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More “Happiness” Coming Your Way: Laminated Cotton, a Free Apron Pattern, and a Super Gi

After fabric designer Kathy Davis read Christie’s post singing the praises of her (Kathy’s) new fabric line, Happiness by Free Spirit, Kathy generously sent us four pieces of these beautiful prints in laminated cottons. She could not have sent us a more lovely gift.

Just so yummy!

Apparently, I am the one who loves working with laminates (at least according to my blogging sisters), so they offered me the task of designing a project to put these wonderful fabrics to good use. I immediately jumped at the opportunity.  As with any new piece of fabric, the decision is always what to make with it.

By now you probably know that I love baking almost as much as I love sewing. I can always use another apron, and the idea of having one made from one of these easy-to-care-for fabrics sounded like the perfect choice. I took the pieces to my local Cost Plus World Market to hunt for some interesting, coordinating dishtowels. My plan was to attach a dishtowel to the band of the apron. Perhaps having a dishtowel handy would stop me from wiping my hands on the back of my pants. Yes, a bad habit that often embarrasses me when I take the time to look in the mirror! I was delighted to find exactly what I was looking for. Aren’t these just perfect?

These dishtowels were the perfect find to complement my fabrics.

Here’s what I used to make the apron:

Two pieces of laminated cotton fabrics, each 18” x 28” (technically fat quarters since many laminated prints are 56” wide).

One “D” ring – make sure it is big enough for your dishtowel to fit through.

Thread to match fabric

Painter’s removable tape

Walking foot for sewing machine

Dishtowel to coordinate with the apron fabrics

The dishtowel simply slips through the ring for easy removal and washing.

Here’s how I made it:

Fabric One (Main fabric): Cut one piece, 15″ wide x 18″ long

Fabric Two (Trim):

Cut three pieces, 2-1/2″ wide x 28″ long (for waistband and “D” ring strap)

Cut three pieces, 3″ wide x 28″ long (for ruffle)

To make the waistband: Sew the three 2-1/2″-wide Fabric Two pieces together along the short sides. Topstitch the seam allowance down flat. With the right side facing out, finger press the strip in half lengthwise and sew three stitching lines, one down the center of the strip and the other two approximately 1/8″ from the edges (one folded edge and one raw edge). Cut a 4″ strip from one end of the band. This will be used to fasten the “D” ring to the waistband.

To make the ruffle: On the wrong side of each 3″-wide Fabric Two strip, mark a line 1″ in from one of the long edges. Then mark every 2″ down the length of the strips, as shown.

With the right side facing out, fold the strip along each of the 2″ marked lines. Then fold again to form a pleat. For ease in attaching to the body of the apron, be sure to fold in the direction shown in the photo. Use painter’s removable tape to hold the pleats in place. It’s not necessary to stitch the strips together to form one long piece; simply place one strip next to the other, hiding the raw edge of one behind the fold of another.

Position the folded strip onto the bottom edge of the main fabric, aligning the main fabric with the 1″ marked line on the wrong side of the ruffle. Secure on the wrong side with tape. Sew two stitching lines on the right side; one 1/4″ and one 1/2″ from the top edge of the ruffle.

Fold the top edge of the apron 1-1/2″ to the wrong side. Secure with tape. Make two 1″ pleats at the top edge, each 5″ in from the sides of the apron. Position the “D” ring and strap over a pleat (right side for right-handed bakers and left side for left-handed bakers.) Stitch across the top to secure.

With the folded edge on top, center the waistband on the top edge of the apron. Stitch through all layers, stitching over the previous stitching lines. Trim the waistband to your desired length and cut the ends at an angle.

Insert the dishtowel through the ring and you are ready to spend the day in the kitchen…and keep the back side of your pants clean. Enjoy!

Note: there is some very helpful information on working with and caring for laminated fabrics on the following websites: The Quilt ShowPink Chalk Studio and Oilcloth Addict.

I just can’t resist showing you one more project. This one is so super simple, yet I think it has many uses. I purchased a hand towel (could be any size), and then cut a piece of laminated cotton approximately 1″ smaller. With the right side of the cotton facing up, I centered it onto the towel and then edge-stitched all the way around, using a walking foot to prevent slippage.

Here are a few potential uses: baby-changing pad, dog-or cat-food mat, shopping-cart seatcover for toddlers. Can you think of any others? Simply tell us how you might like to use these fabrics by the end of day Friday, March 2nd, and I will be “happy” to send one lucky reader a fat-quarter bundle of the same four, beautiful laminated cottons we received from Kathy Davis. Thanks again to Kathy for the fabric and the inspiration.

Sending more happiness to all of you.

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