K will turn 4 on April 30th. When we were first told that Y was getting transferred to the US, the expected departure date was March 26th. Because of that, I had planned on doing K's birthday party at my parents' house since he has a few friends in their neighborhood and also I imagined my brothers and sister would gather to make it a fun event for him. We found out in mid-March that we wouldn't be going until May 1st (which is likely going to get pushed back again, but who knows). We told that to K and the first thing he said was, "Yay!! Now we get to have my birthday party with my friends!" With such excitement, I knew that while it was going to be a bit rushed and thrown together, I had to work out a party for him. Although it was a tad early, we held his party this last Saturday and it was a blast!
I asked him who he wanted to invite and he came up with a list of 10 friends and his teachers. With the friends, their parents, our family and K's teachers, the attendee list was up to 30 people. This was his first party where the invite list was solely his doing. He's growing up!! Given that I was going to have to do preparation for the party while packing up the house, I wanted to keep it fairly simple this year. I racked my brain thinking of what the party theme should be when it hit me - K loves to bake with me! A baking party complete with aprons for the kids would be so cute.
I looked online for a simple (remember I was a bit pushed for time) pattern and found this one. I love that it just slid over the kid's head and then fastened with velcro - simple enough for a three-year old to put on by him/herself, but still definitely fits the apron bill. I also liked that they were lined, more coverage between food and clothes. While most of K's friends are still three, there were a few that were older, a five-year old girl, a six-year old girl, and a nine-year old boy. I was a bit unsure of sizing, so after we went shopping for fabric (more on that in a minute), the first one I made was the bigger size in a girl fabric hoping it would work for one of the older girls. I tried it on K and it was a tad bit big, I imagined the smaller size would fit him and the other three and four-year olds without any problems - perfect!
Once that first apron was done, I spent a night cutting out all of the aprons and pairing them up - main to lining fabric. Since there were 10 of them to cut, this took a good amount of time. I also cut out all of the elastic and velcro. All that was left was for them to be sewn up.
Of course, before even starting the apron-making process, I had to get the fabric. I decided that K should pick out whatever he wanted for the aprons. I often go into the shop with that thought: "K can pick out whatever fabric he wants for his pants, shirt, etc." but when it comes down to it, I find that I influence his choice a bit more than making it a "whatever K wants" kind of thing. This time, it truly was whatever K wanted. I told him that we should pick three fabrics for the boys' aprons and two for the girls' aprons, since I could get two aprons out of each fabric. For the boys he picked a Shinkansen fabric, a Thomas fabric and a Mario fabric (which was slotted for his apron). I also got a linen for the oldest boy, as I was pretty sure he wouldn't quite appreciate a Thomas apron. All of the girls were going to get Hello Kitty. I suggested also getting a Disney Princess one to mix things up a bit, but he was pretty set on all Hello Kitty. I asked him if he wanted to pick the lining fabric, but he said he didn't care so long as his had yellow for the lining. I ended up getting yellow, red and green for the boys, and pink and lavendar for the girls. I paired the fabrics up so that each of the patterned fabrics would have a different color for the lining, i.e. the first Mario apron had a yellow lining (for K) and the second one had green. I mixed the girls' linings by size - each size had a pink and lavendar lined apron.
The pattern itself is really quite simple. I got all of the remaining 10 aprons sewn over two nights. At the party, there were a few kids that didn't want to wear them, which was obviously fine. Most of the kids, however, seemed to really like them. I've gotten emails from a few of the moms saying that their kid loves it and now wears it all the time at home. Cute!! K LOVED his - Mario plus yellow is a definite win in his book. Hopefully I will write more about the party every day this week. No promises as nights have been a bit rough in this house - T is learning to walk while holding things and has decided that practicing is more fun than sleeping. Great.