The Maker’s Apron (Free Sewing Pattern)

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This denim apron makes an industrious statement in the kitchen, the garage or your artist’s studio. It has some nice touches, such as the traditional crossover cotton tape tie arrangement instead of the more usual loop neckband and waist ties. We especially like the reinforced leather corner pieces, which will only improve with wear. The bib and side seams are turned over and stitched to the front of the apron, but we have made the divided pocket the right way around and hemmed in the standard way.

Step 1

Here’s What You Need:
- Heavyweight 12-oz denim 1 1/2 yd/1.5 m (55–60 in/140–150 cm wide)
- Leather 10 in/25 cm (6 in/15 cm wide)
- Denim thread
- Four 3/8-in/11-mm zinc eyelets
- Strong natural cotton webbing tape 3 1/3 yd/3 m (1/8 in/3 mm wide)
- Paper and pencil
- Tailor’s chalk and yardstick
- Tailor’s shears, paper scissors and small pair of sharp scissors
- Jeans machine needle size 16/100
- Leather needle
- Iron
- Pins
- Eyelet-fitting tool

Step 2

- Use heavyweight denim with a slight stretch to help with the folded edges.
- We used a ⅛-in-/3-mm-thick soft pigskin for the two small leather corners at the side of the apron; pinning leather is difficult and can leave a hole, so use double-sided tape to hold the pieces in place.
- Carry out a test eyelet on a scrap of denim to master the technique: make a star-shaped hole rather than a circle to leave plenty of fabric for the eyelet to get a purchase on, making it more secure.
- Use a 5/8-in/1.5-cm seam allowance throughout unless stated otherwise.
- To get the best results, use a leather sewing needle in your machine and a Teflon foot to ease slip. If you don’t have a Teflon foot, sprinkle some baby powder over the area to be stitched as well as on the thread. Adjust your stitch size to the largest possible; as stitching punctures the leather, using a small stitch might cause the leather to rip.

Step 3

Make paper patterns for the apron and the pocket following the measurements given. Fold the denim cloth in half and pin the pattern pieces in place. Cut out. On both sides of the apron piece and using the tailor’s chalk, mark the dots for the position of the pocket and the notches for the bib and hem turnings. On the pocket piece mark the notches for the turning at the top of the pocket. Then, mark out two quarter circles on the leather following the measurements given. Cut out.

Step 4

Start by zigzagging the edges of the apron using a wide but short stitch; alternatively, overlock. Place the leather pieces 3/8 in/1 cm away from the side corners on the right side of the apron.

Step 5

Sew along the curved side of the leather corner pieces 3/8 in/1 cm away from the edge.

Step 6

Fold over a 5/8-in/1.5-cm seam allowance at the sides of the bib onto the right side of the apron – note, this will cover the top of the leather corners.

Step 7

Press and edge stitch into place. Sew the seams along the sides of the apron skirt in the same way.

Step 8

Turn over the top edge of the bib to the right side of the apron and pin into place.

Step 9

Press well and edge stitch into place.

Step 10

Take the pocket piece and clip the turning notches. Zigzag or overlock along the top edge.

Step 11

With the pocket right side facing you, fold over the turning at the top edge (wrong side facing) and pin into place. Sew at either side taking a 5/8-in/1.5-cm seam allowance.

Step 12

Trim the corners. Turn the top turning through to the right side and poke out the corners.

Step 13

Now turn the pocket over to the wrong side. At the bottom curves, snip triangles about 3/8 in/1 cm deep; then fold over the 5/8-in/1.5-cm seam allowance and press. The snips make a neat curve without bulk; keep pressing until the curves are perfect and the corners really neat.

Step 14

Turn over the pocket to the right side and topstitch along the top turning.

Step 15

Using the marked dots as a guide, pin the pocket on to the front of the apron. Edge stitch into place.

Step 16

Finish the corners with a triangle for extra strength. Make one reverse stitch when stitching the top edge to give a straighter corner.

Step 17

To make sure that your corners are the same size, count the stitches used along the top edge: 7–8 stitches should be about right if you are using a medium stitch length.

Step 18

Working on the wrong side of the apron, turn the hem up at the notches and pin into place. Sew along the top of the hem.

Step 19

Now make the divisions in the pocket. Use a ruler and tailor’s chalk to mark to your preference, then stitch carefully along the lines. You can decide on the size of the pocket divisions you want, or have none at all.

Step 20

Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fit an eyelet to each corner of the top of the bib so that the center for the eyelet hole is approximately 3/4 in/2 cm from the top edge and 5/8 in/1.5 cm from the side edge. Now fit an eyelet through the leather corners at the top of the apron skirt so that the center for the eyelet hole is approximately 1 in/2.5 cm from both the top and side edges.

Step 21

Cut the cotton webbing tape in half. Thread each piece of webbing tape through the bib eyelets, making knots on the right side to secure. Crossover at the back and thread through to the front of the side corners. The ends of the ties can be attractively finished by cutting into a “V” shape.

Step 22

This free apron pattern was excerpted with permission from "Merchant & Mills Sewing Book: Hand Sewing Techniques / Machine Know-How / Tools / Notions / Projects / Patterns" by Carolyn N. K. Denham and Roderick Field and published by Chronicle Books.

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