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! Sew your own apron

 
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This subject was a slide off course from the thread about housecoats here: https://permies.com/t/153954/Housecoat-dressing-gown#1205565

Aprons come in lots of different styles, but some of the old, "real-life" designs are far more useful in the kitchen, garden or in my friend's case, for chicken management!

So if you've got a great apron and are willing to post a picture or link to instructions, let's see them.

Sewing an apron is a great project for people just learning to sew, as it's not something you usually wear in public.
 
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I've been collecting ideas for awhile.

How to make an apron from jeans (Inventive Denim)


Levis apron (A Girl and A Glue Gun)


Men's Dress Shirt Repurposed to Apron Tutorial (Gabriel's Good Tidings)


DIY Tea Towel / Dish Cloth Apron Tutorial (Treasurie)
 
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I want to make one of these: https://www.rockyhedgefarm.com/how-to-sew-a-linen-cross-back-pinafore-apron/

Rather than spending on linen fabric, I'll look for a second-hand cotton sheet I can use. They usually sell for only £1 or 2 in the local charity shops, and I've picked up a couple in fab vintage style fabric.
 
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I like the half aprons. I want to make something similar to this one on Esty.

 
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I really like the apron I made myself to hold all the clothes pegs for washing. It has six pockets!

I didn't use a pattern--just looked at the image below and made a pattern based on that image. The whole thing is made of unsaleable denim articles from an op-shop that was closing down. The blue were large jeans with wear in the crotch, the white were a pair of white denim pants with an unfortunate crotch stain, and the floral patterned material was from a printed denim short skirt that was not particularly well made or flattering. The pockets are in the four central floral panels, and the two white panels on the edges that have pocket flaps. The latter two are deep--running to the bottom edge of the apron. It's great for doing the washing, and it holds all my hand-turned wooden clothes pegs, which makes putting clothes in and taking them out much easier than the alternative of trying to balance an armful of washing and the peg basket at the same time. As per the original image, this style of apron would also be handy as a sort of tool belt, or even for harvesting some things from the garden.

I've seen some "harvest aprons" that have willow reinforcements in them which allow them to basically become a kangaroo-pouch style basket. I'm toying around with making something similar, as I am regularly harvesting armfuls of kale, spinach, lemons, and herbs, and have a tendency to stack high and then drop bits. Of course, now that I go looking for the primary source material, none of my searches are bringing it back up! If anyone has seen aprons with wooden reinforcing along the bottom edge, do let me know.
15d2a7c49afdab4b22fcd58f1608b9d4-vintage-apron-pattern-aprons-vintage.jpg
Great vintage apron pattern image
Great vintage apron pattern image
apron-01.JPG
Apron spread out
Apron spread out
apron-02.JPG
Apron as worn
Apron as worn
 
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I have a half apron and two of the  bib style. Next one I am going to try the Japanese type with cross over back. Faster and easier to put on.
 
Jay Angler
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May Lotito wrote: Next one I am going to try the Japanese type with cross over back. Faster and easier to put on.

Yes, it was seeing one of those that got me moving on starting this thread - good coverage as I'm prone to splattering "above the waist", but quick to put on and doesn't pull on the neck. I'll need to look through my fabric stash. A cotton sheet seems a bit thin compared to what I'd like.
Staff note (Leigh Tate) :

That was a good one! Here's the link - https://www.purlsoho.com/create/2015/11/20/cross-back-apron/

 
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Jay Angler wrote:

May Lotito wrote: Next one I am going to try the Japanese type with cross over back. Faster and easier to put on.

Yes, it was seeing one of those that got me moving on starting this thread - good coverage as I'm prone to splattering "above the waist", but quick to put on and doesn't pull on the neck. I'll need to look through my fabric stash. A cotton sheet seems a bit thin compared to what I'd like.



I've seen some of these, using dead jeans, and that's the direction I'm leaning in. Being able to swap one apron for another - quickly - is another attractive aspect of the Japanese style. So, I might have one with pockets full of painting supplies, in my craft room, and one in the kitchen with pot mits an other odds & ends, and another in my workshop, with tools and another with the goat milkink, first aid, & kidding supplies - and be able to seamlessly switch easily from one job to the next. Length could vary, too - so a shorter one for gardening, and a longer one in the paint supplies,etc.
 
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I'm a major apron fan!! I cook and get messy a lot, and used to entertain a lot back in "normal times" and I have a lot of aprons of all different kinds.... lately I decided I wanted one of these Japanese-style pinafore aprons with more coverage. I used the pattern cited above from Purl Soho and I made some modifications-- no pockets, since I had a bit less fabric than the pattern called for, and I rarely use the pockets for kitchen aprons anyway (garden aprons is a different story; I figured if I really needed a pocket I could add a patch).
I used some leftover fabric cut from linen curtains I bought on clearance, and to cover the shortfall from the pocket I didn't make I used some antique handwoven belting that had been laying in my fabric box for the last 20 years giving me the stink eye. Made it a bit shorter than the pattern called for, since in my kitchen the mess tends to stay at about mid-thigh.

