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Sports Team Tailgate Apron

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Show your team spirit with a fan-favorite tailgate apron in team logo fabric. Since Sew4Home is located in the Pacific Northwest, we chose Seattle Seahawks fabric for our sample apron, but there are lots of NFL® options. We've linked below to the current selection at Fabric.com and show some additional combinations. The logo fabric is augmented with both a solid and a stripe in coordinating team colors for the lining, pockets, and bottom accent band. Breaking up a busy print with more neutral tones and patterns adds interest and actually helps emphasize the feature fabric. Pick your favorite team and get ready to party!

Licensed team logo fabric is a fun way to dress up not only yourself but also your party setting. Use it for tablecloths, napkins and more. The NFL® fabric is 58" wide, so you'll definitely have enough left over from the apron cuts to make one or more extra items.

We fussy cut a logo from the team fabric and appliquéd it to a store-bought towel. The apron features a towel loop on one side so you always have something handy to wipe up the BBQ sauce.

We paired our main cotton broadcloth with a mid-weight stripe for the full-length lining. The two layers create a soft yet sturdy apron that's perfect for outdoor events. 

The chef-style cut and generous overall length and width make the apron a good fit for gals or guys. It would also be big enough to wear over a fleece or sweatshirt when game days turn cool later in the season. 

Both of the apron's pockets are simply single layers of canvas duck. It's the accent cuff at the top of each that provides a neat finish front and back and maintains the pocket's shape when reaching in and out. 

Check out the full selection of NFL® Cotton Broadcloth at Fabric.com. Below we selected four additional team fabrics and paired them with coordinating solids and an accent stripe, but there are many options so choose your favorite.

      

      

      

As with store-bought aprons, our design is meant to be one-size-fits-all. As shown above, it works well on men and women. 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 10½" at its narrowest point across the top; the total length, top to bottom, is approximately 32"; the waist ties are each approximately 36" long so they can be tied at the back or wrapped around to the front. The neck tie is adjustable with a double D-Ring.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • 1 yard of 44"+ wide cotton broadcloth or similar in a sports team motif for the body of the apron; we used 58" NFL Cotton Broadcloth in Seattle Seahawks  
  • 1 yard of 44"+ wide cotton duck or similar for the lining and the pocket accent bands; the original Desoto Stripe we used is no longer available; as an alternative, we recommend Premier Prints Houndstooth Chartreuse/White.
  • ½ yard of 44"+ wide cotton duck or similar for the bottom band, pockets, and towel loop; we used 60" 9oz. Organic Cotton Duck in Avocado 
  • 3½ yards of 1" soft cotton webbing or similar for the neck and waist ties; we used 1" Cotton Webbing in Natural 
  • Two 1" D rings 
  • All-purpose thread to match fabric and webbing
  • All-purpose thread in a contrasting color for topstitching; we used natural
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins
  • Optional: purchase or make a simple hand towel; we used a purchased set of white flour sack kitchen towels

Getting Started

  1. Download and print out the Apron Pattern which bundles the two pattern pieces.
    IMPORTANT: Each template is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF files 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. Butt the pieces together at the arrows as indicated on the templates. Do not overlap. Tape together to form the complete template. 
  3. From the fabric for the body of the apron, cut the following (this is a large piece - make sure your motif is straight both vertically and horizontally):
    ONE 27½" high x 31" wide rectangle
    TWO Team Labels for the pocket and towel - these are optional; we simply cut around the Seahawks name, giving ourselves about ½" all around for a hem 
  4. From the fabric for the lining and the pocket accent bands, cut the following (we ran our stripes vertically):
    ONE 33" high x 31" wide rectangle for the lining
    TWO 4" high x 10½" wide rectangles for the pocket accent bands
  5. From the fabric for the bottom band, pockets, and towel loop, cut the following:
    ONE 6½ high x 31" rectangle for the bottom band
    ONE 3" high x 8" wide rectangle for the towel loop
    ONE 9½" high x 10½" wide rectangle for the larger lower pocket
    ONE 6½" high x 10½" wide rectangle the smaller upper pocket
  6. From the 1" cotton webbing, cut the following:
    TWO 36" lengths for the waist ties
    ONE 28" length for the neck tie
    ONE 3½" length for the D ring loop

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Apron front

  1. Find the front body panel. 
  2. Use the armhole pattern to cut the armhole curve from both upper corners of the panel. You'll cut one side with the pattern facing right side up and the other side with the pattern facing right side down. 
  3. Repeat with the lining panel.

