Saturday, September 13, 2014

Class Aprons

I am a bargain hunter.  This is definitely something very true about myself.  I believe in quality and in spending good money where it really matters - on the materials.  However, I have a hard time spending my own money or my classroom budget (small as it is) on something I can make for less.

I have been blessed with many talents that I find useful in the Montessori classroom.  One of them is sewing.  I was a professional seamstress in my younger married life.  I used to give children and adults sewing lessons, sewed for the state prison, did alterations and tailoring, and did original work for hire including the occasional custom wedding dress.  I got so tired of sewing! I felt that looking at any of my 5 my sewing machines might make me throw up.  I put the bobbins and threads behind me and moved on to other forms of employment that could supplement our income, keep me at home and able to homeschool.  It took many years before I had an itch to pull out the machine and create some halloween costumes for my own children again.

I am happy to say that my former love of sewing has returned now that it doesn't actually have to pay any bills.

This summer I have really wanted to make aprons for my class.  I love the pattern of the ones from Montessori Services, but do not love that the wet aprons are not actually made of vinyl.  I own some from a local shop that are vinyl but the bands are too long to fit around the child's waist, and the hole for the head is a little too small for my older children.  SOLUTION?  Make my own.  I took the suggested measurements for a primary apron and checked them against the smallest and biggest of the children in my class.  Once that was finished I created a pattern.  I would really love to post the pattern, so if anyone knows how I could take something that I just drew up and get it onto the computer to share it would be FABULOUS!

Next I found an great deal at the fabric store on some vinyl.  I always check in the clearance section for it.  You can pay almost $20.00 a yard for vinyl, but I ended up only paying about $6 a yard plus a 25% teacher discount. I bought everything on the bolt and got the last 30 inches for 50% off.  I figure it will get used one way or another.  From the almost 4 yards that I purchased I was able to cut out 12 aprons.  This vinyl is a midnight blue.  This part is not important except that if you are going to have aprons mostly of one color, they ought be easily distinguishable from other aprons in the classroom.  They will be used as the generic aprons for any works using water or food preparation in the class.  They will also be the apron for painting and other art works.  There are a few works that have a different colored apron.  Namely the polishing works which have their own coordinating aprons.

Until I can get a pattern uploaded this picture can at least give some help with measurements.  I took some width out of the shoulder area and rounded the corners.  I like the look of the softer corners on these aprons.

Once I finished cutting out the aprons I pinned them up with a navy blue, double folded bias tape.  I purchased a couple spools of clear thread.  I like clear thread for bias tapes because I can sew a lot of bias tape on things in different colors and I don't have to spend money on every color of thread that way.

Once they were pinned, I sewed them up and added the "ties".  These aprons are an independent work for the children.  They can put them on by themselves and fasten the "ties" in the front with velcro.

I will have to get a photo of a child in the class putting one of these on during the next week and post it.


This is a photo of one of the children in an apron


  1. Those are so perfect! I wish I had your skills. :)

  2. I made a newspaper cutting based on the design and measurements. It seems perfect. Thank you Cathie
    Mahalakshmi CN