Stitch-By-Stitch: An Eye Mask and a Whole Wardrobe of Aprons

I know a bunch of you purchased the Stitch by Stitch book. What do you think? Have you gotten started? Chosen fabrics? Please leave a comment or a link below and let me know so we can go check it out.

This week's Stitch-by-Stitch project was an eye mask. While we don't need a family's worth of these, we did have one genuine, urgent need for one. Michael's new job has him working the overnight desk at USAToday from 7PM to 3AM. Every day. Then, he comes home and attempts to sleep.

Katie made him a mask from navy blue flannel and she used a ribbon we had hanging around to tie it. She filled it with lavender but left out the dried lentils because he's sleeping in it.  He was most appreciative.


In order to gain more experience from some of the skills taught with the eye mask project (insides and outsides, stitiching around curves, ties), we turned our attention to aprons. A ridiculous number of aprons. I've lost count it's so ridiculous.

First the girls each made an apron of the fabric Katie used to back her quilt. Yes, we still have more of that fabric. I used an old apron we decorated for a Tomie de Paola apple printing project, way back when Michael and Christian were little. It served as a very nice template for the medium sized girls. It's a bit large for Karoline, but she wanted hers to be just like Katie's and Gracie's. I traced the outline of the old apron onto a double thickness (wrong sides together) of the quilt fabric.

Then, knowing that all four girls would want their aprons that day, I opted to use ribbon ties instead of making fabric ties. I pinned the ribbon in place to the right side of one of fabric pieces. Then, I gathered all of the ends in the middle and pinned them so that they would not accidentally get sewn into a seam.


We sandwiched the other fabric piece on top so that the right sides were together and we stitch all the way around, leaving a hole big enough for my hand to fit through at the bottom.


Then, the great inside out magic. It never gets old. Reach in the hole and pull the inside out through the hole. We did it over and over again. After turning to the right side out, I pressed all the way around, tucking under that open edge at the bottom. And the girls top-stitched it closed and top-stitched the whole apron.


For Sarah, I used an even smaller template as a pattern. Michael printed on this apron when he was not-quite-three, just Sarah's age now. I think we have archeological evidence that we grow attached to our aprons around here. I remember so many messy, happy times with this particular garment.


We repeated the above process in miniature. 

Four happy girls, ready for a new year's worth of domestic adventures, on the Feast of St. Martha. Definitely a new tradition.

(I promise Gracie's fits. She just wouldn't let us tie for her.)

I want to be able to sew garments. And I'm trying to be patient and let myself work all the way through Stitch by Stitch, knowing that there is garment sewing at the end. But when I really stop to consider my every day wardrobe, it's pretty much the same year 'round: t-shirt of some sort (vary the sleeve length with the seasons) and jeans (either full length or capris). And an apron. I have some old aprons--one denim, one red-and white picnic check, one to match the canvas one above, and another canvas that used to have a French Quarter motif screened on it, but that has long since washed away. I wear those all the time and they all look pretty terrible. And here's the thing about aprons: the say "I'm home and I'm planning on staying here awhile." So, why not have that message be a beautiful one? One that sings that the people at home are worth a little extra effort to look pretty and the work I'm doing is worthy of its own dignified attire. And there is one apron I love. That apron is the one I made several years ago.

Heather bailey apron 1

Heather bailey apron 2


I love that apron. It fits well, reverses beautifully. It's pretty much the perfect apron for me.I made it from a pattern in this book.  So why not make a bunch? That way, I have a pretty apron that really does function as a wardrobe piece, even when I'm "just" at home with my kids. I want to use these fabrics, I want to make things that are useful and beautiful and, frankly, my skills are limited. But aprons I can do. And boy did I:


This one is called Summer House, it reverses from a bright blue, to a pretty pink paisley floral print.


This one is Dogwood Trail. I don't have a finished picture and I'm too lazy to get up and take one right now, but this is kind of my "I'm in denial that summer is ending" apron.



And this is the "it's going to be fall and fall is beautiful, too" apron. I think the idea of an autumn with a Bohemian Soul sounds just fine.


There's is something very right about sewing with fabric called Grace Evergreen Flowers and Grace Evergreen Paisley. I'm thinking this is Christmas-y without being super fa-la-la-la.


This one is my favorite, so far (well, maybe it's a tie with Bohemian Soul). It's just such a happy country french kitchen look . And vertical stripes are always a good thing, right? And a pretty little floral. The thing with the stripes, the pattern in the book cuts that one yard of each fabric really tight. It's darn near impossible to have enough fabric to make the ties if you're trying to work with the stripes, hence the ribbons. Also, I decided that these look more finished if they are topstitched all the way around. So I did.



This apron, with its pretty blooms and sunny yellow reverse, is at its new home in Charlottesville. It's perfect for this kitchen, I think.

Barbara's kitchen

Wish I'd snapped a shot of it there.

The boys needed aprons too. And so they made theirs.



 Heavy duty denim that reverses to a bandana print (Robert Kaufman's American Heritage. I bought it locally and can't find a current link).



Mary Beth chose Paris Aparment coordinates: Sunny Le Chintz Moderne and Dusty Rose la Salle du Soleil.


There's one more Paris Apartment in my future, of this and this. I'm fairly certain that even if I sew nothing else from Simple Sewing, I've gotten my money's worth out of the apron pattern:-).

Skills We Learned:

Stitching Curves

Insides and Outsides

Making Ties

Filling and Stuffing

Slip Stitch


Our Stitch-by Stitch projects so far:

Reversible Totes

See our knitting needle cases and Kindle case here

See our Fancy Napkins here.