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Classic Chef Canvas Apron: Dritz Belting and Hardware

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Is there a guy in your life who should be crowned King of the Kitchen? We love Dad Chefs, and this apron is specially designed to suit their style. The body of the apron is made from tough canvas and features a full coverage outline. There are plenty of pockets because we know Dads like to tuck away their tools. And, we used flexible Dritz 1” Belting with hardworking Dritz hardware accents to make sure stress points are reinforced and the apron is easy to get on and off. Both the neck loop and the waist ties are adjustable to fit most sizes.

We focused on designing a great gift for guys when creating this apron pattern, but that doesn’t mean you can’t adapt it to fit all the classic cooks on your list. As you’ll see below, the main pieces start as simple rectangles; we then provide free downloadable templates to allow you to create the curved armhole cut-outs and the outer diagonal cut-outs on the larger bottom pocket.

The Dritz 1” Belting is 100% polypropylene and comes in 20 colors. We picked a rich Chocolate Brown. Because it is polypropylene, any cut ends can be sealed by using a small flame or by running a line of Fray Check seam sealant. This also means it’s easy to re-size either the neck loop or waist ties. The lengths recommended below should be a fine starting point for most folks; our model is quite tall and both the neck and waist ties were plenty long.  If after trying on the apron, you want to shorten the lengths, simply trim the ends and re-melt or re-Fray Check.

The majority of the sewing on this apron is done as topstitching. We recommend using a heavyweight thread in a color that slightly contrasts with your canvas. This means the stitching will be very visible so take the time to practice on layers of scraps with a slightly lengthened stitch. Vary the stitch length as necessary until you get an even pattern that works for you. If you have it as a feature on your machine, consider using a Start/Stop button rather than the foot control to insure the smoothest feeding. We also recommend using a Walking or Even Feed foot or engaging your machine's built-in fabric feeding system, such as the Janome AcuFeed Flex™ system. Either of these options feed the fabric from both the top and the bottom so any shifting is kept to a minimum.

Great looking Dritz Hardware in a rich Antique Brass finish is the perfect accent for this apron. Double Cap Rivets reinforce both the upper and lower pockets and hold the Rectangle Ring tabs in place at the sides. Heavy Duty Snaps and Overall Buckles complete the industrial styling.

As always, we send a huge shout out to Dritz for providing us with access to their great new products and sponsoring these project instructions. Dritz always has wonderful ways to keep your sewing easier and more creative. To find out more, we invite you to visit their website or blog; or follow them on Pinterest, Instagram, TwitterFacebook, and YouTube

Knowing that Dad Chefs tend to be Messy Chefs, this apron is easy to launder. In fact, the ties were designed with wash-and-wear flexibility in mind. Overall Buckles on the neck loop and Heavy Duty Snaps on the waist ties means they can both be removed prior to laundering. You don’t need those straps and hardware clanking around in your washer and dryer.

Are you intrigued by the look of the Dritz Belting used on this project? You might also like the other projects we’ve done with both the 1” belting and the 1½” belting: Unisex Belted Half ApronsSlim Crossbody Shoulder PouchFast and Easy Gym ToteWashed Canvas Tote with Belting Handles and Drawstring Lining, Feed Sack Big Bag, Yoga Tote with Wraparound Straps, and Fast & Easy Decorative Stitch Belts.

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, this apron finishes approximately 27" wide at it's widest point across the center and approximately 11¾" at its narrowest point across the top; the total length, top to bottom, is approximately 32½"; the snap-on waist ties are each approximately 33" long. The neck tie is a single adjustable loop of about 35". You can always start with longer lengths for either the waist or neck ties as it is easy to trim and re-melt the ends of the belting once you do a final fit on the apron’s wearer.

Sewing Tools You Need


Fabric and Other Supplies

  • 3½ yards (two packages) of 1” Dritz Belting/Strapping; we used Dark Brown
    NOTE: The packaged Dritz Belting comes in 2-yard lengths, we recommend two packages in order to insure each of the required pieces can be cut as a full length
  • TWO 1” Dritz Rectangle Rings (one package); we used Antique Brass
  • TWO Dritz Overall Buckle Sets (one package); we used Antique Brass
  • TWO Dritz 1” Adjustable Slide Buckles (one package); we used Antique Brass
  • TWO Dritz ⅝" Heavy Duty Snaps (one package); we used Antique Brass
  • Dritz Heavy Duty Snap Setting Tools
  • TEN Dritz Double Cap Rivets (one package); we used Antique Brass
  • Dritz Double Cap Rivet Setting Tools
  • Dritz Fray Check to seal the ends of the belting or use a lighter to melt each end

