In 2014, a team of Belgian scientists analyzed why humans are attracted to shiny objects. They theorized it is rooted in our desire not necessarily for the object itself, but because it reminds us of our need for water. Well, alright then – this stunning apron with its copper accents is making us very thirsty! Although not as shimmering as a polished brass or nickel, the new Copper finish available in popular Dritz® hardware is a metallic to fall in love with. We’ve paired it with a metallic linen blend fabric in a matching copper, then finished the design with a natural canvas and cotton webbing alongside a gorgeous printed cotton accent for the skirt. Go ahead and grab a glass of water, then read on for all the instructions.
There are a number of colors and textures coming together in this apron. It all blends together beautifully because of some classic Designer Secrets. To start, each item is balanced; so they can all shine rather than one thing hogging center stage.
The canvas back panel and the cotton webbing are both natural in tone to pick up the natural background of the print’s motif. The simple curves of the front pocket echo the side curves of the bib. And, the Essex Yarn Dyed Metallic Linen Blend from Kaufman Fabrics accentuates the Copper of the Dritz® hardware and picks up the warm, vintage tones of the pink cotton fabric.
In the name we refer to is as “adjustable” thanks to both the neck ties that can be shortened or lengthened with a pair of Dritz Rectangle Rings, as well as the clever waistband that incorporate a Dritz Swivel Hook and D-Ring and a Dritz Adjustable Slide Buckle to tighten or loosen to fit.
There are several layering steps in the apron’s construction, and it’s important that all your layers stay flat to avoid any wrinkles or warp. Try working on a large table or even a clean floor to give yourself plenty of space to smooth out everything.
We added a handy lanyard at the apron’s waist with a Dritz Medium Swivel Hook in Copper that can hold a utensil or even a pair of reading glasses to spy those little recipe ingredients. You’ll notice it’s positioned slightly towards the back; this is to keep it out of the way when bending to pull hot items from the oven.
As with store-bought aprons, our design is meant to be one-size-fits-all. However, we realize you may still wish to make yours smaller or larger. As a reference, the skirt of this apron finishes approximately 28″ wide x 16½” high from the bottom of the waistband. The bib is approximately 11¾” wide at its narrowest point across the top x 10” high to the top of the waistband. The total length of the apron, top to bottom, is approximately 28”. The neck tie is 30″ long and is adjustable with the double rectangle rings. The waist tie is adjustable end-to-end from 39″ to 44″ (measuring hardware-to-hardware). As shown in the steps below, it is the right side of the waistband that is adjustable.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing machine and standard presser foot
- Edge Guide foot; optional, but helpful for precise topstitching
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ONE Dritz Large Swivel Hook & D-Ring in Copper
- ONE Dritz Medium Swivel Hook in Copper
- ONE Dritz 1” Adjustable Slide Buckle in Copper
- TWO Dritz 1” Rectangle Rings in Copper
- ½ yard of 44”+ wide metallic linen or similar for the apron bib; we used 44” Essex Yarn Dyed Metallic Linen Blend in Copper by Kaufman Fabrics
- ¾ yard of 44”+ wide quilting weight cotton in a coordinating print for the apron skirt; we used 44” Bouquets in Pink from the Jardin Gris Fabric collection by Yuko Hasegawa for RJR Fabrics
NOTE: Yardage shown includes extra to allow a pretty fussy cut.
- 1 yard of 44″+ wide solid mid-weight canvas or similar for the back of the apron, front pocket, and lanyard; we used 54” 7oz Duck Canvas Cloth in Natural
- 2½ yards of 1” cotton webbing or similar; we used natural 1” webbing
- All-purpose thread to match fabric and webbing
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Dritz Fray Check seam sealant, optional for the ends of the webbing
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- Download and print the three pattern pieces required: two pieces to create the armhole cutaway and one piece for the pocket corner curve. These three pieces have been bundled into one Apron Pattern PDF file to make the download easier.
IMPORTANT: This pattern download consists of THREE 8½” x 11″ sheets. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on each sheet to confirm your printout it to scale.
- Cut out all the pattern pieces along the solid lines. Butt together the armhole cutaway pieces at the arrows as indicated. Do not overlap. Tape together to form the complete pattern.
- From the fabric for the apron bib (the metallic linen blend in our sample), cut ONE 11½” high x 29″ wide rectangle.
