Growing up, every summer my family would pack up, take the 2.5 hour drive up North and visit my grandmother in Clayton, NY. The time we spent there made some of the best memories I carry with me today. If you have never been to the 1000 Islands, I think it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The granite shorelines, and the sparkle of the St. Lawrence is almost dreamlike in it’s beauty, it was the perfect setting for fun childhood adventures, young love, and spending time with family.
Some memories are so tightly interwoven it is hard to unravel them, giving an everyday item the power to take you back to those summer days on The River. As long as I can remember my Grandmother always had an apron on her bottle of Dawn dish soap, I realize many would see an apron for a bottle of dish soap as a little kitschy, but the dish soap apron became a part of my summer memories, embodying the time spent with my mother and her mother in a place I loved.
The last time I was in my Grandmother’s house after she passed away, I saw her dish soap apron sitting right there by the sink on her bottle of Dawn dish soap. I really don’t know what came over me, but I snatched it right off the bottle and shoved it in my pocket. I think at the time I was afraid it would get thrown out with the soap bottle when my family was all done cleaning out the house. I have had it in my sewing box for a few years now, every time I run across it I smile and remember many summers spent in Clayton. Recently, I started to notice the fabric seems to be degrading, and it does not seem to be aging that well. It occurred to me that my grandmother’s apron will not last forever, and it will never be used again on a bottle of soap, but it can live on as a pattern to make a whole bunch more, and no bottle of Dawn Dish Soap would have to go naked at my house again, and I would get a daily reminder of my Grandmother and time spent with my family in the 1000 Islands.
I am really excited to share this dish soap apron tutorial with you, it is an exact copy of the apron I took that day from my grandmother’s house. It is actually very easy to make with basic sewing skills too! When you print the Apron Pattern, make sure it prints at 100% (the apron should measure, 8 inches from top to bottom)
- Apron Pattern
- Sewing machine
- matching thread
- Optional Glue Stick (very helpful, this apron has a lot of bias edges!)
- Scrap piece of fabric
- 1/4 inch wide Double Fold Bias Tape
To finish the hem edges. Insert the raw edge into the fold of the double fold bias tape. Zig Zag stitch on the bias tape. Trim the bias tape at the edge of the apron. You may want to adjust your zig zag stitch on a piece of scrap fabric first.
On a scrap piece of fabric adjust your zig zag stitch, until you are happy with it. I wanted a small fairly tight zig zag for my apron, but my grandmother’s had a larger zig zag, what ever you like the look of that will fit in the 1/4 inch double fold binding is fine.
Cut off approximately 24” of the bias tape for the upper edge of the apron. Insert the raw edge into the fold of the bias tape, leave 6” of bias tape on both sides of the apron for the ties. To finish the ends of the ties open the bias tape and fold the edge in, refold the bias tape, and pin to hold. Zig Zag stitch the bias tape, starting on one of the ties and going up and around the apron, finishing on the other tie.
The biggest problem you may run into making this cute little dish soap apron is the ties, because they are so narrow you have to make sure part of it is in contact with a feed dog when you are sewing, otherwise it will jam up and you will have a big knot.
To sew the binding into the neck opening, the best way to keep the binding stable is to clue it right down. A long time ago a Mennonite woman told me Elmer’s glue sticks work just as well as fabric glue sticks, the key is to make sure it says it is washable. Over lap the ends and fold the raw edge under to finish the seam, the glue will hold all this together, it will not gum up your needle either. Zig Zag stitch as you have previously with the other hems