Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Repurposing: Mother/Daughter Aprons

Hello my friends...and I hope you all are staying warm!
I'm linking up with Stephanie at Roses of Inspiration
and also Beverly's Pink Saturday
You know, I don't seem to hear the word repurposing used much anymore.
Now, the word seems to be upcycling.
I looked them both up recently and they basically mean the same thing.
I actually prefer the word repurpose...it seems to tell it like it is.
You are basically making one something into another something...that it wasn't before.
I think I'll stick with it :)
A few days before Christmas my son, Adam and his family moved into their new home.
We were also able to enjoy it for a few days during our visit over the holidays.
It is just loaded with rustic, country charm...and I do mean rustic...
 ...many of the building elements came from a one hundred year old barn. 
They are all about living the simple life on these beautiful 30 acres
and are planning to live off the land as much as possible.
Adam does a lot of hunting and they hope to plant a big garden this coming spring.
So I had been pondering the idea for this project for a while...
...I mean, country girls need aprons, right?
It wouldn't even hurt a city girl to have an apron or two!
Shortly after I started my blog in the summer of 2013,
 I shared a couple of posts about making aprons from repurposed items from Goodwill.
If you haven't been with me that long, you can check them out here and here.

So, on to my latest apron project...
...mother/daughter aprons for my sweet DIL and my one and only grand-daughter!

As you can see, they had been olden bibbed overalls in their former lives.
The skirts of the aprons are made from a floral and lace bed ruffle, also from Goodwill,
and trimmed with fabric remnants that I had on hand...no pattern...
...pretty much making it up as I went along.

I started out by cutting the front of the overalls away from the back,
and also cutting and removing the straps (since they are actually part of the back).
An adjustable neck loop made from some of the fabric and original metal hardware replaced this.

I apologize for not having an actual tutorial...
...I seem to always forget to take photos during the process!

So, using good sharp scissors, cut as close to the double seam as possible,
leaving the double seam on the front.
For DIL Carrie's apron, I cut the front of the overalls off just below the pockets.

Before I added the skirt to the bottom of the front,
I used a zig-zag stitch along the cut edge of the overalls, catching the bottom of the pocket linings,
(making sure they were flat) so the pockets could still be used.
I sewed the piece of the lace-edged bed ruffle (which was already gathered),
along with a shorter overlay ruffle of the contrasting fabric.
I used some of the extra lace (trimmed thinner) and top stitched it to cover the seam.
The sides were then turned under and finished with a machine stitched hem.

I made the apron ties from long-ish strips of the floral ruffle fabric,
pulling the ends through the existing button holes on the sides to create a loop and then sewed them.
I was thinking how handy those button holes were!

So for Olivia's apron, I followed pretty much the same procedure...
...but decided to cut the overalls off  just below the waistline, as you see below.

I wanted to use the denim patch pockets on the skirt so I cut them off the back of the overalls.
 I didn't cut the actual pocket but right up against it where they had been sewed on...
...I did not want to rip out any of that great stitching!
Since I had cut them completely off the overalls, the pockets had two layers...
...so I removed the inside layer by cutting very close to the top stitching inside the pockets.
I then sewed them on to  the skirt, stitching right up next to the original outer top stitching,
using a denim blue thread that blended right in.
Can you see the stitching?

I didn't think so :)

Of course a much shorter skirt length was need for Olivia's apron...
...so I removed the deep lace edging from the bottom, cut it to the appropriate length
 and added the lace back to trim the bottom.

There were metal buttons on the side...no buttons holes,
 so I made a waist band, continuing it to become the ties and trimmed with a thin edging of lace.

As in Mom's apron, a neck loop was added,
 and I finished each apron by adding a cute little rosette to them.

A strip of lace and fabric, hand gathered to form a circle and a button in the center.
They are attached with a safety pin to remove when laundering.

The girls just loved their aprons!

I have visions of these two cooking up a storm in their new country kitchen!

Do you repurpose or upcycle???


*also sharing at* 


  1. so cute! congratulations to them! i hope their dreams come true there!

  2. Oh Debby Ray, you are one amazing woman! I am so in love with these aprons. The frills, the lace, the flowers...everything is perfect!

    Thank you so much, sweet friend, for sharing at Roses of Inspiration. Have I told you lately how inspiring you are :) Hugs!

  3. Now those are wonderful! You were very clever in your repurposing. Had to pin them...too nifty not to.

  4. In love with those aprons too. What a great way to repurpose.

  5. Oh, those are so cute! Especially the no cost part. I;ll bet they will love them.

  6. Oh wow, how cute are these. You did a super job Debby.

    Now make one for yourself too. :>)

  7. Not only does this look like a fun project,but those aprons will carry memories with them for a very long time. I like that.

