Monday, October 6, 2008

The Bath Apron Tutorial

"What the heck is a bath apron?" you ask. I first saw the bath apron for sale when looking for a snazzy baby gift for a friend. The bath apron is made out of terry cloth and is very wide. You wear the bath apron like a regular apron over your clothes while you bathe your child. This prevents you from getting soaking wet. It's their bath, not ours...right? Anyway, when you are ready to get the baby out of the bathtub you untie the apron strings, pull the baby close to you and wrap him in the apron to dry and keep warm. After seeing the price tag on it, I decided I could create one myself...and make it any color I wanted. This is my first tutorial, so bear with me. It's a pretty simple apron.

* 1 very large (soft) bath towel or bath sheet, mine measured 30" x 60"
* 4.5 - 5 yards of 1/2 " or 3/4" double fold bias tape
Note: I made my own bias tape using this super easy tutorial from Portobello Pixie. I made the bias tape from 3" strips. You can also purchase ready-made bias tape. Definitely use the 1/2" double wide bias tape or bigger (I might even try quilt binding) because the terry cloth is thick and it would be difficult to sew a thinner bias tape onto it.
* 1 - 3" x 22" strip of fabric (for the neck strap)
Note: I made this apron for Maren, and she noticed that the apron is pretty heavy and pulls on the neck strap when it is hanging up. If you are worried about this you can either make your neck strap wider or use sturdier fabric.
* 2 - 3" x 32" strips of fabric (for the waist ties)
Note: the apron is very wide and will meet ends in the back, so the waist ties don't have to be this long if you don't want them to wrap around and meet in the front.
* sewing machine, pins, matching thread, etc....

Okay! Are we ready?
Gather your materials. We are going to start with the neckstrap and waist ties.
1. Grab your 3" x 22" strip of fabric and fold it in half, right sides together. Iron flat.
2. Sew along the edge, giving about 1/4" seam allowance.
3. Turn it inside out. Iron flat.
4. Top stitch the strap on both sides to create a more finished look.

Repeat steps 1-4 for both of the waist ties.
5. Lay out your towel and fold it in half.
6. To create the shape of the bath apron I used another apron I had on-hand for a template. Fold the template apron in half as well and lay on the fold of the bath towel. You are only going to use the top (or bib) of the apron. You'll want the skirt of the bath apron to be very wide.
7. Cut around the apron template. Remember to leave the bottom skirt of the apron wide. I cut it off where the decorative edges of the towel begin. I also curved the bottom corners.
8. Gather your bias tape.
9. If you'd like, pin the bias tape to the apron.
10. Sew the bias tape around the entire apron. This was a little harder than sewing on regular fabric, which is to be expected. I had to lift the foot several times to prevent bunching. Take it'll work and it'll look great!
Almost done! Now we just need to sew the strap and ties on
11. Pin the neck strap onto the apron where you want it to be.
12. Pin the waist ties on.
13. Sew them all on. I actually stitch over the seam several times to make it sturdier.
Ta-da! You've finished! Here is a picture of the finished product. Please ignore the tacky toilet in the background. :) This is how you wear the apron when bathing the baby.
And here is the bath apron when untied and wrapped around wet baby.

You can do anything you'd like to embellish this apron. I thought about adding pockets and fun appliques, but I just didn't have the time. I'd love to see what y'all come up with!

So there it is...the bath apron tutorial. If anything is unclear, please comment and I'll try to clear it up. Have fun!


Maren said...

Great tutorial! I love the finished product. I use it on Abbey - but I get wetter bathing Paige & james - why is that?

Jill Manning said...

My sister in law asked if there was an apron out here for bath time and I have been trying to figure out something that could work and by golly you have!!! This is a great idea, you did a great job with it...the finished product and with the tutorial. I'm tempted to do this because I hate how wet I get holding Elsie after her bath. I sense a prjoect!

Lucy said...

Great tutorial. I like the look of your apron better than others I have seen. Great job! I can't wait to make one.

Julie said...

Fantastic tutorial!

Julie said...

Just wanted to hop back on and tell you I put one of these together tonight -- the tutorial is great and I'm really pleased with how it turned out! Would you consider showing how to turn the sharp corners with the bias tape and also how to end the binding? I'd like to improve those two parts on my next go around.

Thanks for an excellent tutorial.

Cloudberry Creations said...

That's an AWESOME idea! :)

michellejohnnie said...

I LOVE THIS IDEA!!! I linked to it!

Marti said...

Don't forget us pet owners! This is a very cool idea especially when your dog decides to shake dry! Maybe a backing that is water resistant so water doesn't soak through too. hmmmmmmmm

Stephanie Lechleiter said...

I love this! Thank you! I had bought a towel to make one, but hadn't looked up anything online yet and this is wonderful. To those wanting a water resistant backing I'd look at a few things to back it with: those waterproof outdoor fabrics, clear vinyl or they even sell a diaper changing pad fabric you could put the water resistant side on the towel side and the soft part against "your side" just a few thoughts.

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