Aprons should cover, they should protect but not restrict your movement, that is my opinion. I find that many you can buy today are too small to cover much (on me at least!) and they are a pain to put on with ties that have to tie behind you and basically I wouldn’t want to answer my front door wearing one!
I found this free cross backed apron pattern via Pinterest and thought that all my prayers had been answered. No ties, covers almost everything, loose enough to have free movement without getting in the way and could be made in a fabric that I liked. This is my pattern review so that you can hopefully avoid some of the pitfalls that I encountered!
During a trip to the “Eternal Maker”, (an amazing fabric shop just on the outskirts of Chichester that I could move into tomorrow, given half a chance!) i fell in love with this “Garden” Linen blend (in the Green colourway) by Ellen Luckett Baker for Kokka. I wanted a linen or linen blend because I love the way that it just looks more “lived in” after washing and I think this garment is going to be washed a lot!
I printed out the PDF pattern on my printer in adult size – there were a few issues with it. Some pattern lines didn’t line up between pieces of A4 paper and I had to free hand a line to connect them in a more sensible way.
Also, whoever drew out the pattern on the drafting software had not noticed that some of the construction lines printed on the pattern. This meant it was tricky to figure out which line to cut on. This pattern was a very simple one and as long as I kept in mind the shape I was going for it wasn’t hard to figure it out. You can see in the picture where I have scribbled though the construction line – and hey, the pattern WAS free!
When I pinned the front pattern piece to me to check sizing it was a bit small (It did not reach half way across my chest!) so I added on eight centimetres to the centre line of the front to make it a bit wider.
Cutting out was pretty straight forward, I used the kitchen table, fabric scissors, pins and the pattern pieces, nothing fancy required. As I sewed the side pieces to the front piece I discovered that the pattern sizing was slightly out.
This was easily corrected with scissors though.
Before anyone says it. I know I should have pattern matched properly like the do on the “Great British Sewing Bee” but it seemed to waste so much fabric that I was put off!
Adding the bias binding around the edge was the bit I was dreading, sewing around internal and external curves accurately?!?! I found two tutorials from The Haby Goddess that were easy to follow and got me through both adding the bias binding properly and sewing the curves! It took over five metres of Bias to get all the way around the outside but it didn’t leave me wanting to throw in the towel (a feeling I quite often get when attempting fiddly things).
The binding isn’t perfect but I was quite pleased with the job!
I had some fabric left over and approximately 30cm of binding so I “stole” a pocket pattern from an apron pattern in “Sewing Machine Basics” by Jane Bolsover (a fab book that does exactly what it says in the title) and added a pocket for my inevitable tissues and other bits of junk!
The hardest bit was gathering the curve on the corners of the pocket but the instructions in the book were very clear. I was just a bit awkward in the execution! There is a really good tutorial on how to do something similar on Guthrie and Ghani’s Blog.
When I tried it on it did gape around the bosom/armpit area a bit (probably where I altered the pattern with not enough knowledge!) so I sewed one dart at the bust each side. I forgot to take a “before” photo but the “after” was that the apron fit much more snugly.
Really pleased with the resulting apron. It is easy to get in and out of, fun to wear and (I think) it looks stylish. I can’t wait to get dirty!
If you have never downloaded a PDF sewing pattern and find the idea intimidating, watch out for this Sunday’s post where I try to make it more friendly for you with some of the things I have learnt.