  • 1 yard of 54"+ wide cotton duck canvas or similar for the body of the apron and the exterior of all the pockets; we used cotton duck canvas in khaki
  • yard of 44"+ wide cotton duck or similar for the upper bib facing and the lining of all the pockets; we used a ticking stripe in khaki
  • yard of 45”+ mid-weight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Decor Bond
  • All-purpose thread to match fabric for pocket construction
  • All-purpose thread in a contrasting color for topstitching; we recommend a heavyweight thread, such as Coats Heavy Thread, which is what we used in a dark gold
  • See-through ruler
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins
  • Hammer to set rivets, snaps, and overall buttons
  • Heavy metal, stone or wooden block to use as a cutting and hammering surface – you need a very hard surface; we like to use a small granite block

Getting Started and Pattern Download

  1. Download and print out Bib Cut Out-Part A, Bib Cut Out-Part B, Pocket Cut Out, and Bib Facing Parts A and B. These have been bundled into one PDF to make the download easier. Apron Pattern
    IMPORTANT: Each page within this PDF is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guideline on each page to confirm your printout is to scale.
  2. Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid lines. For both the Bib Cut Out and the Bib Facing, butt together the A and B pieces at the arrows as indicated on the templates. Do not overlap. Tape together to form the complete template for the Bib Cut Out and the Bib Facing. 
  3. Cut the Dritz Belting into the following lengths:
    TWO 36” lengths for the waist ties
    TWO 5” lengths for the D-Ring tabs
    ONE 35” length for the neck loop
    Seal both ends of each length with Dritz Fray Check - or use a lighter to melt each end
  4. From the fabric for the body of the apron and the exterior of all the pockets, cut the following:
    ONE 29" wide x 34½" high rectangle
    NOTE: If you have trouble cutting large panels, fold your fabric and instead cut ONE 14½” wide x 34½” high.
    ONE 21” wide x 10” high rectangle for the large lower pocket
    ONE 10” wide x 7½" high rectangle for the small upper pocket
  5. From the fabric for the upper bib facing and the lining of all the pockets; cut the following:
    ONE 21” wide x 10” high rectangle for the large lower pocket
    ONE 10” wide x 7½" high rectangle for the small upper pocket
    Using the assembled Facing pattern, cut ONE
    NOTE: If using a stripe as we did, fussy cut along a stripe.

  6. From the interfacing, cut the following:
    ONE 20” x 9” rectangle for the large lower pocket
    ONE 9” x 6½" rectangle for the small upper pocket
    Using the assembled Facing pattern, but cutting along the dotted stitching line and solid folding line, cut ONE

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Create the upper bib with its facing

  1. Find the main panel. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface.
  2. Use the assembled Bib Cut Out pattern to cut the armhole curve from both upper corners of the panel. With the pattern facing right side up, pin the pattern in place in the upper right corner.
  3. Cut along the inner curve.
  4. Repeat to cut the same curve from the opposite corner, but this time, work with the pattern facing right side down.
  5. Toss the cut outs into your scrap bin.
  6. Find the facing panel. Along the bottom, press up the raw edge ½” – along the fold line shown on the pattern piece. Press well to set a crease.
  7. Unfold wrong side up so the crease line is visible.
  8. Align the bottom of the interfacing along the ½” crease line, centering it side to side. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
  9. Refold the bottom ½”.
  10. If using a label as we did, stitch it in place now on the front of the apron bib. The top of our label is positioned 1¾” down from the top raw edge of the bib and centered side to side. Thread the machine with thread to best match your label in the top and bobbin and slightly lengthen the stitch. Edgestitch around all four sides of the label.
  11. Pin the interfaced and folded facing panel right sides together with the top of the apron bib.
  12. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the facing in the top and bobbin. Re-set the stitch length to normal.
  13. As shown on the paper pattern, the facing seam allowance is 1” along the sides and ½” along the top. This allows the sides of the upper bib along the facing to become flush with the 1” double turn hem that finishes the remainder of the apron panel.
  14. Use the markings on your machine’s throat plate, or follow along the edge of the interfacing.
  15. Start on one side at the edge of the bottom fold. If possible, use a lock stitch to start and end your seam; this produces the neatest, cleanest finish. If you don’t have this option, leave the thread tails long and knot to secure.
  16. Using that 1” seam allowance, stitch up to the corner, pivot, and stitch across the top with a ½” seam allowance.
  17. Pivot 1” from the end and stitch down the opposite side, ending at the bottom fold as you started.
  18. Cut each corner on the diagonal, being careful to not cut into your seam, and press open the seam allowance.
  19. Grade each side seam allowance, trimming back the facing to ½”.
  20. Turn right side out, which will bring the facing into position along the back of the bib.
  21. Using a long, blunt tool, like a chopstick, knitting needle or point turner, gently push out the upper corners so they are nice and square. Press well.

