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Monday, March 8, 2010

Upcycle Tutorial: Turning Overalls into an Apron

We were about to put on Rebecca's favorite overalls to go to the park
When I noticed this:
The dryer apparently ate a metal hook off of the overalls! Rebecca and I both love these pants, so instead of throwing them away, I refashioned them into a cute apron.

My sizing is for a pair of 3T overalls. A bigger or smaller pair of overalls will not need much adjustment for the scrap fabric pieces. However, before you cut,be sure that your scrap fabric pieces match up to the part of the denim that you are sewing.

This project will take a little over an hour to complete.
For your materials, you will need:

1 pair of overalls

Scrap fabric with a width of at least 30" for a size 3T overalls, more or less if your garment is a different size.

A denim-strength sewing machine needle (important!)
Neutral-colored thread

Let's get started!

1: Cut the top off of the bib, removing the strap fasteners.

2. Turn the overalls over and cut off the back of the overalls, right around your daughter's natural waist. 3. Cut the legs off the pants at mid-thigh.

4. Cut the back of the overalls open by removing the middle seam. Open the overalls as shown below.

5. Turn the overalls around and lay open.

6. Smooth the open front seam at the bottom of the overalls and press. We are turning the pants into a dress. Pin the seam together so that the front of the overalls is as flat as possible. Sew closed.
7. The top back and the sides of your apron will have raw edges. Roll and press your side hems so that no raw edge is visible. Sew your side hems.
8. Cut a piece of your scrap fabric 2" high. Measure the width of the overalls bib and add 1". For example, the width of this bib is 6 inches, so my strip measures 2" x 7". We are making bias tape to cover the top of the bib. Place your fabric wrong-side up on the ironing board. Fold and press 1/2 inch side hems. Then fold and press the top and bottom edges 1/2". The top and bottom should be almost touching. Now fold the bias tape once more and press. It should 1/2 inch in height.
9. Pin and sew the your bias tape onto the top of the bib. I had to detach the top pocket a bit for a cleaner finish. I used seam rippers to take out about 5 stitches, then re-sewed them shut as I attached the bias tape.
10. Cut 4 strips of fabric, 3" by 24". These will be your apron straps for the sides and neck. If your overalls are much bigger than my 3T size, simply cut your straps 3" by the approximate width of your open overalls, as seen below.
11. Sew your straps. Pin the raw edges of the wrong side of the fabric together and sew with a 1/4" seam allowance down the length of the straps.
12. You should have 4 straps, wrong-side out. Use a loop turner to turn the straps right-side out. Fold and press the ends in and sew the straps closed on both ends.

13. Now you have a choice. You can either use two of your straps as neck ties, or you can use the overalls hardware on one side and a strap on the other. If you choose to use two straps as neck ties, just attach your ties at either end of the bib.

If you choose to use the hardware from the overall strap, cut the metal strap adjustment piece off. Cut a piece of one of your straps to measure 4". Fold and press the edges. Thread your shortened strap through the metal piece and attach to the left side of the bib. 14. Now pin and sew the other strap to the right side of the bib. Thread it through the top of the metal piece. It should be quite long, enough to tuck back on itself.15. Pin and sew your apron straps onto each side of the apron. The straps will be long enough to tie in front.
16. Now you will make your ruffle. I love ruffles! Cut a piece of scrap fabric 4" by 30", longer or shorter depending on the size of your original overalls. Use a ruffler foot or gather an elongated stitch to make your ruffle fit the length of the bottom raw edge. Hem the ruffle on the sides and bottom.

Pin the the ruffle to the denim, wrong-side raw edges together. Sew into place.
17. Press the seam open and topstitch along the denim for a smooth finish.

Find a cute little girl to test your creation! Tell her that your first project together will be to make chocolate chip cookies.
Here is what your back will look like.


Kari Sweeten said...

This is sooo fabulous!! I'll be featuring!

Jennifer said...

Yippee, Kari! Thank you so much : )

Brandy Vencel said...

Brilliant, my friend!

Kathryn said...

this makes me want to mess up my overalls just so i can make one! lol. fabulous job jenn!

Goings on at the Glenn's said...

what a GREAT idea! I am saving this one

Kessie said...

Oh wow! Anything having to do with sewing clothes just amazes me, because I haven't the faintest idea how to do it. Those are soooo cute! You have talent. :-)

Anne said...

This is so awesome!! I featured your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


Elizabeth said...

This is absolutely adorable! Found your project at Craft Gossip! Love your blog and looking forward to browsing more :)

- Missimagination.com

Michelle said...

Jenny - you are amazing! I love your blog! And I miss you. I have a gift for Roman, I'll call you soon so I can bring it by.

Debbie said...

Wow. I found you from Craft Gossip. Cool tute! Next trip to Goodwill will net us a pair of overalls for daughter. I have a pair in the closet. I'm going to make mommy/daughter aprons for Mother's day!

Jennifer said...

Thanks, ladies! I am excited you find the tutorial useful! If you make an apron, would you email me a picture so I can see your lovely creations? Thanks :)

Celina Abel said...

Jenny you are amazing! I love this apron idea. I will have to remember it someday for Abby.

Angie - treasuresfortots@gmail.com said...

This is so cute! I linked on my Treasures for Tots Facebook Fan page!

Andrea @ The Train To Crazy said...

So cute. What a great idea! If you are interested, stop by and link up to my carnival Make it Wear it

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Heather said...

great idea. I linked it to my blog.

lots of free tutorials on my blog.

Anonymous said...

What a great Tutorial, I was looking for it a few days back but I never found it until now. In fact my grandpa who likes to visit
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DIY Crush Blog said...

Cool tutorial! I posted this on my blog: http://whimsycoutureboutique.blogspot.com/2011/03/whimsy-finds-overalls-turns-into-apron.html

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Unknown said...

Absolutely adorable! I just finished a Goodwill run this weekend and am looking forward to upcycling some aprons from my finds!

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