I thought I would start off my blog by sharing with you one of my all time favourite patterns and possibly my most used pattern, even though I keep having to redraft it…. This particular apron I have made for my Grandad so the sizings given in the instructions are for a mans apron.
You will need:
- Fabric (1m if it is a one way pattern or half a metre if not)
- Herringbone tape (69″ approx)
- Thread and a sewing machine
- Parchment paper (optional)
Tip: I tend to use upholstery fabric as it is more durable, particularly for something like this. Make sure it is machine washable though!
1. I decided to draft a pattern to make this apron, partly because I know I will use it again but I also think that is is more likely to be accurate. If you don’t want to draft your own pattern and just want to use an apron as a pattern then skip to step 4. I found an apron that I wanted to use as my template and folded it in-half length ways before laying it against one edge of the parchment paper (we will cut it on the fold later). I then marked each corner on the paper.
2. Using a ruler and a set square I drew on all the straight lines. To draw the curve I used a French Curve, however if you don’t have one of these then you can either trace round the edge of the underarm of the apron or sketch it yourself!
3. I added an inch seam allowance around all the sides apart from the hem which had a 1.5″ seam allowance.
4. I cut out the apron pattern as close to one end of the fabric as possible. This meant there was enough fabric above to cut out a pocket. To make the pocket I cut a 6″ x 9.5″ rectangle on the fold (make sure you don’t move the fold if you want easier pattern matching later!). This should give you a rectangle 12″ x 9.5″ once cut out.
5. I started off by folding the seams of the curved edge first. I pressed under 1/2″ first and then folded it over so in total 1″ had been folded under and pinned it well. On this seam in particular you might have to adjust this slightly in some areas to help it lie flat.
6. I stitched this seam using a basic straight stitch and cream cotton thread. I lined the edge of my foot up with the edge of the fabric so I had an even finish on the front.
7. The next step is to cut the herring bone tape to your desired length. I cut two pieces 23″ long and one piece 22″ (these measurements I took off the apron pattern I copied).
8. On each of the apron sides I pressed under 1/2″ before folding it again to hide the raw edges. Taking one of the 23″ pieces I then attached it to the top of the side seam by tucking it in with the seam allowance I had folded under before stitching the seam. Repeat for the other side.
Tip: Make sure to stitch over where the herringbone tape is joined to strengthen it.
9. To tidy up the ends of the herringbone tape not sewn in I folded them over and stitched across the ends. Due to the small size of the tape the feed dogs on my machine struggled slightly so I had to help feed most of it.
10. To stitch the top edge I essentially repeated step 7 however I attached the herring bone at either end making sure it wasn’t twisted. Unfortunately the pattern on my fabric wasn’t printed on the grain so along this seam I did fold a slightly uneven amount under so the pattern was straight across the top – whether you do this or not is completely up to you!
11. Finally the hem of the apron. I pressed up 1/2″ first then folded it over by an inch (in total 1.5″ was folded up). Before stitching I folded the corners in to create a neater finish, depending on the fabric you’ve used it might be easier to unfold the pressed seam on either end, fold in a triangle then refold the seam.
12. Taking the pocket piece I pressed under 1/2″ along the top seam before folding it over again and stitching. I then pressed under 1/2″ on the remaining 3 sides of the pocket and tucked in the corners as shown in the photo. At this stage I also zigzaged the raw edges to stop them unravelling over time.
13. If you are pattern matching this is the bit that needs to be really well pinned! I matched the pattern on my pocket to the pattern on the apron – it was here I realised I was going to have to adjust the size and angle of my pocket to fit the pattern which was a little annoying! I then pinned it really well with the hope it wouldn’t slip too much when sewing!
14. I thought I would try something different stitching the pocket on by stitching two lines of stitching both equal distance away from each other/the edge of the fabric. I actually think this turned out to be really effective as well as providing added durability to the pocket.
15. Sew all the ends in!