apron like this :)

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  2. My grandma had one of these and maybe my mom too. There is something very clean and fresh about the images it brings to my mind. We live in a neighborhood where you can't hang clothes outside although I do it whenever we are in Budapest for a few months. Unfortunately, it is done inside then because of city pollution. But that aside, I think your apron is lovely. : )

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    1. Memories are very sweet, thank you for sharing :)

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  3. Adorable! The fabric you chose is so pretty! Such an easy tutorial as well!

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    1. Thank you ~ It was a fun little project ;)

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  4. What a great idea Jes. You're a wellspring of inspiration. Thanks for all the pictures and how to. I love to visit here. ~ Abby

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    1. And I love to visit your little world of inspiration, Abby :)

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  5. As a mother, homeschooler, homesteader and blogger I just don't have the time I'd like to follow all the blogs I really enjoy and from which I truly feel I gain an important education. However, when I see your emails in my inbox, I am filled with pure, happy, cozy joy and I sit and savor every word and picture. Thank you for sharing your lovely self - I am ALWAYS inspired!

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    1. What a sweet thing to say! Thank you Tessa :)

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  6. So cute! I hope I have some time to make one for me and my girls by the time summer rolls around. Thanks for your inspiration.

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    1. That would be a fun mother/daughter project!

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  7. This is sure a lot nicer than my current method of clipping them all over my shirt until I run out or all the clothes are hung:)

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  8. Greetings, JES,
    This spurs me to make something cute like this with some of the pretty old hankies that I have had for years. Maybe I could do 2 matching pockets!
    I have been wanting to stop by to say 'Hello'. I'm sorry I haven't been over to visit for a while and have missed catching up on your blog :) I'm praying for you, friend, and hoping you are doing well in the Lord.
    The sunshine is streaming in the windows to my right, and I think spring is really finally here. Have a great week!
    Grace and peace and multiplied blessings to you,
    Jacqueline

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    1. Oh, matching hankie pockets would be darling :) Thanks for taking the time to visit Jacqueline and for sprinkling words of sunshine...

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  9. My husband just made us a clothesline about 2 weeks ago. I am learning to sew and intend to make a clothespin bag! Great tutorial. I'd like to be able to hang my clothespin bag on the line for easy reach while hanging out clothes. I'm going to try to figure a way to do that with this easy tutorial. Thanks for sharing! I LOVE how pretty this is!

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    1. Thank you Shirley, you are going to LOVE your clothesline! So many blessings come from it :)

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  10. I LOVE this!! I'll definitely be adding this to my sewing list for when the weather warms back up. Hanging laundry will be much less of a hassle when I don't have to bend down and grab a handful of clothespins every couple of seconds.

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    1. I found it is much for efficient and makes for a happier back :)

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  11. What a super idea!thank you so much for a wonderful tutorial and I have to say I love the napkin you chose!
    Blessings!
    Christine

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  12. Oh JES, I am so in love with this apron! Just the other day I was thinking I needed to make something to hold my clothespins.... perfect timing :)

    Thank you for inspiring me and sharing with Roses of Inspiration Hugs to you!

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  13. What a wonderful apron. I would have loved to have one of those when I lived in Manitoba. There I was able to hang out clothes. Great tutorial.

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  14. I love this clothespin apron. I have been wanting something simple and beautiful. I would much rather have the pins around my waist then have to move something hanging on the line. I think I have the perfect fabric to make one. Though I don't have a sewing machine. My friend would let me borrow hers :) When I make one I will link your page as my inspiration.

    If you are ever looking for sturdy clothespins to put in your apron come visit us at Lady and the Carpenter website. We make American Made Heavy Duty Pins.

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  15. Greetings!

    This little apron's precious. I've just learned to crochet and was wondering if you edged the basis of your apron with crochet yourself. If so, what stitch is that, please? Also, is there a tutorial for it anywhere on your blog?

    Thanks!
    Kelley~
    mrskjdibble@juno.com

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    1. Hi Kelley, sorry to say that the crocheted edge came with the napkin... I also loved the look of it and am sorry I can't offer you a tutorial on it! Thank you for stopping by :)

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  16. I was searching for apron patterns, something simple. I'm so glad it brought me here! I have some pretty yellow fabric with red cherries for the main piece. I took some gorgeous matching solid yellow fabric and embroidered a kitten next to a bowl of spilled cherries to be the pocket. I will sew the kitten piece to some white right sides together, turn inside out through an opening and stitch it closed. I've never made a pocket that way but I think it will work nicely so I can topstitch it to the main fabric. I also crocheted a pretty white trim to attach to the top of the pocket. I don't have any lovley vintage linens so this is what I came up with. I hope to get time for sewing next week. Thank you for a simple but lovely pattern

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    1. Oh my, that sounds absolutely darling!!! Thank you for taking the time to share! :)

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