Upcycle: reusable shopping-bag smock | the ReFab Diaries

I'm so excited to share this post today!  You know how sometimes, a plan just comes together? You know how sometimes, you realize you're so old you're inadvertently alluding to "The A-Team" - the TV show, not the movie?
Anyway, I love this little apron/smock!  Total cost: $0. Here's how it came about. Earlier this year I was at the Children's Museum and saw the adjustable toddler apron pictured below.

I thought the whole design was genius.  Oil cloth is wipeable (always nice) and the one-piece adjustable tie means that you really can use it on kids of different sizes and position the "coverage" accordingly.  So I was determined to make one. But I didn't have any oil cloth lying around. What I did have was a wipeable, durable, reusable shopping bag, with a very cute design on it*.  Then I saw this tutorial and I was sold. So here's the how-to:

I don't want to over-complicate the instructions here, because this was SO simple.  I cut the front off the bag and held it up against "the kid" (you know, the tiny human who will be wearing it).  I trimmed a little off each side of the piece and turn up a hem at the bottom - an unnecessary step since this coated fabric is not going to run or fray. I used leftover yellow cotton binding for the tie.  Then I cut little flowers from the plain blue sides of the bag to use as ends on the apron tie.

If you look at the oil-cloth design above, you see simple folds on either side with the ties popping out the bottom. I think that piece of fabric started out close to a perfect square, which makes this possible.  My apron is very much a rectangle. So I brought the folds down at an angle and left gaps to pull the tie through.

I used a zig-zag stitch to make sure the flowers are securely attached.  And, once threaded through, those flowers make sure the tie isn't going anywhere soon.  The last step was to cut the pocket out of the side of the bag, embellish it a little with an illustration from the other side and stitch it on. However, before I did that, I made the mistake of trying it on Ms Ro.

She literally squealed with delight when she saw it.  Couldn't wait to get it on and wouldn't take it off... hence the picture of her running around in the yard ... wearing the not-quite-completed apron. I may or may not have bribed her to give it back to me.

*Disclaimer:  I work for Learning Resources.  Educational Insights is our sister company - they created the reusable shopping bag featured in this tutorial.  This is not a sponsored post - I was not reimbursed in any way.
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