  8. These aprons are so perfect! Too pretty to get dirty! I always wondered which word to use....repurpose or upcycle. I don't do either....yet! Upcycle is not a word anyways.....I keep getting a red line under it when I type it!

  9. These aprons are darling! I love to repurpose, upcycle or whatever you want to call it. So gratifying to make something new and useful from something that has seen its' day!!! Your mother-daughter aprons are just so cute! Found you at Stephanie's linky party.

  10. What lovely country aprons! You did a fabulous job re-purposing them!

  11. Those aprons are adorable, Debby!
    I love wearing an apron and have a drawer full of them.
    I want to make one out of some embroidered pillow slips of my granny's one day. I saw the idea on pinterest. You layer them causing ruffles. Very cute!

    I'm sure your grand daughter and daughter-on-law will enjoy their new treasure of an apron, especially since it was made by your loving hands.

    Blessings, Debbie

  12. I just love aprons and those are some of the prettiest I've ever seen :) I love all the details! I once made my mother an apron from a denim jumper and it turned out pretty good- it's so fun getting to make something new out of something old :) Thank you for sharing this lovely post! Blessings to you!

  13. Lovely job on the aprons! You did a beautiful job!

  14. These are adorable! I have a feeling you will be getting many requests for more!

  15. These are adorable Debby!! Just perfect for a country kitchen. You could open an etsy shop with these. They'd go like hotcakes.

  16. How cool is that, what a wonderful way to make something old new again and love your rosettes on them, wonderful idea and they look great in them!

  17. Debby, these are wonderful. I would never have thought of using the bib of overalls this way!

    The most I have recycled is I have made two quilts from shirts I bought at good will...and I have a bunch right now waiting for me to do something with them.

  18. Debby, what an adorable idea! You and my daughter would get along great...you envision something and go at it. Give me a pattern (and I still have trouble!) lol Every time your daughter-in-law and granddaughter put those aprons on they will feel terribly loved!

    Now I am off to see these other aprons you've blogged about.

    Oh...and I repurpose. :)

  19. Hi Debby! I vote for using the word 'repurpose'. Up-cycle? Oh please.
    These aprons are just darling! I bet they will get oodles of use out of them. The remind me of the dresses and jumpers you buy at vintage stores. I used to love wearing them :)
    What a talented person you are...it's so wonderful to see you using your gifts for your loved ones.

    Hope you had a great day!

  20. Your mother-daughter aprons are absolutely adorable, Debby! I can't stop smiling at all the amazing details: the lacy skirting, the boldness of the denim, the pretty pink gingham, the suspender straps! You are one talented gal, my friend! Have you ever thought of sewing professionally? I bet you'd make a lot of people very happy, 'repurposing' all your handiwork into cheery charms!


  21. oh, and I forgot to say I love your new header.

  22. The aprons are just fabulous!! So cute and worthy of your DIL and granddaughter! You did a very good job....sew creative!!!! What is next?

  23. Love love LOVE them! They are so pretty and feminine. What a wonderful job you did and so creatively! :)

  24. Hi Debby, I found you through Stephanie's. Your aprons are as adorable as can be! I'm not much of a seamstress but I want to learn soon. Thank you for sharing with us!

  25. Hello, sweet Debby Ray! I just wanted to pop in and let you know this post was featured today at Roses of Inspiration. Hugs to you :)

  26. Hi Debby! These aprons are really adorable! Pinned! Thank you for sharing!
    Hope you have a wonderful week!
    Hugs and love from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft

  27. "Sew" cute, Debby! I will need to try these adorable aprons!

  28. Hi Debby, visiting from Enchanting Rose and think your aprons are darling! I also like the durability of the denim! :) The fabrics you chose were very pretty too.

    P.S. I "repurpose" too! Thanks for sharing that they are basically the same as I always wondered as well...

  29. Beautiful aprons Debby and I can see by the smiles your girls love them too!
    Re-purposing is so satisfying - I agree - all one needs is some old fashioned imagination and away you go!
    I made my daughter and two grandies similar aprons a few Christmases ago and they loved them - a lot of baking goes on in their house so they get plenty of use!
    It's time I made a new lot - now instead of three pretty aprons there will be four with the addition of Jessie, who has just turned 3!!
    An inspiring post dear Debby - thank you!

  30. Oh my gosh! These are darling. Did you share them with us for Pink Saturday?♥

    1. No...I hadn't link up for a while and didn't even think about it. Maybe I will...if it isn't too late...thanks!

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  32. Needed to come over and ck on you, girl...:)
    these aprons are adorable and you are a genius in your displaying them...too stinkin cute...:)


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