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The impact of dots and fabric strips in making a fun child’s apron

The impact of dots and fabric strips in making a fun child’s apron

by Bill Locke

In yesterday’s post I introduced the Urban Elementz Basix Collection from Northcott Fabrics and we made a versatile flower block that can be used to make any sized quilt such as the Flowers on the Snow table topper.


Click here to view Urban Elementz. Click here to view Urban Elementz Appliques. Click here to view Urban Elementz Patterns.

We’re going to continue working with this collection because I can’t wait to show you the impact of dots and fabric strips in making a fun child’s apron. Get ready to have a fun time with these stunning fabrics.

Today’s project is entitled The Little Artist Apron by Bill Locke Designs.

materials and cutting directions 

WOF = width of fabric

  • 1yd [0.9m] for backing, binding & straps (I used one of Northcotts’s Colorworks solids)
    • Backing fabric – cut one strip 24″ x WOF
    • Binding strips – cut two strips 2½” x WOF
    • Apron straps – cut two strips 2½” x WOF, from these cut three 2½” x 20″ strips and one 2½” x 4″ strip
  • Ten assorted strips for front of apron – cut one strip 2½” x WOF from each fabric
  • Two 1″ D-rings

A pencil line is drawn along the fold to mark the center of the Urban Elementz backing fabric.

Pencil line drawn along the fold

All of the wonderful dot prints from the Urban Elementz Basix Collection are so yummy that it was very difficult to choose which ones to use in this project; but I was limited to just 10 so here are the ones I chose. What a fun little pile of goodness!

Ten 2½" strips of Northcott Urban Elementz Basix fabrics are cure and ready for the apron project.

Ten 2½” strips ready for the project

making the fabric panel

1. To start the project, we need to fold the backing fabric in half to make a rectangle 12″ x WOF. Finger press the fold then open the fabric and draw a pencil line along the fold. This will give us 12″ of fabric on each side of the pencil line.

2. Take one of the 2½” strips and lay it on top of the backing fabric, wrong sides together along the pencil line with the fabric strip overlapping the pencil line by about ¼”.

3. Lay a second strip on top of the first strip, right sides together.

4. Pin the strips in place and stitch along the whole length of these two strips on the edge closest to the pencil line, through all layers, using a ¼” seam allowance.

5. Press the stitched seam. Flip the second strip right side up and press.

6. Layer a third strip on top of the second strip, right sides together, with the long raw edges aligned. Pin and stitch along the long raw edge as we did with the first two strips.

7. Press seam, flip the third strip right side up and press.

The third strip of Urban Elementz fabric is placed right side down on top of the second strip prior to sewing.

Third strip aligned with second strip

8. Continue adding strips to the backing fabric following this same procedure. We need to add three additional strips to this same side, then we need to add the four remaining strips to the opposite side of the apron backing.

We’ll use a total of ten strips for this step.

The photo shows the ten Urban Elementz fabric strips sewn to the backing fabric, prior to the green backing fabric being trimmed.

The ten strips sewn to the backing fabric

9. The outer edges of the last two strips on the ends are not yet sewn. In order to secure these to the backing fabric, we’ll stitch along these two edges with a seam as close as possible to the raw edges of the strips.

This photo shows the seams that were stitched close to the edge of the outside strips of Northcott Urban Elementz Basix fabric.

The outside strips are sewn to the backing with narrow seam.

10. Trim the excess backing fabric from the sides of the apron panel, and trim across the top and bottom of the panel.

The excess backing fabric is trimmed from the panel made with the Urban Elementz Basix fabric strips.

Excess backing fabric trimmed from the panel

Once we trim the panel, we’ll have a striped panel that measures approximately 20″ x 43″.

From this panel, we’re going to make a couple of projects. For today’s child’s apron, we need to cut a section that is 24″ long x the width of the striped panel.

Be sure to hang on to the remaining 18″ of this panel because we’re going to be using this section in tomorrow’s project.

The striped fabric panel made from Northcott's Urban Elementz Basix fabrics is cut into two pieces that are 24" and 18" long.

Panel cut into two sections

assembling the apron

Working only on the 24″ apron panel for today, continue with the following:

1. At the top of the panel, measure 6″ in from each corner and mark at both places.

2. Along each side, measure 8″ from the top corners and make a mark at both places.

3. Draw a pencil line to connect the two marks and make a triangle on each of the top corners.

4. Cut away these two corners along the drawn lines.

The top two corners are cut away from the Urban Elementz Basix apron panel.

Top corners are cut away from the apron panel

adding the binding

Sew the 2¼” x WOF strips of binding together with a mitred seam. Press in half lengthwise along with wrong sides together. Next, Sew the binding all the way around the apron panel, machine sewing the binding to the front of the apron, hand-stitching to the back.


adding the straps

To make the straps, lay the 2½” x 20″ strips 2½” x 4″ strip right side down on your ironing surface, fold the strip, wrong sides together, with long raw edges aligned and press. Open the strap and turn the two long raw edges towards the center fold and press. Fold once again aligning the folded edges and press one final time.

