I absolutely love working with Kristy at Hopeful Threads on a project, and this month is another great opportunity for me (and you!) to do that! This month’s Busy Hands, Ours to Theirs project is a unique way for you to sew and give to many older men and women who have spent much of their lives giving to others. You can read all the details right here: The Busy Hands, Ours to Theirs Project. The Fidget Aprons that we’ll be sewing are designed to be used by those who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. The trinkets, trims and activities attached to the apron provide a way for patients to keep their often restless fingers busy. This can provide much-needed relief for both loved ones and their caregivers.The Busy Hands Fidget Apron is a free pattern and tutorial that I put together just for this month’s project. The tutorial includes instructions for how to safely attach the trinkets while keeping the apron washable and not overly cumbersome. The apron is easy to sew and includes a comfortable easy-on, easy-off pull-over neckband.Before you get started sewing, you’ll need to gather your fidget items. Here are a few details on the things that I used to get you ready to start digging through your stash or to grab your coupons and head out to the craft store! (In addition to the these items, the apron itself requires 1 1/2 yards of cotton woven fabric. Quilting fabrics and lightweight twill work perfectly.)Choose trims that feel nice to the touch. (I found this fluffy trim above on clearance at Joann Fabrics for $.99 a yard. Pom-pom trims or even a long rectangle of minky or cuddle fabric folded in half would work well, too!) Things that make a slight clicking noise like the round plastic rings (knitting stitch markers) are great. Try to avoid things that are really loud, though. Buttons and beads are great, especially large ones or uniquely-shaped ones. Knit fabric scraps, cording or shoelaces can be used for braiding or lacing.Be sure to grab some keyrings! You’ll need them to make it easy to remove items that can’t be washed and dried. For a little fun, find small toys that can be attached easily with ribbons. I found the stretchy frog above in my boys’ toy stash, and the tiny Slinky below came from the dollar section at Target.You’ll need plenty of ribbon to attach your fidget items. (Small pieces from your stash are a great choice, or check out Michaels, Joann or Hobby Lobby for a huge selection!) The pattern includes instructions for the little zippered pouch. You’ll need a zipper that is at least 7″ long. A longer zipper is fine, though. We’ll just cut off the extra. (Don’t panic if you never sewn a zipper before. The method that I use is really, really easy. Just make sure you know where your zipper foot is!)Use your imagination. You most definitely do not have to sew your aprons exactly the way that I did mine! This is a project that you should interpret in your own way!
One more thing, this project needs aprons for men and women, so keep an eye out for items that can be used for either. I have this fishing fabric washed and dried and ready to be sewn into a man’s apron next week!Once you have your fidget items ready to go, just download the pattern right here: The Busy Hands Fidget Apron. Be sure to share your finished aprons in the Hopeful Threads Flickr album! It’s going to be so much fun to see what you put together!