Monday, August 18, 2014

DIY: Apron Sew-Along, Part 1

Okay, that man who lives in my house and eats my burnt banana bread makes fun of me because every one of my lil vid clips starts with a "hey, guys." I honestly tried to spice it up with something else ("hey, my b%tches" just didn't feel right) but I'm from the Midwest, what can I say? So "hey, guys" it is.

Welcome of the Apron Sew-Along! 

I'm so glad you are here, kids, I cannot wait to see the apron you create! Now, just to make it clear, you can sew any kind of apron you want (that's right, I bolded and italicized that bit. That's when you know I'm for serious). Whether it be bedazzled or ruffled, I say go crazy and make it your own. I've decided to show you how to stitch a simple reversible apron with nice deep pockets (because an apron without pockets is, like, absurd in my book. Which is titled Aprons Without Pockets is Absurd. It's a working title.) I thought by keeping it simple and giving you lots of options, we'd all come up with something a lil different. So, without further jibber-jabber, let's chat about what we'll be working on this week...
Apron Sew-Along, Week 1:

* Washing and drying out fabric to remove that weird sizing.
*  Creating pattern pieces outta wrapping paper or whatever else you've got large sheets of.
*  Stitching a two-ply double pocket that can either be solid or patchworked (I lost you didn't I? Just keep reading, you'll get it).
*  Cutting out our apron shape.
*  Stitching our pocket to our apron!
So by week's end, you should have something like this! More than likely, you'll have something even better.
Let's chat about fabric before we go any further. I had so much fun throwing fabric all over the floor of my sewing room to see what would work together. Here's what I've come up with for the front of my apron. That orange chevron is going to be used for the ties and the neck I had to be certain I liked it with both aprons fabrics.
Because I wanted to mix things up a bit, I decided to have a solid pattern pocket on this side with a strip of polka dot at the bottom. I'll tell ya how I did that here shortly. First, let's talk pockets.
I opted to make one large rectangular pocket with a stitch down the center. I thought this kind of pocket would be more useful than a single one. To create this, I simply cut out a piece of super cute kitten wrapping paper to 10" X 16". If you listen to the video clip, I'll walk you through pocket making. I've also written out the steps for you to follow that way as well. I do hope it makes a smidge of sense. Cuz that's really all I got. Just a smidge.
Told ya.
Okay, so I totes know my pocket's a lil crooked. But I'm not fixing it. This thing is about to be covered in all things art room so a slightly off-kilter pocket ain't nuthin. Now let's chat about the making of this pocket.
To make your pocket two-ply, take your pocket fabric and fold in half. Pin your pattern piece to the fabric along the fold. Cut out everything except that folded edge. Remove your pins. Now put the pins back on the fabric but just along the sides. When you stitch, you will only sew the sides. The top should be folded and the bottom should be open.
Stitch along the sides. Trim that seam close to your stitches and angle cut those corners there the folded edge and your stitched edge meet. Flip inside out and iron.
Flip the bottom raw edge inside an inch so that the pocket is now 9" in height. Iron.
Now let's chat about that patchwork pocket. I love it on this wild and crazy fabric!
Make two pattern pieces one that is 7" X 16" (which you'll cut one) and one that is 8" X 16" (that you'll cut two).
Pin the pattern pieces to your fabric and cut out. Remember, for the top band, you'll only need to cut out one piece; bottom band, two pieces.
To create, remove your pattern pieces. pin the long edges with right sides together and stitch.
Iron open your seam. Now repeat these same steps on the other side so that you have, basically, a fabric sandwich with your smaller band of fabric in the middle.
Again, press open those seams. To turn this into a pocket, you are going to follow those same steps as above. this time your "folded edge" will be that middle band of fabric. Stitch the sides, remove pins, trim seam and flip inside out. Fold in the open bottom portion and iron.
In this clip, I'll walk you through creating your apron pattern piece. 
For your apron, cut out a piece of fabric that is a 31" X 18" rectangle.
You are creating half of an apron pattern, not the whole thing. Because your apron will be symmetrical, you are going to simply fold your fabric in half, place that pattern piece along the folded edge and cut as you see below. But first, we need to create that curved side so you won't be walking around wearing a rectangle. To create that curved edge, I measured 7" from the lefthand side and made a small mark. Then I measured 16" from the top of the right hand side and made another mark. I connected the two dots with a large curved line. If you are not sure about your curved-line drawing skills, no worries. Maybe you have a large round lid you can trace for the curve. 
Again, pin the long edge along your folded edge of fabric and cut.
Now, I did make my apron pretty long because I'm on the tall side. If you cut your apron out and hold it up to you and it touches your toes than you might wanna shorten it. Or grow a coupla inches. For a shorter apron, you might wanna start with a rectangle that is 28" X 18".

Because I wanted a little band of accent fabric at the bottom of my superhero side, I decided to cut the apron to that short size. Then I cut out a rectangle of my contrasting fabric in the remaining about which I think was 3" X 18". Don't forget that this fabric will also need to be folded in half to give you  the correct width.
If you are adding that band of fabric to the bottom, pin the right side of your contrasting fabric to the right side of your apron and stitch. Iron you seam out flat.
Now, let's add that pocket to your apron! To do this, I folded my apron in half along that long line. I measured 17" down from the top of the apron. With my pocket also folded in half (so to center my pocket along the middle), I pinned it down. Then I flipped my apron over and pinned down the other side of the pocket. Using a piece of chalk and a ruler, I drew that middle vertical line. That's the line I stitched first. Don't forget to back stitch. For added strength, I also went back and did a zig zag stitch. I don't want my apron pocket to pull off my apron. After stitching the middle line, I stitched along the bottom edge. 

Now, to make sure that your hands can fit in your pockets, remove your pins and slide your hand inside your pocket. Now pin that pocket down with that little added space and stitch along those side seams. Again, backstitch and add that zigzag for reinforcement. 

If you look below, you'll see that my pockets look a little baggy. That's because of that little bit of space I accounted for. I have big mannish hands, they need all the space they can get. 
And there you have it! Pattern pieces created (I've labeled and saved mine for future apron reference), pockets created, aprons cut out and pockets attached! Whew! That outta keep you busy for a week, amirite?!

Pretty please leave any questions you might have (because I did a lousy job of 'splainin') in the comments and I'll be certain to get back attcha. Also! I'd love to see your progress on the Apron Sew-Along Facebook page! Thanks for joinin' in, y'all. Happy stitchin'!


  1. I'll be home in a day or two - looking forward to getting started on my snazzy apron, which will definitely have pockets but definitely no ruffles!

    1. No worries, no ruffles here! Did you see I made a shorter version too? I was thinkin' of ya!!

  2. Side one complete with furry pocket. Or should I say crooked furry pocket, but I'm not fixing it either....on to side two!

  3. YES! To the furry pocket. and YES to leaving it! Furry pockets were meant to be a lil crooked! Can't wait to see it!

  4. Oh, I like the sound of that furry pocket! I'm hoping to start my apron tomorrow.


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