Jan 20, 2010

Half (Cafe) Apron Tutorial!

I finally finished Grandma's present and it's a cafe apron! Good thing she doesn't read my blog!

This is based on a pattern from the book Simple Sewing. I have made the pattern from the book exactly (you may have seen a green apron with a tan pot holder pocket in a previous post.....thats the one). I also did a variation for my friend but with a square pocket in a cute pear pattern and I also made one in a sold fabric with a square pocket for my brother. I hand embroidered a "N" on the pocket for him, but I unfortunately do not have pictures of either :(
After doing those aprons I modified the pattern a little bit. I made the straps thicker and the apron longer and wider. Here is the tutorial for my version. This is the fabric I chose, for some reason it reminded me of Grandma:

If you are creative this could be made into a double sided apron, but for simplicity's sake I made it single sided. You really should iron the fabric before you cut it, but I was lazy that day and only ironed the fabric before I sewed it. Cut one main apron piece 25in long by 40in wide:

 Now cut 2 apron stings 38in long by 2.5in wide. Also cut one pocket 8in long by 8in wide. You can change the size of the pocket how ever you like:
Now I hate ironing so I like to do as much as I can at one time so I don't have to keep pulling out the ironing board and whatnot. If you would like to iron, then sew, then iron another piece that is totally fine, whatever works for you:) Let's start with the pocket. The only thing you can iron right now is the top part that will be the opening. Fold over 1/4in and iron:

Then fold it over 1/2in and iron again:

On to the apron strings. So I kinda messed up when I was doing this, so I will tell you the order it should be done in, just ignore some of the creases in the fabric. On one short end fold over 1/2in, iron, fold over 1/2in again, and iron again:

Now at this point you can go a sew this end down, but I keep on ironing. Fold the string in half length wise and iron:

Open up the string again and this time fold the bottom half to meet the crease you just made and iron:

Repeat with the top side:

And finally fold the entire thing in half length-wise again (don't forget to repeat this on the other string):

Now on to the main apron piece. On the long side that you want to be the bottom of the apron fold over 1/2in and iron:

Fold over again 1/2in and iron. Do the same thing on the 2 short sides. For now, leave the top side un-ironed. Here is what the 2 bottom corners should look like (if you know how to do mitered corners, go ahead, they would look really nice here):

Back to the pocket, time to sew! Now since I don't always cut or iron straight, when I sew I usually don't go by a seam width but I use the presser foot as a guide. For the top of the pocket line up the outside edge with the right outside edge of the presser foot (I know thats not what it looks like in this photo but I will explain in a second):

Now in the next picture you will see two seams. Since I didn't do anything else fancy with the pocket I decided to do a double seam:

Set the pocket aside (unless you want to iron the other three sides now). Strings next. The short edge that was folded over before needs to be sewed down. Line up the outside edge of the fabric with the inside edge of the right side of the presser foot (I know, confusing, sorry!):
Fold the apron sting back up and line up the open edge with the presser foot the same way as before (outside edge of fabric with the inside edge of the right side of the presser foot) and sew all the way down:

Repeat on other string. On the main apron start on one of the short sides and line up the outside of the fabric with the right outside edge of the presser foot and sew all the way around:

Of course there is now more ironing to do, boo!
On the remaining 3 sides of the pocket fold over 1/2in and iron (just once this time!):

To finish the top of the apron, take each of the strings and on the non-sewn short edge mark 1 inch:
Place the apron string near the top edge of the apron and fold the fabric over so the fabric covers the apron string and iron, then fold and iron again:

Insert the string into the fold you just made to the 1in mark you made before and pin:

To reinforce the string I sew on top of the existing seam and then close to the edge (sorry for some reason this picture didn't want to stay rotated):

 Time to finish the top side of the apron. After both strings have been sewing in, line up the inside edge of the fold with the left edge of the presser foot and sew all the way across:

Put the apron on. Stand in front of the mirror and admirer your work but realize you forgot something! The pocket! With the apron on, decide on the placement of the pocket. It can be either on the left or right. You can either pin in it place (don't poke yourself!) or mark the spot you want with with disappearing fabric marker. Then take the apron off and pin the pocket in place:

Sew the three non-opening sides as close to the edge as you can (don't sew the top shut):

And you're done! You may want to iron the apron again in case you wrinkled it while you were working with it. Now model if for everyone (except for the person you are going to give it too!):

And I'm spent! Oh wait....I made a homemade butterscotch pie today but we can talk more about that tomorrow:)

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