Tuesday, June 16

Memorial Tie-Apron Tutorial

The death of a parent is difficult to muddle through, no matter when it occurs.  For our family, the past year has been one of goodbyes and finding new ground.  There's a time when you want to keep everything for the sake of not letting go, and a time when you begin to accept things and move forward.  We created these cute 'memorial' aprons out of old neckties as a way to remember in a pragmatic and useful way....something we think he'd like.
The first thing we did was take the neckties that were left in the closet (after giving many to someone who needed them) and lay them out in different patterns to see how they might come together best.  We numbered them in that order with a black marker, since it was going to take a bit to stitch them all together.

Don't worry about any differences in length.  Match them up by the points at the end, as shown in the picture below.
Using a whipstitch, sew the ties together, one a time, lengthwise.  Face them right-sides to right-sides (meaning that you're seeing the back), and sew them together with about 1/4" seams.  Save back one tie to be used as the waistband.  Once you have the ties whipstitched, lay it out flat to make sure it looks how you want.
Hold it up and figure out where you want the neck to close.  In this apron, we pulled out the 3rd and 13th ties for the neck closure.  These are going to stay full-length.  Turn the other ties down to create a neckline.  Using a sewing machine, run a straight stitch across the top of the apron (all of the ties, including the ones you are leaving full-length).

We opted to fold in the sides at the top, layering ties to create a tapered look by the neck.  It made it a little thicker and heavier, so we ran over the top again with the sewing machine AND reinforced the ties that had been whipstitched by hand around the neck closures.  These were reinforced to overcome the weight.  Although this is more of a memorial apron, if we decide to wear and use it, we don't want it to fall apart at those seams.

Using pinking shears, cut the ties that are NOT being used for the neck closure about 1" from where they are sewn on the back.  To finish the neck closures, you may either tie them behind the neck or put in snaps / buttons.

You'll notice that the apron comes down below my knees.  That is because it was sewn for someone who is a few inches taller than myself.  Before creating the neckline, hold it up to you and see where you want the hem to fall.  Cut your final tie in half and sew it to either side to create waist ties.  Reinforce that seam.

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