Sew an Apron in 15 Minutes!
By Diane Ellis
Think it can't be done? Think again – an apron is a very simple thing to sew, and you can easily make your own pattern. Once you have your pattern, you can cut out and sew one up in 15 minutes or less!
To Make Your Pattern
We need to take 3 measurements:
Length - measure from mid way between your chest and the bottom of your neck to about 6" above your knee, plus 1" (for the hem).
Waist - measure from this same spot to your waist plus 5/8th" (for the top hem).
Width - measure your hips at their widest point (complete circumference, not side to side). Now, take off 14" (the apron doesn't need to close at the back, just go around your hips), and then divide by 2.
Now, take some pattern paper and fold it in half lengthways. Put a mark on the paper, on the fold, where your length measurement is. So, for example, if I am 28" from upper chest to above the knee, I would make a mark on the fold 28" from the top of the paper.
Now, mark off where your waist measurement is on the same fold. For me, this is 12" down, so I make a mark on the fold 12" from the top of the paper.
Now take a ruler, and at your waist mark point, mark a line out as far as your width measurement (now you can see why we divided by 2, as we have the pattern paper folded over!).
Now just mark a straight line from your width marking down to where your length marking is, then across to the fold (see diagram).
For the top of the apron, draw a line on the diagonal from your width marking to the top of the pattern paper. The width of the top of the apron is a personal choice. I have mine around 8", but the fuller your figure, the more generous you should be. Just don't forget to add on hem allowance for each side, and then divide by 2. So for my apron, my diagonal line hits the top of the pattern paper 4½" from the fold (8" wide, plus 2 hem allowances of 5/8th" divided by 2).
Materials & Notions
For the waistband and neck, I use cotton webbing, about ¾" wide, and in similar colour to the fabric I am using. This is so much easier and quicker than making your own! For the waist ties, you will need 40" (cut in two pieces). For the neck, you need 1 piece only (which we will sew into the top hem). Take your tape measure and measure from one side of your chest, round the back of your neck, to the other side of your chest (where the top of the apron will be). For me, this is 20", so I would buy 22" (extra for hem allowance).
The fabric for your apron should medium weight, and can be any colour or pattern you choose – check out the remnants table for a real bargain! For me, a yard of fabric will do in almost any width, but if you are not sure, take your pattern or measurements with you to the fabric store – the assistants there will help you get the right amount of fabric.
Making Your Apron
OK, doing all the above will take you more than 15 minutes, but you only have to do all those measurements and making of the pattern once. Now, let's make our apron!
Lay out your fabric, pin on the pattern, and cut out.
Cut your cotton webbing into the three pieces – one neck piece, and two waist ties.
Sew a hem on one end of each of the two waist ties.
Now, pin up your hem allowance all around the apron. Once that is complete, we need to go back and insert the waist ties and neck piece.
The waist ties should be inserted into your folded over hem allowance at the point where your waist line starts to go up on the diagonal. With the apron right side down (hem facing you), slip the webbing into the hem allowance, and then fold back over the hem allowance – we want to stitch over the top of the webbing and hem. Make sure you put the webbing in the right way so that your hem at the other end will be facing inwards once the apron hem is sewn!
Now do the same with each end of the neck webbing. The neck ends are attached at the top outer edges of the apron.
Sew. Iron. Done!!