Saturday, May 7, 2011

Drop Cloth Gardening Apron

Happy Mother's Day!!!

My mother-in-law got a greenhouse earlier this year.  She loves flowers and growing things and she's really excited about her greenhouse.  Tomorrow is Mother's Day and Monday is her birthday.  Mr. Inspiring got her some supplies for her 'Mother's Birthday'.  He got her a watering can, a spray nozzle for the hose, some gloves, seeds, some gardening tools and some starter trays.  Really personal, eh??  :-)   This morning, I decided to make her a Gardening Apron - nothing like waiting til the last minute!!  And - - I had NO pattern!!  (And did I mention that I have never taken a sewing class??)

I started out by sketching my idea out on paper.  I knew I wanted to use drop cloth (that has got to be the handiest fabric ever!).  I also knew that I wanted to double the fabric to give it some weight and durability.  I also wanted it to have deep pockets that held a lot.

First of all, I cut my drop cloth and trim according to my sketch.

I cut my main piece of drop cloth 22" x 31".  This will be folded in half to make the apron approximately
 22" x 15 1/2".

I cut the pocket piece at 29" x 21".  This will also be folded in half to make the pockets approximately 10" tall and will give me room to make it so that the pockets kind of pleat out.  (You'll get what I mean in a little bit).

I cut a piece of the trim fabric 60" long by 4" wide.  This will be the apron tie.  I also cut some yardage for the trim at 3" thick.  One piece needs to be at least 29" for the pocket tops, and then 2 pieces need to be at least 15 1/2" for the sides and the last piece needs to be at least 23" for the bottom.

I ironed the drop cloth and then folded it in half and pressed it to make sure it squared up ok.  I did that for the main part and for the pocket part. 

The first part I sewed was the trim to the pocket top.   I sewed the trim on the folded side, and then matched my cut edge of the pocket to the cut edges of the apron.   First I sewed the trim to the back by lining it up and pinning it.  I stitched it using approximately a 1/2" seam allowance.

I pressed it back and then folded the unsewn edge over, and then folded it over the pocket.  I don't think that the way I did it is in any learn how to sew book.  I just kind of eyeballed it and pinned it.  The finished trim ended up being approximately 3/4" on each side.  I did the trim similarly to how I've seen the binding done on quilts.  (I think.....)

I pinned the pocket to the apron on the sides only and stitched the sides.  Don't do the bottom yet, cuz they still need to have that pleated thing going.........

Now to make the pockets.  My plan was for the pockets to ......   well, crap.... how do I describe this one???

Ok - - Imagine the pockets as a box.  The back and the front will be approximately 7" each, and the sides will be approximately 1 " each.  The 'back' of the box is my apron, and the material that I just sewed the trim on and sewed the sides to the apron is what I will use to make the 2 sides and the front of the 3 'boxes'.  Therefore, each pocket needs 9" but the back just needs 7".  With the apron laying on the table, starting at the left side, I smoothed the pocket over.  I laid my ruler on the apron, with the edge of the ruler lined up with the edge of the apron.  I measured 9" of the pocket material.  I wanted an exact 'line' for the 9" mark from the top of the pocket to the bottom.  Since this is the front of the apron, I didn't want to use a pen or pencil to mark it and then have to figure out how to make it go away.  (I don't have any disappearing pencil things I've read about......)  So... I took my trusty blue painter's tape and taped it off.  Then I picked up the pocket piece, and moved the blue line to the 7" mark and pinned it.  I did the same thing from the right side.

I sewed right beside the tape, and I sewed from the top of the apron to the bottom.  I figured this would help the apron keep it's shape if my MIL ever wanted to wash it.

I removed the tape and laid the apron on the table again.  I made a pleat at each corner of each pocket.  However, for the end corner on each edge, I made the pleat about a 1/2 inch away from the edge to leave room for the trim.  I pinned it all in place and stitched it up.

The next step was adding the trim.  I put the trim on each side, just as I had done for the pocket top.  I did the same for the bottom, except I folded each end to give it more of a finished look.

I added the tie at the top the same way I did the rest of the trim.  (I guess I didn't take a close up of that.....)

I painted her initial on the middle pocket (it's SUPPOSED to be a "J" but Mr. Inspiring said it looks like a "T"........... dangit............   But do I get extra brownie points for painting it freehand?????)

The next picture shows what I mean about the 'box'. 

Here it is all finished!!  She's a quilter (does beautiful work!!) and I just hope she isn't too picky and examines my sewing (in)capabilities too closely.  But, if she doesn't like it, I'll have to take up gardening and change my name  "Ms. Jinspiring Creativeness"??   "Juz"???     Mr. Inspiring says she will love it!!

Please let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer them for you!

Did you have a good Mother's Day???

Hugs ~~ Suz

I'm linking up to these parties!!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special



Running with Glitter

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


  1. Fantastic idea! I've seen so many great ideas for drop cloths I think i'll need to pick some up.

  2. I recently became aware of all the uses for drop cloths other than for catching drips of paint! Ha! The idea of an apron is very new to me, but looks fantastic. I'm your new follower and hope you visit my blog and follow me. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I'm participating in Debbie's Newbie Party, too.
    Helen of Helen's Decor

  3. Thanks so much for joining my newbie party, always glad to have you. Wish I could sew.

  4. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Jill, Helen and Debbie! Debbie, I'm happy and sad this week.... Because of you, I have 99 followers, but, I would imagine this is my last posting in your newbie party!! Even when I can't link to your party, I'll be sure to stop by each week and check out the other newbies!! You're wonderful and I love your parties!!!

    Have a great day, Everyone!!

    Hugs ~~ Suz

  5. It‘s so nice that I found your blog about your link at Blue Cricket Design. Of course I’ve scrolled a little and like what I see. Now I’m your new follower! ;)

    Take care

  6. Ooooh, thanks for posting this to Fibers on Friday! Welcome!!

  7. what a great idea thanks for sharing


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