To finish one end of each of the long straps, open it up and fold in the end about ½” towards the inside of the strap. Refold the previous folds and press again.

Top stitch along all folded edges of each strap.

add the straps to the apron back

Pin one of the long straps to the side of the apron, about ½” below the top of the side edge, with the raw edge aligned with the edge of the apron; the balance of the strap falling towards the center of the apron. Pin in place.

One of the 20" long straps is pinned to the side edge of the apron made with Northcott's Urban Elementz Basix fabrics.

Raw edge of long strap pinned to side of apron

Turn the apron over and stitch from the front, along the binding seam to attach the strap to the apron.

Turn the apron over with the backside up and trim the raw edge of the strap as close as possible to the last seam.

Flip the strap towards the outside edge of the apron, turn the apron over and stitch from the front through the binding to secure the strap, hiding the raw end of the strap.

The side strap of the Northcott Urban Elementz Basix apron is attached and secured.

Side strap attached and secured

Repeat this process to attach the second side strap and the long strap to the left side of the top of the apron.

The next step is to attach the smallest strap with the D-rings.

Place the two D-rings on the 4″ strap, and fold in half with both of the raw ends aligned; pinning the strap to the remaining top of the apron panel, in the same way that we pinned the previous three straps.

Stitch in the same way as the previous straps to attach this smaller strap to the apron panel.

The small strap made with Northcott Colorworks solid fabric and D-rings is pinned to the neck of the apron panel prior to sewing.

Small strap pinned to the neck of the apron panel

Once the strap is attached, stitch across in order to secure the two D-rings near the end of the strap.

The 4" strap made with Northcott Colorworks solids and D-rings is attached to the neck line of the apron.

Attached strap showing stitching lines

The D-rings are great for a nice adjusted fit for the neck strap.

The adjustable neck strap with D-rings on the apron made from Northcott's Urban Elementz Basix line of fabric.

Adjustable neck strap with D-rings

Now, wasn’t that fun….an adorable, lined Little Artist Apron – certainly a colorful, artistic display of stunning dots.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s project.

Be sure to join me again tomorrow when we’ll take the balance piece of our striped panel and turn it into a really fun and exciting project that will complement the Little Artist Apron.

Happy Stitching!

The finished Little Artist Apron made with Urban Elementz Basix fabrics from Northcott.

Little Artist Apron is complete

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Like dots? Then you’ll love the exciting Urban Elementz Basix fabrics

Go to part 3: Northcott’s Urban Elementz Basix fabrics make a clever kid’s artist case



Nita Tapley April 9, 2017 - 7:37 pm

A fun project to add to my collection for grandchildren!!!

Kelli Bryson April 8, 2017 - 3:39 pm

I love polka dots and these bright colors are amazing! I have grandchildren that would love to help “Nana” cook while wearing this apron!

CHARLOTTE ROUSSEAU April 7, 2017 - 12:41 pm

I LOVE using different sizes of dots to contrast with the use of colored stripes!

Bill Locke April 7, 2017 - 7:02 pm

Hi Charlotte, I enjoy that as well…especially these projects this week..they have been so much fun.

shirley April 6, 2017 - 11:11 pm

I too love the colors. I do like working with dots.

Bill Locke April 7, 2017 - 7:03 pm

🙂 Me to Shirley.

Angela Saver April 6, 2017 - 1:46 pm

Oh I love the fun dot strips! Very cute apron!

Bill Locke April 7, 2017 - 7:03 pm

Thanks Angela!

Darlene Greenhough April 6, 2017 - 9:02 am

i think i know a few who would love this. great tutorial.

Bill Locke April 7, 2017 - 7:04 pm

Thanks Darlene, I’m glad that you enjoyed it!

Karen Thurn April 5, 2017 - 2:51 am

Very cute fun looking apron and I think it would sew together in a snap. It would make a fun addition to an Easter basket for my grandsons. Thanks for the tutorial.

Bill Locke April 5, 2017 - 8:54 am

Thanks Karen, yes, this one is a really fun project, easy/fast and sure to be a delight for the littler artist… be sure to check out the Little Artist Case in today’s blog that coordinates with the apron..something else for that Easter basket! 🙂

deanna April 4, 2017 - 1:25 pm

These dots and colors are so fun!

Bill Locke April 4, 2017 - 4:52 pm

Hi Deanna,
They truly are fun to work with….I’ve been truly enjoying working with these to share with everyone this week.

Rose Lefler April 4, 2017 - 9:43 am

What an awesome project using these amazing fabrics! The colors are stunning.

Bill Locke April 4, 2017 - 10:39 am

Thanks Rose…..those dot strips really did inspire a fun artistic project…I just had to design this little apron for the litte artist!


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