Hemming all around

  1. Starting below the facing, the remaining perimeter of the apron panel is finished with a ½” double turn hem with clean, diagonal point corners at the base of each armhole curve and at each bottom corner.
  2. First fold back the raw edge 1” and press well to set a crease.
  3. Open out so the crease line is visible and fold in the raw edge to align with the crease line. This is your first ½” turn. Press well.
  4. Fold again, your second ½” turn, encasing the raw edge and producing the finished double turn hem. Press well again and pin in place.
  5. At each corner mentioned above, unfold the square hem and re-fold into a diagonal corner point.
  6. If you are brand new to this corner technique, take a look at our full step-by-step tutorial on the easy process. It works best on either ¼” double turn hems or ½” double turn hems.
  7. Thread the machine with the contrasting thread in the top and bobbin. Lengthen the stitch.
    NOTE: Test your stitch length on some layered fabric scraps. Corse fabrics, such as canvas can be harder to maintain an even stitch. Play around with the length until you get a strong, even look to your stitching.
  8. Using a ⅜” seam allowance, stitch around the entire perimeter of the apron.

    NOTE: We suggest starting and stopping your seam just below one of the corners at the base of the armhole curves. This area will be covered by the waist ties.
  9. You are going around the entire apron panel, including around the upper portion of the bib which has the facing.
  10. Topstitch across the upper bib to secure the bottom fold of the facing. This horizontal line of topstitching should go edge to edge across the bib, which means it will cross over the side topstitching. Keep your seam as close to the edge of the bottom fold of the facing as possible. You can “feel” the edge while stitching, or you can draw in a line to follow with your fabric pen or pencil. If you choose this route, just make sure you measure the depth of your facing to confirm. It should be 3” – but double check. This means your drawn line should be approximately 2” from the upper edge of the bib.

Create and place the pockets

  1. Find the large exterior pocket panel and the corresponding panel of interfacing. Place the interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric panel, centering it so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
  2. Repeat to fuse the interfacing to the small exterior pocket panel.
  3. Find the Pocket Cut Out pattern piece. Pin it in the upper right corner of the large exterior panel.
  4. Slice along the inner diagonal line.
  5. Repeat to cut a matching angle in the upper left corner. As you did above when using the Bib Cut Out, remember to flip over the pattern piece prior to pinning it in place to cut the opposite corner in order to get the correct mirror image.
  6. Repeat again to slice matching angles in both upper corners of the large pocket lining panel.
  7. Place the exterior and lining of the large angled pocket right sides together. The edges of both layers should be flush all around. Pin in place, leaving an approximate 2” opening along the bottom for turning.
  8. Repeat to pin together the layers for the small square pocket, again leaving an opening along the bottom for turning.
  9. Re-thread the machine with construction thread to best match the apron in the top and bobbin. Re-set the stitch length to normal.
  10. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around each layered pocket, pivoting at all the corners, including the angled points of the large pocket, and locking the seam at either side of the opening.
  11. Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance.
  12. Turn right side out through the opening. Using a long blunt tool, as you did above for the bib facing, push out all the corners and points so they are nice and sharp. Press flat, making sure the seam allowance along the openings is flush with the sewn seam.
  13. Along the upper each of each pocket, roll up the lining slightly so it shows along this upper edge – a bit like mini piping. Pin in place to hold the roll.
  14. Re-thread the machine with the topstitching thread in the top and bobbin. Lengthen the stitch to match the previous topstitching. Stitch across the top of each pocket. This seam should be about ¼” from the top of the rolled lining. This seam holds the slight roll in place and insures the top of the pocket matches the rest of the topstitching.
  15. Find the apron panel. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface.
  16. Place the upper edge of the small pocket 4” down from the finished top edge of the apron bib and centered side to side. Pin the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom.
  17. Place the lower edge of the large pocket 9” up from the finished bottom edge of the apron and centered side to side. Pin the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom.
  18. The machine should still be threaded with the topstitching thread in the top and bobbin and the stitch should still be lengthened.
  19. Edgestitch each pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. This seam closes the opening used for turning on both pockets.
  20. Using a fabric pen or pencil, draw in the vertical pocket division lines on both pockets. On the upper pocket, draw in a vertical line 2” in from both sides. On the large lower pocket, draw in a vertical line 5” in from both sides. On this large pocket, the drawn lines should align with the inner points of the angled edge.

    NOTE: Remember, anytime you are working on the right side of your fabric, make sure your marking tool is one that will easily wipe away or will vanish with exposure to the air or the heat of an iron.
  21. Using the same thread and lengthened stitch, topstitch along each vertical drawn line.
  22. Then stitch a second line of topstitching ⅛” from and exactly parallel to the first line. In all cases, this second line should be towards the center of the apron.
  23. For the cleanest look, if possible, use a lock stitch to start and end all your pocket division seams. If you do not have this feature, leave the thread tails long, pull them through to the back, and knot to secure. 