Some comments specifically on the Purl Soho pattern. I feel like the front panel is a bit narrow. If I make it again I will probably broaden it by at least an inch and also fool around with the strap length, which also affects how the back hangs. I wear a women's size L, am 5'9 with a large bust and broad shoulders; I get the feeling this pattern was made for someone much, much smaller and more delicate than me! Then again, it was a very easy project that I did in a day. Clear pattern, clear instructions, easy peasy.

I do plan to do another version of this apron for the garden in some sort of stronger fabric with pockets. I have some old denim that I will probably cut up for it, but the pattern involves a lot of folded seams and going through 4+ layers of denim means I'll probably be modifying the pattern even more, but the general dimensions and process are worth keeping.
front-apron.jpg
front apron
front apron
side-apron.jpg
side apron
side apron
back-apron.jpg
back apron
back apron
 
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Tereza, I like that apron -- will have to play around with that for myself.  I also like a wide bib front -- I tend to drip or splash things on my shirts and ruin them, so that's the area that needs the most coverage.  My lower half isn't nearly so much at risk, so a short apron is fine, but the bib part is important.  I might try just 'pinners,' which don't have straps at all -- the bib is held in place with a couple of pins.  Back in the 1700's those would have been large straight pins, and still could be, but I'll probably use safety pins.  Though straight pins might be faster to take off and put on.

A pinner apron would have a waist tie; I'll use velcro to fasten the waist, because I don't like the knot at my back if I sit down in the apron.  Several inches of velcro would still allow some leeway for adjusting the length of the waist 'tie.'

And a heavier fabric will give more protection.  I think it's important to not use synthetic fabrics that melt if exposed to a lot of heat -- those can cause severe burns.  It would be a good idea to make a few test strips of different fabrics and expose them to heat from a candle or a hot burner and see what happens -- if it melts, especially if it drips, better not use it anywhere it might be exposed to heat.  Wool is quite resistant to burning, but might be too warm for a summer apron.

 
Tereza Okava
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The tie is such an important feature, Kathleen!!
I have a Williams Sonoma denim apron I bought in a consignment shop a long time ago. It gets unsalvageably dirty, I clean it up and dye it dark blue again, and the fabric is still nice and intact after 10+ years.
This apron has eeeeeeextra long ties-- which go around the back and come back to tie in the front, even if you're not a small person. I will totally incorporate that into any future aprons I make- such a small thing but so important.
 
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I gifted my sisters japanese style crossover aprons modified to harvest aprons for xmas this year. I confess I bought the base bib crossover cotton/linen aprons from an ebay seller, I knew I would not have the time to make them from scratch.  I modified them with pockets (one on bib and two large on skirt) plus three buttons at waist, three button-loops at hem, and drawcord at hem converting the apron to a harvest apron.  One had a couple of rows of egg pockets, rather than large pockets a bit like this on on etsy.  Each was also decorated with suitable applique designs.
 
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I loved the repurposed dress shirt idea...I like anything repurposed!  I truly dislike (OK, scratch that. I truly hate the throw away society we have become...Sorry for the emotional outburst)...When WE have nothing left, to where will we turn?...Our ancestors knew the VALUE of hard work, quality work and things that were made to last. Made to last only works if we properly maintain what we have...(take care of what Grandpa and dad gave you ) Please folks, I don't mean this to sound like I'm bashing the younger generation. There are some brilliant younger minds out there but, with finite resources to work with, now what?..."reduce, reuse, and recycle"...and take darned good care of what you have now for, tomorrow it could easily be gone forever
 
May Lotito
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I took a pic of my hubby's cook book. Noted the lady chefs' aprons have princess seams for better fit.
20210115_204254.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20210115_204254.jpg]
 
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My husband made me an apron last year from his old jeans (and he doesn't sew) and I love it! It won't win any beauty contests but is so practical with all the pockets and belt loops. There's a buckle clasp thing in the back at the waist. His hope was to make it look like a pair of daisy dukes, lol.
IMG_20200301_165607-1.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20200301_165607-1.jpg]
IMG_20200205_102308.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20200205_102308.jpg]
 
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I always use aprons in the kitchen (bought second-hand but they were as good as new before I started using them). Now my plan is to make a garden apron from a striped jeans 'salopette' (female type overalls) which I bought in the thrift store but did not fit me. Some parts can stay as they were.
Thanks for the reminder and all good ideas in this topic!
 
May Lotito
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bethany Vedder wrote:My husband made me an apron last year from his old jeans There's a buckle clasp thing in the back at the waist.



Your husband did a great job! I thought about alternatives to ties, such as velcro or magnetic snaps. Great idea to use a buckle clasp.
 
