Monday, February 10, 2014

Chinese Lantern Apron + Chinese Takeout Gift Box

I bought my sewing machine four years ago. And in that four years, the only thing I ever managed to make was a couple of pillow covers to match the couch cushions my mom recovered for me. Over the years I've been collecting sewing books, patterns, fabric and notions from thrift stores and estate sales, but I've just always been a little too intimidated to start anything.

Finally, when I was home in California this past Christmas, my mom helped me sew an adorable apron and the experience boosted my confidence enough that I was finally ready to attempt something on my own. I knew I needed to start with something simple so I turned to a book my sister bought me a couple years ago: One-Yard Wonders.

Despite being geared toward beginners, this book has some really cute projects. As soon as I saw the Kitschy Kitchen Apron on pg. 56 I knew it was the perfect match for some fabric I'd gotten at Tuesday Morning last year.

Though some of the projects in this book include pattern pieces, this was not one of them. They provided the measurements for each piece and with the aid of a ruler, I traced the pieces onto the back of some wrapping paper and cut them out. The pieces are simple enough that you could probably just draw them right onto the back of your fabric (which is what the book recommends) but I didn't want to risk messing anything up. Now I can also keep those pieces in case I ever want to make another apron with this pattern and it'll save me a bit of time.

All in all this was a pretty easy project to whip up. I worked on it over a couple of days but a more experienced seamstress could easily whip this up in a couple hours. I followed the instructions pretty closely, but did make one change when it came to attaching the ties. The instructions say to attach the waistband and topstitch all the edges. Then you're supposed to attach the ties to the back side of the waistband. I wanted the ends of the ties to be hidden (I think it looks a lot neater and less "homemade" this way) so I simply pinned the ties to the inside of the waistband and sewed them in before turning the waistband right-side out. Then you can topstitch around the edges of the waistband.

Since my fabric had Chinese lanterns on it and I was making it for my friend Roxanne's birthday, I decided to make a cute gift box to go along with it. I used the Chinese Takeout box from the Cricut Sweet Tooth Boxes Cartridge . There's a pagoda that goes with this box but I also used my Zing! to cut out "Happy Birthday" in a Chinese takeout-esque font. Let me tell you, this giant takeout box was adorable and it was so, so easy to make.

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