Thursday, May 17, 2012

Faux ME Apron & Pattern

I’m so into making aprons now! I just had to make this apron with some other material I picked up here and there at charity shops. I brought it home and washed and ironed it and piled it in a stack, all prepared for the day I should take it and sew it up into something nice for my kitchen. All of it is cotton and reminded me of Mary Engelbreit. The only real Mary Engelbreit item on it is a shank button I found somewhere and was saving for the right project, since I only had one (see closeup photo, click on any photo to enlarge).

And you ask, what pattern did I use to make this simple apron and Mr. Helper’s apron in the article below? Well, I made my own and have used it for over and over for several years. Most of the apron patterns out there are one-size-fits-all, which is a nice way of saying – it ain’t gonna fit you, Dolores, ‘cause you ain’t Twiggy! I even store it all nicely folded up in its own zippy bag.

It could have been cut out of a brown grocery bag just as nicely, but the newspaper pages were probably all I had on hand at the moment. To get the right length, I decided to use the edge of the newspaper as the middle fold line of the apron and started measuring on my bod at the top center of my chest (put a safety pin at this north point) where I wanted the bib part to start, then dropped the measuring tape down (south) to where I wanted the bottom hem and added 2 inches for a seam allowance. Next I marked a straight line at one end of the paper for the apron hem after I measured from the corner of the newspaper page (I had to tape on a piece to get it the right length.).

To figure out the width of the apron pattern and to make the waist where the ties would be attached, I measured again from the top of my chest at the safety pin, but this time only down to my waist (your waist is where you bendy, safety pin it). My waistline just so happens to be at my belly-button. So then, I measured from my belly-button around (east/west) on my waistline to a spot on the side where the side seam of my blouses are generally at. Add one inch for seam allowance and put that measurement mark on the paper pattern.

To get the arm curve between the bib and waistline, I had to measure from the safety pin in the middle of my chest again over (east/west) to my bra strap plus 1 inch to get the top corner point of the bib and measured that out on the newspaper. Next, I drew a rectangle with rulers on the paper down (south) from that top bib point to the waistline and in (east/west) from the side seam to intersect. I used either a dinner plate or round serving tray, I can’t remember which, lining its edge up against the two lines of the rectangle lines you just intersected (corner) to draw around to get the curve.

From the outside waistline corner, I drew against a yardstick straight down (south) to the bottom hem edge. Then I went over the cutting lines in black sharpie and wrote notes to myself about how long to make the ties for the top and bottom. Usually one yard of material is all I need to make one apron including matching ties and neckband. I cut the neckband and ties from the opposite open side of the material, three inches wide twice lengthwise, cutting through both layers of material. The apron ties remain the length of the material, but the neckband was wrapped around my neck, pinned on top of the bib, adjusted as needed and then measured lengthwise. Remember to add 2 inches to that last measurement for a seam allowance. I sew all the ties (3 = 1 neckband + 2 waist) at the same time, turning them inside out with a safety pin, iron and fold one end over and attach to the apron at the same time I’m finishing the edges of the apron with a sewn rolled hem. The very ends of the waist ties I generally tie a knot and let the ends of the material fray slightly.

If I can make this simple pattern, then anybody else can too! Love to see what you make!


  1. You are just full of surprises, dear girl! You can sew too? Wowza - I used to do that, but results just weren't fast enough. You should think about an Etsy shop! Start making one or two a day! Oh yeah, I can see it now - instant millionaire! Great apron - thanks for sharing!

  2. That is a lovely apron and clever you creating your own pattern.

  3. I think that's a good idea. An Etsy shop for Dolly. You rock!


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