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I bought a Japanese style apron on Etsy. I love that there are no strings to fuss with. I haven't made an apron since junior high, but I have a lot of favorite fabric. I got rid of the old jeans and shirts a while back. I should use the Etsy apron as a pattern and use up that fabric, or get rid of it.
 
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Jay Angler wrote:

May Lotito wrote: Next one I am going to try the Japanese type with cross over back. Faster and easier to put on.

Yes, it was seeing one of those that got me moving on starting this thread - good coverage as I'm prone to splattering "above the waist", but quick to put on and doesn't pull on the neck. I'll need to look through my fabric stash. A cotton sheet seems a bit thin compared to what I'd like.




I rarely wear aprons because I have not found one that would fit comfortably, with pockets that would not spill the contents when I lean forward. This Japanese style looks to be a lot better. For those like me who don't have a sewing machine [and hate sewing, and are not good at it,] they are for sale too in more specialized places: This one is made of denim 14, so it should be sturdy. Now, if it could *also* be a bit cheaper... There may be other sites and brands? As far as creativity, using the back side of old jeans, with the crotch under your armpits, that is really cool. The back pockets could be preserved if they ended in the right place?
https://www.rockler.com/rockler-cross-back-shop-apron?country=US&sid=V91040&promo=shopping&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=PL&gclid=CjwKCAiAuoqABhAsEiwAdSkVVCLgi2Mbcmvga-D-1HXhkoWJf2usQDgJCmhK6yguZaauofgLIA_cnRoCsCEQAvD_BwE
 
bethany Vedder
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May Lotito wrote:

bethany Vedder wrote:My husband made me an apron last year from his old jeans There's a buckle clasp thing in the back at the waist.



Your husband did a great job! I thought about alternatives to ties, such as velcro or magnetic snaps. Great idea to use a buckle clasp.



Thanks, I think he did too! The clasp is easily adjustable which makes it extra nice, and very easy to put it together behind your back.
 
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I recently ran across that men's dress shirt pattern on Pinterest and grabbed it. Looks like something I'd wear, and could have several in different colors and patterns (like plaids and Hawaiian prints). I have probably 50 pair of worn out jeans from myself and my 6'4" hubby that I could turn into a few aprons for everyone in my near-future household (moving to be with daughter and 4 grandkids). I've been saving those to make a large pieced something, like a quilt top or just a simple bedcover, or curtains...

I too get lots of spills and splatters on my shirts, often of the grease variety or other permanently staining sort. And there goes another good shirt into the work around the yard and house type! Bah humbug!

I need pockets. And I need heavy-duty. So making my own aprons to fit my needs seems the way to go. I am currently eyeballing the valance of some kitchen curtains to chop up and make at least one. I also have a nice linen tablecloth found at the thrift store I might use for an apron. It has a blue and yellow plaid pattern on a white background. But these aren't the men's shirt idea. I may need to visit the thrift store again!

 
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:

And a heavier fabric will give more protection.  I think it's important to not use synthetic fabrics that melt if exposed to a lot of heat -- those can cause severe burns.  It would be a good idea to make a few test strips of different fabrics and expose them to heat from a candle or a hot burner and see what happens -- if it melts, especially if it drips, better not use it anywhere it might be exposed to heat.  Wool is quite resistant to burning, but might be too warm for a summer apron.



Cotton twill, or cotton or linen canvas would work well. Used to be you could buy heavy cotton painters drop cloths and use as fabric, but most of 'em use a synthetic in the blend now. There is a fabric site that sells linen from Russia (fabric-store.com), if you get on their email list you get a daily special sale notice. The one today was for a heavy wt. rustic weave natural (lt. brown) linen for $6 and change a yd (~60 inch wide).
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Lynn Wilson wrote:

Kathleen Sanderson wrote:

And a heavier fabric will give more protection.  I think it's important to not use synthetic fabrics that melt if exposed to a lot of heat -- those can cause severe burns.  It would be a good idea to make a few test strips of different fabrics and expose them to heat from a candle or a hot burner and see what happens -- if it melts, especially if it drips, better not use it anywhere it might be exposed to heat.  Wool is quite resistant to burning, but might be too warm for a summer apron.



Cotton twill, or cotton or linen canvas would work well. Used to be you could buy heavy cotton painters drop cloths and use as fabric, but most of 'em use a synthetic in the blend now. There is a fabric site that sells linen from Russia (fabric-store.com), if you get on their email list you get a daily special sale notice. The one today was for a heavy wt. rustic weave natural (lt. brown) linen for $6 and change a yd (~60 inch wide).



That is an excellent price for a wide linen!  I'll have to take a look.

 
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Lately, I've spent hours perusing the farmer's bullteins on this site. I found one about aprons with pattern inside FYI. The pattern is NOT full size.

https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6276/?q=home

J
 
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