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How to Make a Denver Broncos Apron (Crafty Football Blog Hop)
It's my turn in the 2015 Crafty Football Blog Hop. We've already had a week of cool football-related projects, so check out the linky at the bottom of this post to see them. We'll continue through Friday.
So, I won't lie: my original football project idea was one of those projects that looked awesome in my head, but then flatly refused to translate itself to reality. (I won't tell you what it was, just in case I manage to crack the code one day and make it happen.)
After my abject failure there, I was left scrambling about for inspiration for a replacement project. And that's when I stumbled onto this NFL-licensed ribbon from Offray. The Broncos designs are super cool! So I decided to use them to embellish something.
Now that I have a day-job, football Sundays are also big cooking days for me. During the games I'm usually prep-cooking for the coming week, assembling a nice Sunday dinner, and occasionally churning out football snacks. So I decided to make a game-day apron to show my team spirit in the kitchen.
- A sturdy cotton apron
- A set of Offray NFL ribbons
- Scraps of fusible webbing (I like Heat N Bond)
- Heat-soluble fabric marking pen
- Quilting ruler, at least 18" long
- Coordinating thread
- Pressing cloth and iron
This set of polyester ribbons contains two very different types: the wider ribbon is quite stiff and papery in texture. I wouldn't recommend putting a hot iron directly on this stuff - it's likely to melt. So always use a pressing cloth.
If you want to replicate my design, here are the measurements. (Nope, this diagram is not even a little bit to scale.) Or, just applique a few pieces of ribbon along the hem, along the bib. You don't have to be a crazy person like me.
When I applique ribbon to things, I prefer using fusible webbing instead of pins. It's so much easier to keep the ribbon in place that way. Whatever brand of webbing you use, be sure to read the instructions on the package so you know the proper iron temperature and handling procedures.
First, I cut a strip of webbing that's a bit narrower than my ribbon, and then chop it into lengths like this - roughly a few inches. Don't get too precise about it - all we need are some tacking-down pieces here.
Place these pieces glue side down along the back of a piece of ribbon, keeping them a couple inches apart. Keep the webbing away from the ends, because you'll need some room to turn those ends under. Then place your pressing cloth over the whole thing and press, That fuses the webbing to the ribbon. Peel away the paper backing pieces, leaving just the glue.
...And then you can bust out that pressing cloth again and fuse the ribbon to the apron. That will tack it down beautifully, so it stays in place while you sew it.
A note on turning those ribbon ends under - I like to turn one end under first, and then place and fuse the ribbon, and then turn under the remaining end. That way, I can make adjustments to keep everything lined up. My measurements above allow for about a 1/4" hem at both ends, except for those horizontal pieces. Those, you'll just fold around the edge of your apron and sew in place.
Again, because I like my crafts complicated, I went with a design that's dependent on lining up lots of strands of ribbon together. The best way to approach this is to be careful about placing the center-most piece, and then use that to line all the others up.
...So I started by finding the center front of my apron. I drew a line with a FriXion pen (which erases with iron heat), and then measured a second line a little less than 1 1/4" away. (That measurement is because the wider ribbon is just shy of 2 1/2" wide.)
That second line is where I lined up the right edge of my central piece of ribbon. And I placed the turned-under end at the top, along the edge of the apron. I also measured the center point of the apron near the bottom and used that to make sure the ribbon stayed straight all the way down.
When you have that ribbon where you want it, place the pressing cloth again and press it to tack the ribbon to the apron. Turn under the other end where you want it to end, and press that fold in place as well.
I placed my ribbons 1/4" apart. You can eyeball that, or use your trusty quilting ruler. Line the edge of the central ribbon up with the 1/4" line, and then align the next ribbon with the edge of the ruler.
For the horizontal pieces, just cut them a little longer than the edge of the apron so you can fold them over the edge.
...And then put it on your sewing machine and stitched close to all four edges of each piece of ribbon.
Another warning about the papery wide ribbon: I don't think it would like a hot dryer any more than it would like a hot iron. So either line-dry your apron or use a low-heat setting. And remember, any time you press your finished apron, bust out that pressing cloth!
Incidentally, the ribbon set I bought contained 9 yards - if you make your design less complicated than mine, you can get two or even three aprons out of a set. Good quick gifts!
Here's what the other Football Blog Hoppers made: