No-Sew Child’s Apron

I think I’ve mentioned here before that Eli loves to cook. I have long planned to sew him his own adorable apron. There are all kinds of tutorials and free patterns online (such as here and here), and I will one day get around to doing it. I may even make my first Spoonflower purchase to get a fun fabric of Eli’s choosing for it. But enough daydreaming of future projects.

Eli helping me make play dough. He mixed for about 20 minutes using all utensils in his reach. Yep, he needed an apron... especially during this phase where everything becomes an instant "construction site".

Eli helping me make play dough. He mixed for about 20 minutes using all utensils in his reach. Yep, he needed an apron… especially during this phase where everything becomes an instant “construction site”.

Right at the moment not a lot of sewing is being done by me, and Eli really needed an apron, like 6 months ago, so I grabbed an old t-shirt from the recycling pile and a pair of scissors and within about 3 minutes an apron was born.

No-Sew T-Shirt Apron

Yea, it’s dirty. I didn’t think to take the picture before we made the play dough. Oops!

I can’t claim credit for this idea. I saw it on the cover of a magazine in Barnes and Noble while walking a fussy teething baby around the store in the Ergo. I’m sorry, but I now can’t remember which magazine it was. It’s a simple enough design. Basically this is cut out much like the No-Sew Bibs that I made a while back, except the entire length of the shirt front is used and a strip across the back is left attached to create the ties. Cut around the neck and down the front from the top, and up the sides from the bottom. Just below the the arms of the shirt leave a strip going straight across the back from one side to the other. This you will snip apart in the middle of the back to create your two ties. Since the knit fabric of a t-shirt won’t fray no sewing is needed.

T-shirt apron cutting diagram

An adult medium sized shirt is more than ample enough for a preschooler.

Zoe wants an apron

“Hey Mom, where’s my apron?”

Thanks for reading!



Llama Llama Rag Doll

Eli has been loving the Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney lately. So do I. Between the rhythm, rhyme and delightful illustrations they are a joy to read out loud. Which is good because Eli wants me to do so again, and again and again.

In the stories Llama Llama is never without his little rag doll. I thought it would be fun to make Eli his own version.

Illustration detail from Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney.

Kinda cute, right?

So here is how I did it.

First I sketched out some pattern pieces. If people express an interest and if I can figure out how to make and attach a pdf file I might be able to make this pattern available to others who’d like to make this but don’t feel comfortable sketching patterns. (Since I don’t feel comfortable doing technological things, that’s a bit of a big IF… but it’s good to make myself learn new skills so I could at least try.)

Then while my wonderful husband followed Eli around Barnes & Noble, I sat in the cafe, retraced the pattern pieces onto printer paper and cut them out. These pieces were pinned to a linen napkin before I cut them out leaving about 1/4″ for seam allowance. I got all on the pieces I needed from one linen napkin. I used a different pink linen napkin for the insides of the ears and some bleached black t-shirt material for the bottoms of the feet, but if I had wanted the doll all one color I would have been able to get those pieces from the one napkin too.

I wanted this project to be completely handmade so everything was hand stitched together.

I also wanted all of the materials to be natural and all things I already had on hand, so instead of using polyester fiberfill or going out and purchasing cotton stuffing I cut leftover scraps of cotton and wool fabric into thin strips to use to stuff the doll. I really like how this resulted in a heavier doll. It just feels good and solid (but not hard) in your hands. It is slightly lumpy, but I like that aspect too as it underscores the “handmade” quality.

The arms were sewn into the side seams of the body, and the ears into the side seams of the head, but the legs and neck and head were sewn and stuffed and then sewn onto the sewn and stuffed body.

Here’s a shot of the head being attached to the neck.

I debated on whether or not to use these buttons for the eyes or to paint on eyes to make it look more like the llama doll in the book. In the end I opted for the metal buttons in keeping with natural materials only decision I’d made earlier. I can always easily change them later, if I find wooden buttons I like better or if I decide to go ahead with the paint after all. These look cute enough for me now though.

