Unisex in style, tone, and fit, this apron welcomes the rosy mornings of the season with a vintage, slightly distressed palette that echoes the warm browns, taupes, and reds of a gorgeous summer sunrise. Our final measurements are shown below, but it's easy to size the pattern up or down since the main panels start as simple rectangles. We provide the armhole template as a free download. With outdoor gatherings and celebrations filling up your schedule, wouldn't this apron make a wonderful host/hostess gift wrapped up with some natural wooden spoons, handsome metal skewers or even a vintage cookbook find?!
We've used three fabrics from the original Electic Elements collection by Tim Holtz for Coats Fabrics, all of which are still being produced. Since then, Tim Holtz and Coats have debuted two additional add-on collections: Eclectic Elements 2 and Eclectic Elements Remix. Hawthorne Threads carries a great selection of all three groups, including the exact three we selected for our A Penny Saved apron. We particularly like the Ticking Stripe, which comes in three colors. It's a great blending fabric, and as you can see in our apron, you can run the stripes both horizontally and vertically within one project for added interest.
The cute suspender buckels on the neck strap are a perfect match for the retro style of our fabric choices.
Decorative stitches adhere both pockets in place and add a fun pop of contrasting color – we used bright red.
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 32" wide at its widest point across the center and approximately 11½" at its narrowest point across the top; the total length, top to bottom, is approximately 29"; the ties are each approximately 30" long.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing machine and standard presser foot
- Satin Stitch foot (optional but great for the decorative stitching accents on the pockets)
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 yards of 44-45" wide cotton for the apron top, bottom border, neck loop, lower pocket, and waist ties; we used Ticking in Taupe from the Eclectic Elements Collection by Tim Holtz for Coats
- ½ yard of 44-45" wide cotton for the apron bottom and upper pocket; we used Game Pieces in Taupe from the Eclectic Elements Collection by Tim Holtz for Coats
- 1 yard of 44-45" wide cotton for the apron lining; we used Dictionary in Neutral from the Eclectic Elements Collection by Tim Holtz for Coats
- 1½ yards of 20"+ wide lightweight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Shir-Tailor
- Two 1¼" overall buckles: we used Dritz Overall Buckles with No-Sew Buttons
- All-purpose thread to match fabrics
- All-purpose thread in an accent color for main topstitching; we used a dark brown
- All-purpose thread in a second accent color for the pocket decorative stitching; we used an orange red
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Download and print out our two patterns sheets: Apron Cut Out Part One and Apron Cut Out Part Two, which have been bundled into ONE PDF to make the download easier.
IMPORTANT: Each pattern piece is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on each page to confirm your print out is to size.
- Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid lines. Butt together the pieces at the arrows as indicated on the pattern pieces. Do not overlap. Tape together to form the complete pattern.
- From the fabric for the apron top, bottom border, neck loop, lower pocket, and waist ties (Ticking in Taupe in our sample), cut the following IN THIS ORDER:
NOTE: If using our selected fabric, it is important to cut the fabric in the order shown below to insure you have enough. If you are unsure of your cutting skills, get an extra ½ yard of fabric.
ONE 33" wide x 13" high rectangle for the apron top (stripes running vertically)
TWO 3” x 31" strips for the waist ties (stripes running horizontally)
ONE 3" x 28" strip for the neck loop (stripes running horizontally)
ONE 3" x 33" strip for the apron hem (stripes running vertically)
ONE 9" wide x 16" high rectangle for the lower pocket (stripes running horizontally)
- From the fabric for the apron bottom and upper pocket (Game Pieces in Taupe in our sample), cut the following:
ONE 33" wide x 16" high rectangle (16½" x 16" on fold) for the apron bottom
ONE 5½" wide x 13" high rectangle for the upper pocket, we fussy cut to feature the 33¢ motif
- From the fabric for the apron lining (Dictionary in Neutral in our sample), cut ONE 33" wide x 30 high rectangle.
- From the fusible interfacing, cut the following:
ONE 33" x 13" rectangle for the apron top
ONE 1½” x 12½" strip for the bib top reinforcement
ONE 16" x 9" rectangle for the lower pocket
ONE 5½" x 13" rectangle for the upper pocket
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Side cut outs
- Find the lining panel.
- Fold the panel in half vertically, matching the long raw edges. Find the armhole pattern. Place it in the upper corner, 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. Pin in place
- Cut along the pattern outline to create the side curves for the "armholes."
- Remove the excess fabric.
- Repeat to create the same side curves on the apron top panel and matching interfacing top panel.
- Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the apron top.
- Find the additional 1½" x 12½" interfacing strip. Fuse this across the upper edge of the top of the apron bib on top of the first layer of interfacing. This provides extra reinforcement for the suspender fasteners.
- Find the top and bottom apron panels. Place them right sides together, aligning them along one 33" edge. If using a directional motif as we did, make sure you are aligning the bottom of the top panel and top of the bottom panel (oh yeah... that hurts my head). Pin in place.
- Stitch together using a ½" seam.
- Press the seam allowance up towards the top.
- Flip over the sewn panel. Switch to your accent thread in the top - the bobbin color can stay as-is.
- Topstitch across the panel, approximately ⅛" from the seam, staying within top portion of the panel.
- If necessary, switch back to matching thread in the top.
- Find the bottom border strip. Place it right sides together along the bottom of the apron front, aligning them along one 33" edge. Pin in place.
- Stitch together using a ½" seam.
- Press the seam allowance up towards the main body of the apron.
- Flip over the sewn panel. If necessary, switch to your accent thread in the top.
- Topstitch across the panel, approximately ⅛" from the seam, staying within the main body of the apron.
Make and attach the pockets
- Find the 9" x 16" bottom pocket rectangle.
- Fold the pocket in half, right sides together so it is now 9" x 8½".
- Pin along both sides and across the bottom, leaving a 3" opening along the bottom for turning.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners and remembering to lock your seam at either side of the 3" opening. Clip the corners at a diagonal, being careful not to cut into your seam.
- Turn right side out through the opening.
- Use a long, blunt-end tool, such as a knitting needle, chopstick or point turner to gently push out the corners so they are nice and sharp.
- Press well, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Repeat with the 5½" x 13" upper pocket rectangle.
- Find the apron front. Fold it in half and lightly press to set a center crease.
- Unfold and place the apron right side up and flat on your work surface.
- Place the finished bottom pocket on the right side of the apron front (right side as looking down at the apron), 2" below the horizontal top/bottom seam and 2½" to the left of the center crease line.
- Place the finished upper pocket on the left side of the apron front, 1" above the horizontal top/bottom seam and 1½" to the right of the side armhole curve.
- Re-thread your machine with the second accent thread in the top and bobbin (we used red) and select a decorative stitch.
- Stitch each pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom. This decorative seam also closes the openings left for turning.
- We added our Sew4Home label to the bottom pocket.
Finishing the apron body
- Place the finished apron front right sides together with the apron lining, sandwiching the pockets between the layers. Pin in place, leaving a 5" opening along the bottom edge.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around all sides, remembering to pivot at the corners and to lock the seam at either side of the 5" bottom opening. Go slowly along the side to keep a smooth armhole curve.
- Trim the corners. Turn right side out through the bottom opening. As you did above with the pockets, gently push out all the corners so they are nice and square. Press flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Re-thread the machine with the first contrasting thread (dark brown in our sample).
- Edgestitch around the entire outer perimeter of the apron. This stabilizes the layers and closes the bottom opening.
- Across the top of bib, add a second line of topstitching 1" below the first.
Make neck loop and waist ties
- Find the neck loop strip and the two waist tie strips.
- On EACH strip, press back both ends and both long sides ¼".
- Fold each strip in half, aligning all the pressed edges. Pin in place.
- Edgestitch in place around all four sides.
Attach the waist ties
- Place the ties on the apron front. One waist tie should be pinned at each side with the top of the tie sitting along the edgestitching of the side curve. This bridges the top and bottom panels as shown in the photo below, overlapping by approximately 1½".
- Stitch each tie in place with an "X-box." If you are new to this stitching technique, we have a full tutorial: How to Sew An X Box to Secure Straps & More.
Suspender clips and neck loop
- Following manufacturer's instructions attach the overall buttons and buckles. The instructions that came with our Dritz® buckles were quite easy, and you get to hit something with a hammer!
- Thread the neck loop through the buckles, making sure not to twist the strap loop.
- Mark the position for the buttons. We centered ours between the two horizontal lines of topstitching 1" in from each side.
- Insert the button tack from the back through to the front at your marked points.
- Flip the apron over and drop the point of the tack into the hollow shank of the button cap.
- Make sure your button cap is sitting absolutely flat on a hard surface. When the two pieces are in position, cover up the back of the tack with a piece of fabric to protect it, and WHACK it several times with a hammer. Make your swings strong and even. It takes some force to drive the tack into place and you don't want any twisting.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Michele Mishler