- Pin the assembled armhole cutaway pattern in the upper right corner of the cut piece, aligning the top and side edge of the pattern with the top and side raw edges of the fabric.
- Cut along the inner curved line through both layers.
- Flip over the pattern and repeat to cut away the upper left corner.
- Discard the pieces you cut away or add them to your scrap stash.
- From the fabric for the apron skirt (the pink cotton in our sample), fussy cut ONE 18½” high x 29″ wide rectangle
- From the fabric for the back of the apron, the front pocket, and the lanyard (the natural canvas in our sample), cut the following:
ONE 29” x 29” square for the apron back
ONE 9¾” high x 14″ wide rectangle for the front pocket
ONE 2” x 5¼” strip for the lanyard
- As above with the apron bib, pin the assembled armhole cutaway pattern in the upper right corner of the cut piece, aligning the top and side edge of the pattern with the top and side raw edges of the fabric.
- Flip over the pattern and repeat to cut away the upper left corner.
- Discard the pieces you cut away or add them to your scrap stash.
- From the webbing, cut ONE 3” length and ONE 31” length. Leave the rest of the webbing un-cut. Our final waist length was 45”, but you may want to measure and cut yours shorter or longer for the best adjustable fit.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Assemble the front with the neck ties
- Find the apron bib front and the apron skirt front.
- Place the two pieces right sides together, aligning the bottom of the apron bib with the top of the apron skirt. Pin together all the way across.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch across through both layers.
- Press the seam allowance down towards the skirt.
- Flip the apron front right side up on your work surface. Find the 3” and 31” lengths of webbing and the two Dritz Rectangle Rings.
- Slip the 3” length of webbing through both Dritz Rectangle Rings. Pull the webbing through so the raw ends are flush.
- Pin the webbing/rings to the top left side of the apron bib, 1” in from the left raw edge. The raw ends of the webbing should be flush with the top raw edge of the bib.
- Finish one end of the 31” length of webbing with a tight zig zag in matching thread to prevent raveling. You can also use a line of seam sealant, such as Dritz® Fray Check for extra protection.
- Place the unfinished end at the top right side of the apron bib, 1” in from the right raw edge and slightly angled out. This will allow it to pull up and go around the neck more smoothly.
- You can leave the webbing just pinned in place or machine baste in place for added security.
Layer front to back
- Find the apron back panel. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface.
- Place the apron front right side down on the back panel. The raw edges of the two panels should be flush all around. Make sure the long length of webbing is gathered to the center, out of the way of the seam. You can lightly pin it in place in the middle to help.
- Pin in place all around, leaving an approximate 5-6” opening along one side of the skirt for turning. Make sure both your layers are as flat as possible.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the fabrics in the top and bobbin. Re-set the stitch to normal.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around the entire perimeter of the apron. Remember to pivot at the corners and to lock the seam at either side of the 5-6” opening.
- When done, clip the corners.
- Turn the apron right side out through the opening. Use a long, blunt tool to gently push out the corners. A knitting needle, chopstick or point turner all work well. Pull the neck ties up into position.
- Press the apron from the front and back so it is super smooth and flat. Press in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the front fabric in the top and to best match the back fabric in the bobbin. Since our fabrics were quite distinct top to bottom, we took the time to re-thread the top thread for the bib and again for the skirt.
- Slightly lengthen the stitch.
- Edgestitch around the entire perimeter of the apron. This helps keep the layers flat and closes the opening used for turning. We used our Janome Edge Guide foot.
- Add one additional line to topstitching horizontally across the bib, 2” down from the top finished edge. We switched back to a standard presser foot and made sure our top thread matched the bib and our bobbin thread matched the back panel.
Make and place the pocket
- Find the 9¾” high x 14” wide pocket panel. Use the corner template to round both bottom corners of the pocket panel.
- Along the straight top edge, make a hem. To do this, fold back the raw edge ¼” and press.
- Then fold an additional 1” and press again.
- Unfold so the top hem crease lines are visible.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the pocket (and back panel) in the top and bottom. Leave the stitch slightly lengthened.
- Stitch along both sides and around the curved bottom, using a ½” seam allowance. You are simply stitching through the single layer of the pocket to give yourself a guideline with which to create a precise fold.
- Clip the curves.
- Fold on the stitched line along both sides and around the bottom. Pressing as you go.
- The pocket is one layer, there is no lining, so you want your edges to be nice and smooth.
- At the upper edge the side fold continues to the top.
