My family gives each other birthday gifts and thoughtful “just because” gifts but we don’t exchange Christmas gifts anymore. It’s not a religious belief or anything of that nature. We just decided a few years ago that exchanging Christmas gifts for so many family members was too expensive and stressful on everyone.
You see, I have a family full of procrastinators. We all waited until the last minute to shop, and then had no idea what to buy each other in a frantic rush. One of us finally had the genius idea that we forego all the stressful shopping drama and only get together at Christmas for a good time. We still buy Christmas presents for the all the children in our family but not a single adult receives a gift. We think it’s the best way to spend Christmas because more money and energy are spent gifting the kids. Making Christmas special for the kids is really what’s most important to us. Now we have a fun happy carefree Christmas… and the presents aren’t missed one bit.
We celebrated Christmas this year, at my middle sister’s Becky’s house (there are three of us sisters and I’m the oldest). It was a fantastic pig out session full of turkey, loads of creamy carb loaded delights and most importantly…Becky’s famous cornbread dressing.
It also involved washing a million dishes afterwards. When my sister and I we cleaning up, my nieces and nephews teased me about wearing an apron. Let’s just say they didn’t think it was too hip. The fashionista I try to be could have cared less because I love aprons. Ever since starting to wear one a few months ago, I’ve been addicted. Aprons are a necessity for me now because they keep my clothes spot free when cooking and cleaning.
Becky joked that if she ever wore an apron, it would have to be some sort of waterproof apron because she is really messy when it comes to spilling water liquids on herself. Waterproof?!? That got me thinking…
I instantly knew what she needed : an oilcloth apron.
And that’s how the the idea for a special just because gift for Becky was born!
I had been saving some oilcloth for months for a purse I envisioned in my mind and wanted to attempt to make. Since I didn’t have the hardware needed to make the purse, I decided to sacrifice the oilcloth and make Becky her much needed waterproof apron.
And BAM, here it is!
By the way, if you haven’t heard of oilcloth before it’s a fabric material that is coated on one side to make it waterproof. The coating is oil based, hence the name “oilcloth”. I discovered it on a vacation in Mexico where it is commonly used for tablecloths.
Here are the instructions for making your very own waterproof apron. All that’s needed are basic sewing machine skills, hot glue, clear nail polish and ribbon (two sizes: wide and narrow).
- 1 yard oilcloth
- 7’5″ of 1.5″ width ribbon (for neck loop and waist ties)
- 14′ of 3/8″ width ribbon (for exterior trim)
- Clear nail polish
I started off drawing a pattern for the apron by hand. This was probably my first ever free hand pattern and it couldn’t have been easier. An apron is basically a rectangle with concave cut outs at the top of each side. The concave cut makes the top of the apron narrower and frames the chest. My apron was approximately 27″ by 36″ (the wider section for the sides). You can either attempt free handing or use another apron as a pattern. (I’ll also try to figure out a way to create an apron pattern that can be download off our blog sometime in the future).
Cut the large width ribbon into the following lengths: two 33″ pieces for waist ties and one 23″ piece for the neck loop. I cut all the pieces with a straight edge except for one end of each waist tie which was given a slant cut shown below. Those two slant ends will be the loose ends of the waist ties. The slant cut gives a more decorative edge and also helps with unraveling. (The straight edges will be sewn to the oilcloth which will also help against unraveling).
To further stop unraveling, I used a dab of nail polish on the ends of all the ribbon pieces, even the ones that will be sewn. Clear polish works great but since I had a dark blue color that almost exactly matched the dark navy ribbon, I used it.
Sew the neck ribbon to both sides of the top of the apron using a 2/8″ seam. This is necessary so that the 3/8″ decorative ribbon covers the stitching later.
After that sew each tie to the top of each side.
Next hot glue the thin ribbon to the entire perimeter of the apron. I used a piece of paper underneath to protect my table from hot glue.
Glue flush to the oilcloth edge making sure to cover all stitch marks. Use only trace amounts of hot glue so that it doesn’t ooze under or through the ribbon (Only a tiny bit of hot glue is necessary). I cut the ribbon at the corners to give it clean lines.
Once the entire perimeter has been covered with the trim ribbon the apron is complete.
That’s it. Very simple and took about 45 minutes to make.
Now go make yourself one or give it as a gift just because.