The first part of this year seemed to yield a high number of sewing and knitting frustrations for me. Projects weren’t turning out well, my motivation to sew or knit was pretty low, I didn’t have any project ideas that were inspiring me. This seems to happen to me every so often—I fall into a kind of funk where creative activity seems to grind to a halt, and it’s hard to get started up again. These lulls tend to happen when things are out of balance for me, which was definitely the case throughout the first part of the year when I was overloaded with work.
In those moments where making things just stops feeling fun, I really like to find a super easy, super quick project to make. Basically, I start looking for a really easy win—and bonus points if it can be made with a bright quilting cotton print. Around my spring break, Jude had started to get really excited about helping me cook and bake, so I decided to make him a little kitchen apron. This definitely met the criteria for easy and quick. I think I was able to sew this up in just one or two of my usual 20-minute evening sewing sessions. There was no fitting, no fiddly sewing techniques required, and the fabric is full of silly cartoon farm animals.
I used the free Montessori-style apron pattern available from Sew Liberated. I was drawn to the Montessori-style apron because the Velcro strap and elasticated neck make it easy to get on and off a wiggly toddler. Jude doesn’t have the motor skills to put this on by himself yet, but he can easily take it off when he doesn’t want to wear it anymore. The fabric is from JoAnn’s. While I was getting the fabric cut, the woman at the cutting counter was completely charmed and took a few minutes to look over the fabric and take in all the cute animal scenes. It really is the print that keeps giving, although the woman cutting my fabric was a bit concerned that it looked like the pigs were being fed molten lava. Lol.
The apron comes in a single size that it meant to fit children from ages 3-6. Jude was 18 months old when I made this, and I was a bit worried that the apron size would overwhelm him a bit so I printed the pattern out at 95% and then adjusted the lengths of the neck and back straps by cutting them at 95% of the recommended length. (See, kids—you really will use those math skills in your adult life.) The size is perfect for him right and will still be able to grow with him for a good bit.
I honestly wasn’t sure how Jude would feel about wearing an apron. I don’t wear an apron while I cook, so I wouldn’t have the appeal of “looking like mama” on my side if he didn’t want to put it on. But it turns out that he loves it. If I ask him if he wants to get his stool out and help me cook, the first thing he does is grab his apron. And sometimes, he’ll ask to put it on and he’ll just wear it around the house while he plays. He is basically an agent of chaos in the kitchen (as any kid under 2 is, I’m sure), so it’s not like his apron is enough to keep him from getting messy. But it definitely helps cut down on the number of outfit changes required, and he looks so cute while he’s wearing it that it makes it even more fun to have him in the kitchen with me.
A quick and easy project like this wasn’t enough to magically get me deep into sewing again, but it was a nice way to remember the fun of sewing and offered a moment of relief in the face of my other sewing frustrations. And I’ll take that any day.