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The Busy Hands Fidget Apron Pattern & Tutorial
Hopeful Threads’ July 2013 Project

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!

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21 Responses to The Busy Hands Fidget Apron Pattern & Tutorial
Hopeful Threads’ July 2013 Project

    • Kristy says:

      ps….I looked all over the party section for those little frogs! LOL! Now I know why I couldn’t find them…..now I’ll go check my boys’ toy bins! 😉

  • usairdoll says:

    Thank you Bonnie! You and Kristy are the dynamic duo! Thank you for creating this pattern, supporting Kristy’s project and offering it to us, at no charge so we can help with a great cause. I can’t wait to make my apron 😉


  • Annelin Aas says:

    What a wonderful idea, and it brought tears to my eyes. My mom has been dead for 11 years now, and the last years of her life struggling with dementia. If she only had had one of these, I know she would have loved it.

  • Marilee Hird says:

    This would also be wonderful for the mother of a small (older infant to early toddler) child when at the Dr. or someplace where the child had to stay with mommy.

  • Julie says:

    Thank you, we are not quite ready for this, but I notice Mum does fidget a lot (and so do I!), so you’ve brought it to my attention and given me a possible solution all in the one go!

  • Bobbie says:

    Why didn’t I see this before? I actually follow hopeful threads.
    I am an activity director at a nursing home and was thinking of making my own pattern when I found this pinned to another AD’s pinterest board. These aprons are fabulous! I will be working on one for one of my residents this weekend! Thank YOu Thank YOu thank YOu- now I know what to ask my volunteers to make!
    Thank you! ( I am so excited to make these!!!)

    • Gillian Day says:

      I am a volunteer at local hospice & have just made one of these activity aprons. It was a pleasure to make & very well received. Gill Day

  • Wendy says:

    What a wonderful opportunity to be a blessing to another while keeping my mind sharp as I think of “fidget” ideas! Having worked a decade or better with those inflicted with Alzheimer’s/dementia, how many times these could have been utilized. Will definitely share this with those I know still working in the field or dealing with family members…
    God bless you and thank you for sharing and free of charge at that!

  • Robin says:

    I just saw this on Pinterest. It is a wonderful idea. Before I read the post, I actually thought it would be nice for mom’s and other caregivers of small children as it looks like all of the trinkets are quite secure. I can definitely see its value towards interesting and occupying Altzheimers/dementia patients. My aunt suffered a stroke over a year ago. While she keeps her sense of humor and is often times quite aware of things, she too seems to need to fidget. I intend to ask her daughter if she thinks one of these aprons would be helpful. Thank you for the pattern!

  • Therese connors says:

    Love the idea! Am the owner of an in-home caregiving registry and an avid sewer. This is fabulous and clearly a gift to the giver as well as the recipient. Am going to get a group together to make these. What a wonderful idea!!!

  • Margie Cowan says:

    We are so interested in this apron,and are wanting to do this for our home extension club,but we do not have any instructions ,how do we get that.my email address is,margiecowan42@gmail.com.would love for some help.thank you,Margie Cowan.

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