My nephew turned 3
A month ago. This is about the gift I sewed for him.
Way back at christmas time I asked my SIL if she was interested in play kitchen stuff for her son. She responded enthusiastically and as much as I wanted to try making a play-kitchen I knew something to fit in a priority mail box was a much more prudent gift for a far away auntie. I started plotting. Some kitchen pots ‘n’ pans, maybe dishes?, an apron and chef’s hat. This percolated in my brain at the beginning of January and then I got distracted. The shiny gets me almost every time. The first week of February I start bugging my husband for some input/approval of the plans. And exactly one week before my nephews birthday (about 30 minutes before closing) I scram to the nearest fabric store to find a pattern and fabric suitable for a 3 year old boy. I could make an apron in my sleep for myself, I’ve made a few of various styles – but I forgot to take measurements of the nearly always moving unless sleeping birthday boy when I saw him 2 months ago.
I grab a red striped tea towel, and (woot) a plain white kid’s “chef’s” hat and start combing the aisles for some suitable coordinating fabric eventually deciding to grab 1/4 yard of a solid dark blue cotton. (And while I saw many many apron patterns and even a apron+chef hat toddler/kids pattern they were all, especially that toddler/kids pattern very girl oriented, think ruffles and scallops.) Thank goodness I found a hat for less than that hat pattern (again – drafting it was possible if I guessed at his head size).
I know trick of angling the tea-towel sides and adding straps, but that made an apron that fit me. I frantically started quizzing the internets and called my BF to get her to measure her 4 year old for me (since I do want the apron to fit for a while). Most of the tutorials I found involved measuring the intended apron wearer. Someone suggested one continuous drawstring tie for easy mutli-sized fit, like this apron. I like the idea, nice and simple construction, but how would I keep the ties from being yanked out entirely? Finally I found the Montessori by Hand apron pattern for 3-6 year olds (the pdf link is in the side-bar) (thank you Meg/Sew Liberated/Montessori by hand, thank you One Pretty Thing and your awesome search, thank you also CraftyPod for re-reminding me of this resource in a not-so-recent-but-recently-listened-to podcast). In the end I used the neck strap instructions from that, but sort of winged the rest of the pattern in my calcuated “winging it” way. This included cutting off 6″ of length from the tea towel and using that extra for straps.
Once the apron was worked out I dug around for some nice thick letters to applique my nephew’s name onto the band of the hat. I quickly got frustrated playing with fonts in Word but was saved when I remembered theses alphabet magnets and the templates to make them were just the right size. I traced his name from the template onto trace paper and held it up to the hat to make sure it would fit (perfect!). I traced his name onto one paper side of double-sided fusible stuff (heat ‘n bond light), cut out the overall rectangle, fused it to the blue fabric, cut the letters out, ironed them on and then zig-zagged around each letter for better durability. In the future I think freezer paper stenciling would be less expletive inducing. Also make sure to double check the orientation of your letters, unless you want to read them in a mirror. The light blue letters are the orientation you want if you fuse to the contrast fabric first.