Add the pocket rivets

  1. We added two Dritz Double Cap Rivets to the upper pocket, one in each corner. There are four Rivets across the top of the larger pocket, one in each outer corner and one in each inner corner. In all cases, they help reinforce the pocket’s stress points and add a cool hardware embellishment.
  2. Collect the Dritz Double Cap Rivets and the Dritz Double Cap Rivet Tools.
  3. Mark the hole position at each corner point. Make sure you are centering your hole so it can cut cleanly through all the layers. Don’t get to close to the pocket top or you may not cut a full circle.
  4. Cut a hole with the Dritz Cutting Tool at each of the marked points.
  5. Set the front cap into position through the hole from front to back.
  6. Place the back cap onto the stud of the front cap
  7. Use the setting anvil and post to seal front to back.
  8. You should use a very hard surface to hammer against for the best seal. We like to use a small block of granite.
    NOTE: Riveting is easier than you might think (especially with the Dritz tools), and we’ve summarized the steps above. If you’re brand new, check out our Metal Rivets Tutorial.

Add the waist ties

  1. Keep the Rivets and Rivet Tools. Find the two 5” lengths of Belting and the two Rectangle Rings.
  2. Slip a 5” length of Belting through each Rectangle Ring. Pull it all the way through and align the cut ends.
  3. Wrap the Rectangle Ring tab around the apron panel at the pivot point of the topstitching at the base of each armhole curve. Pin in place. Remember, you are wrapping the side of the apron; one cut end of the Belting is against the front, one is against the back.
  4. Two Rivets hold each Rectangle Ring tab in place. Mark for each position, measuring from the cut end: ½” in on center, then 1” in on center and centered within the width of the Belting.
  5. Following the same steps as above, cut a hole through all the layers and insert each Rivet in place. Make sure the tab is securely pinned to insure the holes line up front to back.
  6. Find the two 36” lengths of Belting, the two Heavy Duty Snaps, and the Snap Tools. The waist ties are secured through the ring with a snap so the Belting can be removed for laundering.
  7. Mark one end of each length of Belting for the two halves of the Snaps. Both marks are centered within the width of the Belting. One is 1” in from the cut end, the second is 4½” in from the cut end.
  8. Insert the Snap cap from front to the back through the innermost hole.
  9. Flip over the Belting and set the cap down into the concave side of the anvil.
  10. Place the stud over the exposed center point of the cap.
  11. Place the Post over the stud and hammer to seal top to bottom.
  12. Find the remaining two pieces of the socket half of the snap. It is inserted in the same manner into the outermost hole with the ring on the top (opposite the snap cap)…
  13. … and the socket on the back (opposite the snap stud).
  14. Repeat to insert a Snap on the second length of Belting. If you are brand new to setting snaps, like the rivets, it is easier than you might think and the steps shown above summarize the process. If you’d like more detail, check out our full tutorial on setting metal snaps.

Add the Overall Buckles and neck loop to finish

  1. Find the two Dritz Overall Buckle and Button sets and the 35” length of Belting. Keep the Rivet Tools, we used the cutting tool for the Overall Buttons.
  2. Place the apron panel right side up and flat on your work surface. Mark for the Overall Buckle Button position in each upper corner of the apron bib. This mark should be 1” in from the side and 1” down from the top.
  3. Place the Overall Buckle and Button in place over the mark to confirm the position.
  4. Cut a hole through all layers at each marked point.
  5. Insert the Overall Button nail through the hole from back to front.
  6. Place the Overall Button over the exposed nail.
  7. Hammer to seal. As with the Rivets and Snaps, make sure you are hammering on a very hard surface. The nail should fit snugly into the button. Make sure the button is on the nail straight, then hammer firmly to seal. You might want to cover the button with a cloth if you have an older, more beat-up hammer.
  8. Find the two Adjustable Slide Buckles and the Belting Loop. Thread each end of the Belting up and over the center bar of an Adjustable Slide Buckle.
  9. Insert each free end of the Belting through one of the Overall Buckles, bringing it under the upper bar and through the center slot as shown in the photo below.
  10. Thread the free end back over the center bar of the Adjustable Slide Buckle, allowing the tail of the loop to be hidden at the back.
  11. Hook each buckle to the button to finish. As with the waist ties, the neck loop can also be removed prior to laundering.
  12. As mentioned above, the Dritz Belting is 100% polypropylene so it’s easy to trim and re-melt or re-Fray Check the cut ends should you want your neck loop or waist ties to be smaller. From our testing, neither should need to be longer as our sample model was very tall and both lengths were plenty long.

We received compensation from Dritz® for this project, and some of the materials featured here or used in this project were provided free of charge by Dritz®.  All opinions are our own.

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

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