Roses are Green, So Are Violets!

10 Feb

Recently Alex who is involved in the Scottish Governments Greener Together campaign asked if I could come up with some hints, tricks and tutorials for a greener Valentines Day.  Obviously I said absolutely and then made myself a cup of tea and set my brain to work(and my Facebook, nothing like crowdsourcing for ideas!).

So the whole premise of greener together is to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to make Scotland a greener place to live and to reduce our impact on the environment further afield too. It makes sense really, and it’s just a change in attitude and seeing a use in some things that you wouldn’t normally. I have a cupboard full of glass jars I use as glasses and they actually look great and it means I don’t have to ever buy any!

The first thing I came up with and the best present anyone can ever give anyone else is a sewing class obviously. The gift that keeps on giving! A skill you can utilise to make the best of your home and wardrobe and become an excellent green upcycler! You can find classes for men and women on the website here and you can also buy gift vouchers too. Once you have learned the basics you can move onto my next super green Valentines Gift idea…


An Apron!

Inspired by my classes who in their final week have the option of their own project. So many of them choose an apron, either for themselves of for a gift. The great thing about this is it’s useful and perfect for ladies or men. It can also be as simple or as difficult as you like. You can add patch pockets and frills or keep it nice and simple. Here is a tutorial for a nice simple one. I suggest using an old curtain as the fabric. These are a great plentiful source of fabric and often when we take down our old curtains we don’t know what to do with them so just stick them in a cupboard! Time to get them out and put them to good use! It might even inspire your other half to cook you a beautiful meal!


You will need:

Some spare ribbon, from Christmas pressies perhaps!
Set square
Sewing machine
Measuring tape

There is no paper pattern for this. I encourage my students to get used to using a set square because it opens up a world of possibilities. You can thik of something you want to make in your head and then make it happen without having to search the internet for a pattern. The set square ensure you get your angles right. If you don’t have one I suggest getting yourself one they are incredibly useful and will last forever.

The first thing I did was take some measurements. If you are making this for someone else just use you own measurements and adjust them roughly to make the apron longer or shorter. Measure from where you want the apron to start (just below your collarbone) to where you want it to end. My measurement for this is 75cm + seam allowance(4cm). Fold your fabric in half right sides together (so we are chalking on our wrong side) and mark this measurement down the fold.

Now measure from just below your collarbone to your waist/bellybutton. Using your set square measure down and square across where the dotted line is below. Measure what you would want the total width of your apron to be at the bottom. I went for 45cm. Half this and add seam allowance(this time 2cm). For the top part do the same. Now you can chalk the shape below on your fabric.  The curved bit can be drawn freeland, or you can draw a straight line. Don’t make it too curved because it makes it difficult to hem later.

apron plan-01

2. Now cut out your apron shape.

Sewing Classes Scotland

3. Fold down your top edge by 1cm then fold down again by 1cm to enclose all raw edges. Pin in place.

Sew Confident Green Apron
4. Before you sew enclose your neck ribbon. Leave a space of 2cm from the side(I forgot to do this in the photos). This will allow you to turn in the side seams in a similar way you have turned down the top part. Pin and sew.

20150206_140848 20150206_140901 20150206_140923 Green Apron Sew Confident


5. Now turn in and stitch the curved side seam and the straight side seam. This time we are not enclosing any ribbon.

Green ApronGreen Apron Sew Confident

6. For my side ties I had enough ribbon to stitch one continuous piece across the front to create my ties. If you don’t have enough to can enclose them in the same way we enclosed the neck tie. Here I pinned my ribbon in place and stitched the top and bottom to secure it.

20150206_143252 Green Apron Sew Confident

Finally hem your bottom edge by turned it in by 1cm, twice and you have yourself a super green upcycled apron!




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