Tuxedo Apron for Little Chefs!
(And how to machine-embroider appliques!)
Here's my sous chef, and our little sous
chef in training...
What I started with was this
cute, cut slightly bland tuxedo apron that I found at Hobby
Lobby for $5 with all the Valentine's Day
I've sewn aprons before, and
this one wouldn't be hard to make, but I thought $5 was worth
letting them do the grunt work and I'd just have fun
embellishing it. So that's where today's tutorial comes in...
I'll be showing you how to machine embroider appliques. (For
those of you who don't have an embroidery machine, there's an
alternate method listed at the end.)
- Something bland that needs a little something special added to it. I used this tuxedo apron.
for those with an embroidery machine:
First, turn it over and iron on your stabilizer. I use freezer paper, but craft/fabric stores sell actual stabilizers as well. While you're at it, prepare a scrap piece of fabric with some stabilizer as well.
OPTIONAL: If you need
EXACT, PRECISE placement of the applique (I do- I need
it to be centered at the very top of the apron without
accidentally going over the edges), then hoop a piece of
scrap fabric (with stabilizer ironed on, of course).
Load your pattern and push the start button. It won't
make the entire applique, it will only do "step 1" which
is a dinky little outline of the applique shape, like
Now lay out your hoop's clear grid on top of it, with the center dot over the center of your applique outline. (Ignore the other embroidery on this scrap fabric- I use one scrap to "test" embroider several things!) You can now use the grid to see how big your applique will be. (Be sure to CANCEL your applique pattern on your machine, so that you'll have to start over in order to begin sewing again.)
Now lay your grid & hoop over the actual project you intend to apply the applique to. Since I knew exactly how big the applique would be (from the "test" in the previous step), I was able to position my hoop accordingly, so that my bow tie applique will end up right where I want it on the apron.
After hooping the apron, I still push the little outline button (I circled it in red in the picture below). This makes the needle circle around the outline of where my applique will be placed. I just double check that the placement is correct. If you didn't do the optional "test" step on a scrap of fabric, then this is how/when you'd align the placement of your applique.
Now push the start button, and your machine will sew that dinky little outline of your applique shape. (This is what we had it do in order to "test" the size of it before)
Place a piece of IRONED
fabric on top. (Be sure it's nice and smooth or your
applique will look awful!) It must be bigger than the
outline shape, and you should not see ANY bit of the
outline sticking out at the edges. You don't have to use
adhesive, just hold it lightly in place with your
Push the button again,
and your machine will embroider "step two" of the
applique. It's the same as step one, but this time it's
holding your fabric in place. It will look like this:
Now remove the hoop
from your machine but DO NOT... I repeat DO NOOOOOOT
unhoop your fabric! You must not unhoop your fabric
until the applique is done. Anyway, with the fabric
still hooped, just take the whole hoop off the machine,
and using the teeny tiniest scissors you have, trim the
fabric super duper close to the sewn outline. This is
Machine Embroidery Scissors
in handy, but I just use some teeny scissors. If you
don't trim it close enough, it'll stick out from your
applique and look bad. It's ok if when you're trimming
it you accidentally snip into the outline stitch a
little, because it'll be sewn over again in the next
stitch. It should look like this:
Now push the button
again, and the machine will go on to do the actual
embroidery, finishing out your applique.
If the applique has a place for several colors of fabric, then the pattern will have a separate step for each separate fabric. It will sew the dinky outline of the section to be filled with fabric, then you put that fabric in place, it will sew the dinky outline again to tack it down, you'll trim it, then it embroiders it down. You just repeat this process til all fabrics are embroidered down.
Remove your stabilizer, and your applique is complete! For this project, I also embroidered on the buttons for the tuxedo just using a lowercase letter "o" in a chunky font. Here's my finished apron, modeled by my very serious sous chef:
He's ready to whip up some
yummy treats. Or, rather, to watch his spaceship take off...
I gave these aprons to our
boys for Valentine's Day this year. I have pretty cute little
Last, if you decided to do an applique project yourself, please send me a photo of it with your name and what state you're from! I've recently decided to start featuring my readers' finished results.
Alternate Method for those without an embroidery machine:
Iron a piece of fabric to some Heat & Bond. (It'd be easiest to use non-fraying fabric, but not 100 percent necessary.)
Cut out the shape you'd like. In this case, a bow tie.
TIP: It may be helpful to print out some clipart online and trace around it if you need help making the shape you're doing!
Iron the shape onto your project (in this case, iron the bow tie onto the apron).
Using your machine OR sewing by hand, carefully sew the shape down, making a neat outline very close to the edge of your applique.
Last, if you decided to
do this project yourself, please send me a photo of it
with your name and what state you're from! I've recently
decided to start featuring my readers' finished results.