Is your dad an awesome chef or maybe a weekend warrior on the BBQ? Whether he's headed to the next Chili Cook-Off or just flippin' burgers for a family picnic, our cook's apron and hot mitt combo is sure to light his fire. The apron construction couldn't be simpler. You provide a simple rectangle of fabric; we provide a free downloadable template for the armhole cutout. Hem, attach the pockets and ties, add a grommet, and you're good to go. We chose two medium-weight cottons from the Lock Harbor Collection by Benartex Home, just one of the many designer lines available at Fabric.com. The mitt follows one of our favorite S4H tutorials. We rotated the direction of the fabric's stripes to go vertically on the apron's pocket and horizontally on the mitt.
Our entire week of great gift ideas for Dad is sponsored by the good folks at Fabric.com. Remember, US shipping is always free for orders of $35 or more, and Fabric.com always adds an extra inch to their cuts to insure they are accurate and you are never short.
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 30" wide at it's widest point across the center and approximately 10¼" at its narrowest point across the top; the total length, top to bottom, is approximately 37"; the ties are each approximately 38" long.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any sewing machine (we recommend the Janome 3160QDC)
- Walking foot with guide bar or just a guide bar for your regular presser foot (optional)
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: For the very best look, all your pieces should be carefully fussy cut. The yardage shown allows extra for this purpose.
- 1½ yard of 54"+ wide medium to heavy weight cotton for the main body of the apron and the ties as well as the accent band and the hanging loop for the mitt; we used 54" medium weight Patra Stripe in Blue/Off White (item #0286017) from the Lock Harbor Collection by Benartex Home from Fabric.com
- 1 yard of 54"+ wide medium to heavy weight cotton for the apron pockets as well as the main front and back panels for the mitt; we used 54" medium weight Athena Stripe in Blue/Khaki (item #0286024) from the Lock Harbor Collection by Benartex Home from Fabric.com
- Scrap or ⅓ yard of standard weight cotton for the mitt lining; we used Cotton Couture by Michel Miller Fabrics in Denim
- Scrap or ⅓ yard of insulating fleece for the mitt; we used Insul-Bright by the Warm Company
- One extra large grommet (sometimes called "eyelets") for the apron; we used brass
- ONE ¾" D-ring for the oven mitt
- All-purpose thread to match fabrics
- One accent color thread for topstitching; we used a khaki for all the stitching on the apron
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
NOTE: The instructions below are for the apron only. The hot mitt follows the same steps as our previous tutorial: Quilted Oven Mitts in Simple Marks for Moda Fabrics. At the end of the Apron steps, we have included a few extra photos of the current hot mitt construction to augment the photos in the original tutorial.
- Download and print out the Apron Cut Out Part One and Apron Cut Out Part Two templates.
IMPORTANT: Each template is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid lines. Butt the pieces together at the arrows as indicated on the templates. Do not overlap. Tape together to form the complete template.
- From the fabric for the main body of the apron and the ties (Patra Stripe in Blue/Off White in our sample), fussy cut the following:
ONE 19½" high x 32" wide rectangle with the stripes running vertically for the apron top
ONE 23" high x 32" wide rectangle with the stripes running horizontally for the apron bottom
THREE 2" x 39" strips for the waist and neck ties with the stripes running horizontally
- From the fabric for the apron pockets (Athena Stripe in Blue/Khaki in our sample), fussy cut the following:
ONE 14" high" x 24" wide rectangle with the stripes running vertically
ONE 9" high x 5" wide rectangle with the stripes running vertically
NOTE: We fussy cut the large pocket first and then were extra careful to position the stripes on the small chest pocket so they would be directly in line (vertically) with the large pocket's stripes.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Find the two main apron panels. Place them right sides together, aligning them along one 32" edge. Pin in place.
- Stitch together using a flat felled seam. If you are new to this technique, we have a detailed tutorial here.
NOTE: The flat felled seam is not mandatory; it is simply a design element. If you do not wish to do this type of seam, you will need to at least finish this main horizontal seam in some way as it will be visible on the back of the apron. Below is a photo of our pretty finished seam.
- Place the sewn apron front right side up and flat on your work surface so the seam is running horizontally.
- Fold the apron panel in half vertically, matching the long raw edges and the seam ends. Find the armhole pattern. Place it in the upper corner (not the corner with the fold), aligning the pattern with the top and side raw edges as shown in the photo below. There are markings on the pattern to follow as well.
- Make a narrow double-turn hem along both sides, including the arm holes. To do this, fold in the raw edge ½" and press, then fold in another ½" and press again. Pin in place.
- Stitch in place, staying close to the inside fold.
NOTE: If simple hemming is a new technique for you, read our tutorial. In addition, we lengthened our stitch for two reasons: one) it makes it easier to stitch through the thicker fabric, and two) we wanted a "beefier" look to the topstitching.
Top and bottom hems
- When the both sides are hemmed, you can hem the top and bottom.
- To hem the top, fold down the raw edge ½" and press, then fold down an additional 1½" and press again. Pin in place
- Stitch in place, staying close to the inside fold. Run a second seam ⅜" from the top folded edge. This secures the hem and provides a "placement channel" for the strap and grommet.
- To hem the bottom, fold up the raw edge ½" and press, then fold up an additional 2" and press again. Pin in place.
- Stitch in place, staying close to the inside fold. Run a second seam ¼" from the first within the hem. This double seam will mimic the look of the flat felled seam above.
Make and place the apron pockets
- Find the 24" x 14" pocket panel. Press under both sides the bottom ½". Lightly pin if needed to hold the folds in place.
- Along the top, make a simple hem. To do this, fold down the raw edge ¼" and press, then fold down an additional 2" and press again. Pin in place.
- Stitch in place, staying close to the inside fold. Run a second seam ¼" from the first within the hem. As above with the bottom hem, this double seam will mimic the look of the flat felled seam above. We are still using our khaki thread.
- Fold the pocket in half and press lightly to mark a center crease line.
- Fold the main apron panel in half as well and press to mark its center crease line.
- Unfold and place the apron flat and right side up on your work surface. Place the pocket right side up on the apron front, aligning the center crease lines. The bottom edge of the pocket should be approximately 4½" up from the bottom hem. The sides of the pocket should be approximately 3¼” from the side hems. Pin the pocket in place.
- Edgestitch the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom. Remember to pivot at the corners.
- To turn this one large pocket into two generous pockets, topstitch a double center seam. To do this, simply stitch approximately ⅛" to either side of the center crease line. If you are unsure of your precision following the crease line, you can draw in two lines to follow. However, you are working on the front of your apron; make sure your fabric pen/pencil is easy to remove.
NOTE: For the neatest look, lock your stitch at the beginning and end rather than using a back tack. However, if you are super careful about stitching directly over your seam line, a back tack would work equally well and would be stronger at these pocket stress points.
- Find the 9" x 5" pocket piece.
- Trim off the lower corners at a 45˚ angle.
- Press under both sides, the bottom angles and the flat bottom ½". Lightly pin if needed to hold the folds in place.
- Along the top, make a simple hem. To do this, fold down the raw edge ¼" and press, then fold down an additional 1½" and press again. Pin in place.
- Stitch in place, staying close to the inside fold. This hem has just a single seam.
- The pocket's placement will be based somewhat on your fabric's motif. As we mentioned above, we cut our pocket to match with the stripe of the main pocket directly below it.
- In general, the top of the pocket should be approximately 6" down from the apron's top hemmed edge, the bottom of the pocket is approximately 7½" from the top of the main pocket, and the upper right corner of the pocket is approximately 2" in from the hemmed curve of the right armhole.
- Pin the pocket in place, then edgestitch in place along both sides and around the angles of the bottom.
Make and place the ties
- Find the three 2" x 39" tie strips.
- Place one wrong side up on your ironing board.
- Fold in one long edge ½" and press well.
- Fold in the opposite long edge ¼", then fold this edge an additional ½". This second fold should overlap the raw edge of the first fold. Pin in place.
- Topstitch down the center of the tie, staying close to the folded edge. Go slowly and follow a guide line on your machine's needle plate to insure your seam stays nice and straight.
- On one end of the tie make a small double fold hem. Ours is ⅜", which means we folded in the raw end ⅜" and pressed, then folded an additional ⅜" and pressed again, then stitched the end in place with a tiny horizontal seam.
- On the opposite end of the tie, simply fold back the raw end 1½" and pin in place.
NOTE: Double-check to make sure you have folded back this end to the same side of the tie as the back of the hem on the opposite end.
- Repeat to create the remaining two ties.
- Place the apron front flat and right side up on your work surface.
- Place the ties on the apron front. You are placing the 1½" folded-back end on each tie onto the apron front - not the hemmed end.
- One waist tie should be pinned at each side ½" below the bottom of the arm hole curve. Stitch each tie in place with an approximate 1½" "X-Box."
- The end of the neck tie should be pinned at the top upper right (as looking down at the apron on your work surface) of the apron bib ½" in from the left side and centered between the two seam lines of the apron's top hem (the "placement channel" mentioned above). Stitch the tie in place with an approximate 1½" "X-Box."
- Center a grommet directly opposite the tie in the upper left corner of the apron.
NOTE: If you are new to inserting grommets, we have a great tutorial.
- Slip the tie through the finished grommet from the back to the front. Adjust the length for a comfortable fit on your chef, and tie a simple knot to hold the end in place.
- Download and print out the Oven Mitt Bottom and Oven Mitt Top templates.
IMPORTANT: Each template is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid lines. Butt the pieces together at the arrows as indicated on the templates. Do not overlap. Tape together to form the complete pattern.
As mentioned above, our hot mitt follows the same steps as our previous tutorial: Quilted Oven Mitts in Simple Marks for Moda Fabrics. We have included a few extra photos of the current hot mitt construction below to augment the photos in the original tutorial.
You may also like the oven mitt/hot pad options listed below, and of course, you can also check out our Project Index for even more ideas.
- Here are all the parts cut out and ready to assemble.
- Quilting with a quilt bar keeps straight lines even.
- With the mitt sewn and the lining inside, slip the top binding strip into place.
- A free arm option makes sewing the top cuff so much easier.
- We also used the free arm for the final topstitching.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever