Monday, May 4, 2009

From Apron to Potholders.

Last Friday I had a very clear plan of what I was going to get accomplished, but like many well-laid plans, things can quickly run amuck. My original plan was to make an apron for my very creative cousin (she designed my ‘An Artistic Bent’ logo) and get it mailed off to her by the end of the day. Earlier in the week I had made my final decision on what fabrics to use and had them all ironed and laid out ready to be cut. I was set to go.

I measured the pieces for the skirt section of the apron, measured again to be certain and then proceeded to cut. As soon as I made the last cut, a little voice in my head told me it was wrong. I looked down at the piece and knew it was too small. How the heck did I do that? I measured twice?! Then it hit me, the measurements I had used were for the skirt without the allowance for the gather – 4” too short! Apparently I wasn’t completely focused when figuring out the dimensions. Darn it!! Okay, so how to proceed? After taking a look at what I had left of the desired fabrics I realized that I could cut another skirt section out (this time the correct size) and use the piece I just cut out to make the top section of the apron. Okay, no problem, right? Not quite.

Once again I laid the two main fabrics down on top of one another and made the measurements (this time with the 4” included). Again I measured a second time to be sure. I made my cuts, and picked up the pieces so that I could pin them for sewing. That’s when I saw that one of the fabrics was about 2” shorter than the other. Complete rookie mistake. When laying the two fabrics on top of the other, I didn’t double check that the fabric on the bottom (the shorter fabric which should have been on top) covered the complete area to be cut. I seriously could not believe that I made such a ridiculous mistake, especially after the initial cutting screw up! Okay, back to the fabric remnants, did I have enough?? Nope! How could I have made two such basic mistakes in the matter of an hour?? How was I going to make the apron now?? Were the Gods trying to tell me it was not a day to be sewing? After about 15 minutes of muttering (okay, maybe it was a bit louder than muttering) about what a stupid mistake I’d made, I had a light bulb moment. That’s what I’m going to do! I had seen an article or blog (can’t remember which) about a week previous on making potholders out of pretty fabrics. That was it! If I couldn’t make an apron out of the pieces, then I was going to make something else that I could send her until I could order more fabric for her apron.

Now I was starting to feel a bit better. With a new direction, I sat down, figured out measurements and started cutting; AGAIN. This time, all went as planned. With the 3 different fabrics, a couple layers of batting and some ribbon, I was good to go! This is also the point where I decided this little disaster story might make a good lessons blog and went to get my camera to document the making of the potholders. And, here’s how it went.
Material needed: 3 coordinating fabric designs, cotton batting, ribbon.
Side 1 consists of one single fabric design measuring 9x9”.
Side 2 consists of 4 strips of 3 fabric designs (2 inside strips 2.25”x9”, 2 outside strips 2.75”x9”). The four strips are sewn together using a ¼” seam allowance. Once sewn together, iron flat and trim sides so that it measures 9x9”.
Align front and back pieces with wrong sides together and 2 layers of cotton batting (each measuring 9x9”) in between, pin and sew through all four layers using a ½” seam allowance. Be sure to leave 3-4” open on one side. Trim seam allowance to 1/4".
Turn potholder right side out through opening, making sure to push out corners fully. Iron flat ensuring the open edges are pressed under.
Place looped ribbon in opening, making sure the ends are tucked at least a 1/2" inside the potholder and loop is the desired length. Edge stitch all the way around the potholder, 1/4" from edge. At desired intervals, stitch straight lines from one side to the other, creating quilted look. Voila! Easy, pretty and functional. Even if they were supposed to be an apron. :)


  1. Hi San, I love your Blog, even as a non-Blogger myself, I think it is great. I also enjoyed the apron turned potholder piece. You are good as I am afraid I would have toss it at that point. You have an enourmous amount of patience and creativity.
    Hummmm I am already thinking of what colour potholders would look nice in my kitchen!! I think you are on to yet another successful project.

  2. Those are some adorable potholders. I immediately wondered if I should make everyone I know a set. :) Great job even if they were an attempt to re-use fabric.