Monday, June 6, 2011

Hand Towel Apron With Zipper - Tutorial

The ladies in my family have this REALLY stellar tradition where we save up all our money/gift cards that we received at Christmas, made from craft shows or was returned from paid taxes and together we go on an all day shopping adventure! While we like to buy a few things for ourselves, we also like to pick up ideas for future craft projects along the way! As we stroll the isles of merchandise and finger through the racks of clothes, we often find ourselves saying, "I can make that for so much less!" We get a lot of inspiration for anything that would make life a little more pleasant and more affordable by doing it ourselves! With that being said...

I present to you the "apron with zipper attached hand towel"!
Step 1: Wear your apron.  Step 2: Unzip your dirty towel from apron  Step 3: Wash your dirty towel! 

I spotted a this nifty design in a fancy boutique and it had a price tag of $40.00. Pleeeaaase! I loved the concept because really, that is all I use my aprons for: wiping my hands, drying off a spoon or dabbing my little one's messy mouth after his licked the brownie batter out of the bowel. But I knew I could easily make it for less than $15.00. And that I did!
It only requires a few inexpensive materials, some of which you probably already have on hand!

Materials that you will need:
hand towel
separating zipper
existing apron ( to be used as a template or to be refashioned!)
1 yard of fabric (if you don't have an apron to refashion)
Sewing machine

Before I get started on the tutorial, there are a few hints that are going to help you tremendously! I learned them by trial and error, so you can thank me later for saving you so much time and hassle! 

**Please read before beginning this project!!**
First: Find out what sizes and colors of zippers your local or closest sewing center carries. Make a physical or mental note of it and shop for your hand towel. Make sure you buy a hand towel in a length that is the same length as a standard zipper. Remember that zippers are measured from component to component - not from the ends of the fabric. 
Second: For some reason, stores do not like to carry long length zippers in fashionable and fun colors. At least where I live (dang you, Utah!). I ended up using a 27" basic black zipper because I gave up trying to find something better! What I'm trying to say is, "good luck finding a 31.5" hot pink zipper!"
Third: When buying a hand towel, take your measuring tape with you because often times, the size of the towel is not printed on the tag. I noticed most towels varied between the sizes of 25"-30" in length. 
Fourth: Buy a zipper and then choose your fabric last. Find one that matches both your zipper and towel. Trust me on this. I started with my fabric choice and after returning 3 towels, 2 zippers and searching 5 sewing centers, I almost gave up! 

Let's get started! If you are either using an existing apron to refashion, or are making a new by using an existing apron as a template, you will want to lay it out and then take your hand towel and line up the bottom of it, to the bottom of your apron. This will show you how long the fabric part of the apron will need to be. (my hand towel happened to be the exact same length as my template apron - PURE COINCIDENCE!)

After finding the length, either cut off the bottom of your apron, allowing enough material for a seam or if you are making a new one, fold under and pin the apron. This will be used as your template.

If you are making a new apron, lay your template on top of your fabric and cut out with enough material around the edges for a seam allowance. Lay your hand towel down to see if your widths are measuring up, if needed. 

If you are refashioning an existing apron, simply hem the bottom and skip the next step as it does not apply to you! 

Fold all edges under (twice for a more finished look!) and press with a hot iron then sew.

Once all your edges have been hemmed, you are ready to sew your zipper on. Separate your zipper and sew one side onto the bottom of your apron, and one side to the top of your hand towel. I chose the ever easy and trendy "exposed zipper" method. 

Next, use your fabric scraps to make and sew on a strap for the neck and for the ties. And you are finished! 

My cost:
fabric: $4.00 (on sale at Hancock Fabrics)
towel: $3.00 (on sale at Target)
zipper $3.00 (from local fabric shop)
total: $10.00!!!!

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, you pricey Boutique you! 

*I love link parties! Click HERE to see who I've partied with this week!*

Loved your visit! Until next time...


{natalie} said...

I love your new blog header. It's awesome

The apron is pretty cool. Good Job making it instead of paying crazy prices.

Mom2fur said...

Wow, that is really awesome! I think you should sell them. Now I'll be picking up some separating zippers and towels (I've got plenty of fabric) to make these up for gifts. Thanks for the tutorial!

Stephanie Hillberry said...

This is just brilliant! I love making aprons as gifts, but choosing the right fabric can be challenging since you'll be washing it a lot! this is a great compromise and just plain smart! Plus I love how you've innovated the design from something you saw at the store. Great job!

Stephanie from Deviantly Domesticated

Joan said...

Maybe you need to make your Mom one too. Now that I have the beautiful one that you made me for Christmas, I could use a real working apron when I make cookies with E.

Chef in Training said...

this is awesome! i absoultely love it! I found your blog through a link party and i LOVE it! I love making new blog friends! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would check out my blog and follow me too! Thanks!

Target Addict said...

I love this idea! And your fabric choice is lovely!! It looks like an Orly Kiely pattern.

KellyS said...

What a great idea! I would have to make my apron first, but this will probably be added to my long list of projects I would love to do! Thanks for the tutoriaL!

Shannon @FairfaceWashcloths said...

What a great idea! Very fashionable AND functional!

Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence said...

I love this, I need this! I also love that you are from Billings--go Bears :). There was no Skyview when I went to high school.

Magdalena said...

I just discovered your blog and I am truly amazed how beautiful it is! I am following!


Hyla said...

I started grilling this year and have been really wanted an apron, something I have not owned in the past due to being overweight.

Well I've lost 50+ pounds and I see no reason why I can't make my very own apron, this one is super cute and practical! Since I use the grill twice a day I think I will make more than one separating towel bottom!!!

Thank you for the super simple tutorial! I am subscribing!

Katy said...

Great idea! This is a great tutorial, thank you so much for sharing!

TCEWaters said...

I am so excited about this! I am gonna make one for my sisters and sil's for Christmas. We are all a family of cookers/bakers and these are perfect! Thanks for the idea and tips! :)

Shelly @Crafty Creative Studio said...

This is the BEST idea ever!!! AND a tutorial? How cool is that? I just have to work on NOT spilling on my top half too. :)

Shelly @Crafty Creative Studio said...

P.S. This is an awesome idea for Bunco gifts!!

Unknown said...

Great idea and tutorial...thanks! I will make at least 5 including one for me plus I'll add an additional towel for each apron I make...

burcin said...

selam süper bir tasarım ve izin verirsen bende paylaşmak istiyorum

Niki said...

Just made my mom one for Mother's Day and it turned out AWESOME! She's going to crack up when she sees it. I'm thinking of sewing another half of a zipper onto another identical hand towel so she can swap them out during a particularly messy cooking session. : )

razmag said...

I love this idea! And your fabric choice is lovely!! It looks like an Orly Kiely pattern.


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