Not only did using different fabric for the bottoms of the feet allow for a change in color, but I like how the knit stretches to balloon out a bit. I couldn’t resist adding the belly button.

I used the sewn edge of the napkin to cut small lengths to use for the tail.

Eli likes his little llama and immediately had to “match” it to the illustration in the book.

Llama Llama, nighty night…

 Thanks for stopping by!


Update: Here are links to download the pattern…

Here’s where I’m linking up.


Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sunday, Threading My Way


Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful RisingSarahndipities ,

Everything Under the MoonThe Cure for the Common Monday


At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

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Tip Junkie handmade projects


Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy TotsWhimsy Wednesday


Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsAnything Goes Linky Party,


Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805Pencilled Daydream


The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Handmade Scrappy Folk Angel

This angel was super easy to construct. She is hand sewn entirely of scraps. I just made her up as I went along. It’s a good late night project to do while unwinding in front of the TV.

Her gown consists of four strips of left over fabric hand sewn together to form a tube using a long stitch. I then pulled the threads from the bottom of each seam to gather the fabric at the bottom. I left the bottom ends of my fabric strips raw edged.

I then made two narrow tubes of the lighter fabric for the sleeves of the gown. I folded in the sides of the top of the gown tube at an angle so I could insert the sleeves in raglan style. I ran the wire for the arms (a straight piece of 18 gauge curled on each end) and then stitched up the diagonal line where the sleeves meet the gown to hold it all together.

I made a small head shape from a piece of an old silk shirt, stuffed it, and secured it in the neck hole of the gown with a few stitches.

The hair was a fiber that a Christmas ornament I received as a gift was packed in. It is just secured with some stitching with white thread at the part line.

(I see on this photo that she picked up a stray thread while being photographed.  I don’t have time now to take a new picture sans sewing debris. My apologies!)

I sewed the outline of the wings on a folded piece of fabric and then cut out around the outline. There is a piece of wire inside to help them not sag or flop when the angel is hung. These are attached to the angel with a few stitches between the two wings.

Like the red angel, I left her faceless.

A spiraled piece of thinner wire connecting hand to hand finishes her. She is ready to hang!

Here’s where I’m linking up.


Mom On TimeoutSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageFun to CraftHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsA Glimpse Inside,

Between U & Me


Simply DesigningWhipperberry733 BlogHappy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestChic on a Shoestring DecoratingFrench Country Cottage,

The Charm of HomeThe Grant LifeAt the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge,

Stuff and Nonsense, One Art Mama


The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My HandsSix Sisters StuffSerenity You,

Be Different Act Normal


LambAround,   I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesPetite Hermine,

My 1929 Charmer Blog

Handmade Rabbit Ornament

My husband and I went to the county courthouse to apply for our marriage certificate it on a rainy day in late Spring. After completing our errand we were walking around the town talking even though it was sprinkling and getting dark. Ahead of us on the sidewalk and in the yard were a few brown wild rabbits. Amazingly they didn’t run off as we walked up to them. One even stood up on his haunches and sniffed my hand. It was a thrilling moment for animal lovers such as ourselves. We joked about what sort of symbolism this might have regarding our upcoming marriage. At the time, and all the way up to my pregnancy, we had planned on adopting so fertility issues weren’t something we were seriously considering.

I made this ornament for my husband the Christmas just before Eli was born (when I was 7 months pregnant.)  I actually had already made another ornament for him that year, but this one came to me in a dream on the night before we were to exchange gifts. Luckily it was very quick to make.

It is just two layers of felt. There are one ear and hind foot on each layer, and one layer also has the front paw. I blanket stitched them together and around the single layers, and then embroidered the mouth, arm and haunch details. Then I sewed on the glass bead eyes and cotton puff tail. I embroidered his name (erased for the photo) and the year. Finally, I strung together glass beads to make the hanger.

I’ve been featured!

Here’s where I’m linking up. (please see my Linky List for active links.)

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