- Then, re-fold along the original 1” crease line and pin the top hem in place.
- Topstitch across the pocket panel to secure the hem.
- Place the apron right side up and flat on your work surface.
- Place the pocket right side up on the apron skirt. It should be centered side to side (7½” from each finished side edge) and 4” up from the bottom finished edge. Pin in place along the sides and around the bottom.
- Edgestitch along both sides and around the bottom.
- Measure 4” in from each side of the pocket and use a fabric pen to draw in two vertical guide lines that will define the pocket divisions.
NOTE: As always when working on the right side of fabric, make sure your fabric pen or pencil is one that can easily wipe away or will vanish with exposure to the air or the heat of an iron.
- Stitch along each drawn guide line. If possible, use a lock stitch to secure the start and finish of your seam. If you don’t have this feature, leave the thread tails long, pull them through to the back, and knot to secure, trimming the tails very close.
Make and place the lanyard/swivel hook
- Find the 2” x 5¼” strip. Fold back each 5¼” raw edge ¼” and press well.
- Fold the strip in half, wrong sides together, encasing the raw edges. The folded edges should be flush.
- Edgestitch along the folded edges.
- Find the medium Dritz Swivel Hook.
- Slip one end of the lanyard through the top of the hook. Fold under the raw end about ¼” and then pull through about ½”. Pin in place.
- Stitch in place.
- Place the opposite raw end of the lanyard on the front of the apron. The seamed side of the lanyard should be facing the side of the apron. And the un-seamed edge (the far edge) should sit 4” in from the finished right edge of the apron. The raw end should be aligned with the horizontal seam of the apron front. The lanyard’s hem should be against the the apron skirt. Pin in place.
Create the center waistband
- Find the remaining length of webbing. As mentioned above, our webbing measured 45”. This should work well for most average adults, but if possible, you may want to leave your webbing longer then try the apron on the user. Fold the right end back on itself (as shown in the steps below) to simulate a finished length and determine if your starting length should be a bit shorter or longer.
- Finish both ends of the webbing as you did above with the neck tie: use a tight zig zag in matching thread, adding Dritz® Fray Check if desired.
- The left end of the webbing should be secured around the large Dritz® Swivel Hook. With the opening of the hook facing down, slip the end through, pulling it back on itself about 1”.
- With the machine threaded with thread to best match the webbing in the top and bobbin, stitch the end to secure. We both zig-zagged and straight-stitched across.
- Place the webbing right side up across the front of the apron, centering it over the bib/skirt seam. It can help to place your see-through ruler across the bib to give yourself a straight edge to follow.
- The left end (the end with the large Dritz® Swivel Hook) should extend beyond the finished side of the apron by 2”.
- Pin in place all the way across, allowing the opposite end (the free right end) to simply extend out and beyond the edge of the apron.
- Topstitch along the upper edge of the webbing, starting at the vertical seam of the hook and continuing across the entire front of the apron. But don’t stop there.
- Keep stitching along the webbing that is extending to the right. Pivot and stitch across the end.
- Then stitch back along the bottom edge.
- Continue back across the front, securing the lanyard in place as you go.
- Stop where you started, at the vertical seam line of the large Dritz Swivel Hook.
- Find the Dritz Adjustable Slide Buckle and the Large D-Ring that is part of the large Dritz Swivel Hook & D-Ring set.
- Feed the free right end of the webbing around the center bar of the Dritz Adjustable Slide Buckle.
- Pull the end through, giving yourself about 8” to work with.
- Pull the webbing away from the center of the Dritz Adjustable Buckle so there’s a loop of slack and you can clearly see the buckle. Feed the free end through the Dritz D-Ring.
- Pass the free end under the center bar of the Dritz Adjustable Buckle.
- Then bring it around and over the top of the bar. You’ve made a little loop around the bar that is a mini mirror image of the larger loop.
- Pin the end in place about 1” from the center bar and stitch in place to secure.
- The buckle can now slide along the webbing, allowing you to adjust this right end shorter or longer to fit. As mentioned above, our sample adjusts from 39” to 44” in total length, measuring from the end of the hardware to either side, which means the right end is adjustable by about 5″.
Double check the length of the neck tie
- If possible, try the apron on the intended wearer to check the length of the neck tie. Leave as is or trim as necessary. Then fold back the end and topstitch in place. Make sure you test it first by looping through the rings to confirm you are folding back the end in the proper direction.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild