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Patio Party: Groovy Hostess Apron

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We know Sew4Home is all about home dec sewing, but every once in a while, we like to branch out. Besides, we were a little afraid our cool Patio Party linens were stealing all the glory. I hate it when the placemats look better than me! Aprons are all the rage right now because they are so fun and easy to make. Try this cute little number, and show off your own party style.

This project has quite a few steps, but the sewing is really very simple, and the result is fantastic!

Our sample was made using the beautiful fabrics from Heather Bailey's Freshcut collection. For information on where to buy, read How to Create a Fabric Pallet.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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  • Fabric for body of apron and pocket: ½ yard of 45" wide fabric: we used Heather Bailey's Freshcut in Groovy-orange/green
  • Fabric for apron waistband, side ties, bottom hem band, and top pocket band: ½ yard of 45" wide fabric: we used Heather Bailey's Freshcut in Dotted Paisley-green
  • All purpose thread
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric marker, pen or tailor's chalk for drawing on fabric
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • Iron and ironing board

Getting Started

  1. Download and print out the base apron pattern courtesy of American Patchwork & Quilting®. For more free patterns, go to allpeoplequilt.com.
  2. Cut out all six pattern pieces around drawn lines. Tape all six pattern pieces together along dotted lines as diagram indicates, and cut around outside edge.
  3. On the fabric you are using for the body of the apron, cut a rectangle 18" high x 34" wide.
  4. Fold this rectangle in half widthwise, lining up the raw side edges. Pin the apron pattern through both layers of the fabric, making sure to line up the center front fold line on the apron pattern with the fold line of the fabric.
  5. With the remaining fabric from the apron body, draw a rectangle 5" high x 6½" wide, and cut around drawn lines to make your pocket pattern piece.
  6. On the fabric you are using for the Bottom Band, Side Ties, Waistband and Pocket Band, draw four rectangles as follows:
    Bottom Band: 33¼"wide x 3" high
    Side Ties (x2): 30" wide x 3¼" high
    Waistband: 25¾" wide x 3¼" high
    Pocket Band: 6½" wide x 4" high
  7. Cut around all drawn lines and set pieces aside.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. On the right side of the fabric, fold and pin closed the pleats along the top, then sew pleats shut with an edgestitch.
  2. Still on the right side of the fabric, lightly press the pleats about 2" below the top raw edge.
  3. Pin the bottom band to the bottom edge of the apron, lining up the raw edges along the bottom and on the sides, and sew a ¼" seam.
  4. Press the bottom band downward, and edgestitch through the Bottom Band and both seam allowances.
  5. Along both sides of the apron and the raw edge of the bottom band, turn under the right side of the fabric ¼", and then another ¼" and press. Edgestitch along the folded edges, creating a simple ¼" double-turn hem on all three edges. For more info about hemming read, How to Make a Simple Hem.
  6. Pin one end of a side-ties piece to one end of the waistband piece, and sew ½" seam. Repeat for other side-ties piece on opposite end of the waistband to make one long side-ties/ waistband strip. Press both of these seams open.
  7. At each raw edge end of the side-ties, turn under the right side of the fabric ½". Then turn under the right side of the fabric ½" along the length of the side-ties/ waistband sewn strip. You should end up with a nice right angle corner at the end of each tie.
  8. Pin the side-ties/ waistband strip to the top of the apron, right sides together, lining up the raw edges. Be sure to match up the side-ties/ waistband seams with the finished sides of the apron. Sew a ¼" seam along the top raw edge.
  9. Press the waistband seam up towards the top edge of the apron, then continue turning under ¼"and pressing along the bottom raw edges of the side-ties .
  10. Fold the waistband over so the top ½" pressed edge covers the apron seam and the pressed edges of the side-ties line up.
  11. Flip the apron over so the right side is showing. Then, starting at one end of the side-ties, sew a continuous edgestitch down the end of one side-tie, then along the bottom edge of that tie, along the bottom of the waistband, along the bottom of the opposite side-tie, and finally up the end of that final tie. Remember to stop with your needle in the down position when you come to a corner, raise your presser foot, pivot 90˚, lower the presser foot, and continue stitching.
  12. To make the pocket, pin the pocket band piece to the top edge of the pocket piece, and sew a ½" seam.
  13. Press the seam up towards the pocket band.
  14. Turn under the right side of the fabric ½" along all four edges.
  15. Fold over the pocket band to the backside of the Pocket, making sure to cover the seam allowance. Press.
  16. Flip over sewn pocket, and edgestitch along the bottom edge of the band.
  17. Pin the finished pocket to the body of the apron so it is 2¼" below the bottom of the waistband, and the inside edge of the pocket is 1" from the pressed pleat edge. You can place the pocket on either the left or right side, depending on your preference.
  18. Edgestitch along both sides and the bottom edge of the pocket.

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Finished Groovy Hostess Apron.


Hints and Tips

If you are a more experienced sewer, you can follow the dart shape on the apron pattern to sew two front darts in the apron instead of making pleats.

Since we are sewing a straight waistband to a curved edge on the top of the apron, you may find it helpful to pin the waistband in place after folding it in half and pressing (Step 10 above), and before sewing the edgestitch (Step 11 above). By pinning first, you can ease the straight line to fit the curve. Just make sure the edgestitch along the front of the waistband's bottom edge catches the bottom edge of the back of the waistband – since you won't be able to see that when you sew.

If you have excess fabric, you can make two pockets and put one on each side.

Project Design: Alicia Thommas 
Sample Creation & Instructions: Gregory Dickson

Other machines suitable for this project include the Bernina aurora 430 and the White Multi-Tasker Model 2200.



Comments (6)

Cathy O'Connell said:
Cathy O'Connell's picture

Hi - I purchased 1/2 yard for the main body of the apron.  Cut it 18x34 and taped my pattern together.  I am confused from here as my pattern is much bigger than my folded in 1/2 18x34 piece of material. 

I had the pattern printed using the larger paper as printing it on the 8x12 looked really small.

What am I doing wrong

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Cathy - Oh my, but this is an old project... and someone else's pattern. We don't really set up our projects this way anymore, but we'll try to troubleshoot as best we can. In the early days, we were very conservative with our fabric yardage requirements; these day we plan more generous cuts. But, if you printed and assembled the pattern correcly, it should just fit onto to the folded fabric. When folded, the fabric is 18" x 17". The pattern is 15" x just under 17" - so it should just fit on the folded fabric. Our photo was likely done with a larger piece during the prototype phase, which is why it looks a bit different. I'm afraid we can't troubleshoot someone else's download link, but when we did a test print at actual size, it assembled correctly. Perhaps it was mistakenly enlarged when printed for you. You do need to print at actual size.

NorthWestSea said:
NorthWestSea's picture
I wanted a kitchen apron (vs. a hostess apron) and this seemed like such an easy approach - and it was! Great pattern for those just starting out.
I did lengthen the apron about about 6" (I know it seems like a lot) and I eliminated the pocket - it was exactly what I have been wanting.
Quanita said:
Quanita's picture
Hi, I too consider myself a new sewer, but I love making things, I made this for my sister in law as a Christmas stocking filler and am going to attempt the retro laminated toddler apron, using the same apron to make my darling little niece a matching one. Thanks so much for the tutorial!smilies/grin.gif
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi kellyspear - I am SO happy you had success. It's true, isn't it? Anyone can AND SHOULD make their own home decor... and aprons smilies/cheesy.gif. Thanks for letting us know. The picture didn't work, but you can email us a photo; we'd love to see it.
kellyspear said:
kellyspear's picture
i just made this apron. i'm still a relatively new sewer, and i have to say that i was intimidated to try this one, but i loved the style of it, so decided to be brave, and just do it. the directions were really easy to follow! i made this in just a few hours. if i can do it, anyone can. smilies/smiley.gif i don't know how to add pictures, so we'll see if this works.