I've been taking a sewing class at the local community college on Tuesday nights. While my seams aren't completely straight all the time, my confidence is increasing. I found two tea towels at Goodwill the other day for 25 cents each and remembered seeing a project in my Bend-the-Rules Sewing book for a cute and easy apron. This is the first project I've tried out of that book (which I've had for a couple years now), and I have to say, it really was easy! I'm definitely what you would call a "beginner," so if I can do it, I know you can too!
First, wash and iron your towel. Pleats are optional, but I think they really make it look more like an apron and less like you have a tea towel tied around your waist. To create the pleats, measure in an equal amount from both sides (the long side of the towel will be around your waist), and fold over about an inch. Iron the pleat flat.
Next, sew down your pleats about three inches. Backstitch at the top and bottom to secure. I actually sewed two lines about half an inch apart to secure my pleat completely flat.
Next we have to sew on our ties. You can use twill tape or grosgrain ribbon. I used both (grosgrain for the watermelon apron and twill tape for the other one which will be a gift and therefore I'm not showing it on here!) and I have to say that I found the ribbon a little easier to work with. It didn't seem to stretch as much. How long you want your ties is up to you. Bend-the-Rules Sewing says you need 2 yards for each tie if you want them to tie in the front, but I tried that and they were wayyyy too long for me. My ties ended up being about a yard and a half each. Fold over your raw edge and stitch to the front of your tea towel.
You can sew a seam on the end of the ribbon so it doesn't unravel, but I didn't. I did sew a seam on the twill tape, though.
An easy apron for less than $5 (25 cents for the towel and $4 for the ribbon) and half an hour of my time.
Linking to these parties.