    NOTE:
    You could also fold each panel in half, right sides together, so it is 15½" wide. Then place the template in the upper corner opposite the fold and cut through both layers at once. 
  4. Find the bottom band. Place the band right sides together with the bottom raw edge of the apron front panel. Pin all the way across.
  5. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch across through both layers. 
  6. Press the seam allowance up towards the body of the apron. 

Make and place the ties

  1. Find the four lengths of webbing and the two D-rings.
  2. Slip the 3½" length through both D-rings. Fold the webbing back on itself about 1" and pin in place.
  3. Fold back one end of each of the waist ties and the neck tie. The fold should be about ½". Pin in place.
  4. Re-thread the machine if necessary with thread to best match the webbing in the top and bobbin. 
  5. Zig zag across each folded back raw edge to finish the three folded ends and to secure the D-rings in place.
  6. Place the front panel right side up and flat on your work surface.  
  7. Place the ties on the apron front. One waist tie should be pinned at each side ½" below the bottom of the arm hole curve. Align the raw end of the tie with the faw edge of the fabric. Pin in place.
  8. The neck tie should be pinned at the top upper left (left - looking down at the apron on your work surface) of the apron bib ½" in from the left side.  
  9. The D-rings loop should be pinned at the top upper right, ½" in from the right side. As above with the waist ties, align the raw edge of each tie with the raw edge of the fabric 
  10. In all cases, the right side of the webbing should be against the right side of the fabric, which means the zig-zagged ends are facing up.
  11. You can simply leave the ties pinned in place, but we suggest machine basting each tie in place, staying within the ½" seam allowance, to make sure the ties don't shift when stitching the front panel to the lining. 
  12. Loop and pin the tails of the ties to the middle of the apron to keep them out of the way of the final seam.

Layer front to back

  1. Place the apron lining right sides together with the apron front, sandwiching the ties between the two layers.  
  2. Pin well, making sure your ties don't shift position. The raw edges of the two layers should be flush all around.
  3. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to match the fabric.  
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch all the way around the apron, leaving a 6-7"  opening along the bottom edge for turning. Pivot at all the corners. Make sure you do not catch the sides of the ties in your seam. 
  5. Make sure you back tack at either side of the opening, and backstitch over each of the tie ends for extra stability. Go slowly to keep your arm hole curve nice and even.  
  6. When done, clip the corners and the curves and press open the seam allowances.
  7. Turn right side out through the bottom opening. Use a long, blunt-end tool to gently poke out and square all the corners. A chopstitck, long knitting needle or a point turner all work well for this. 
  8. Press well, pressing in the raw edges at the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. 
  9. If necessary, re-thread your machine with contrasting thread for the final topstitching. We also lengthened our stitch.
  10. Topstitch around the entire apron. We used our Janome Quarter Inch Seam foot to keep a consistent line. This seam closes the opening used for turning and helps hold the front to the back so the apron lays flat. 
  11. Finally, topstitch across the bottom band seam within the main apron panel. This creates a horizontal seam to help hold the front and back layers together. 

Make and place the pockets 

  1. Both pockets are made in the same manner. 
  2. Find the main pocket panel and the accent band. 
  3. Along one long edge of the accent band, press back the raw edge ½".
  4. Pin the remaining long raw edge of the accent band to the upper edge of the main pocket panel. 
  5. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch across the upper edge. 
  6. Press the seam allowance up towards the accent band.
  7. Fold down the accent band, right sides together, until the pressed edge of the band just covers the horizontal seam. Pin along each side.
  8. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch each short side seam.
  9. Carefully clip the corners.
  10. Flip the accent band right side out. This will bring the pressed edge around to the back and the side edges of the main pocket panel will begin to fold in.
  11. Continue to press back the raw edges of the main pocket panel ½" all around.
  12. Topstitch across the horizontal seam within the accent band. Use the same thread as for the other topstitching and the same lengthened stitch.
  13. With a fabric pen or pencil, create a vertical dividing line on each pocket. For the smaller upper pocket, divide the pocket exactly in half. For the larger lower pocket, the dividing line should be 6" in from the right finished edge. 
  14. On the lower larger pocket, pin the optional team logo in the bottom right corner. Position to best fit the size and shape of your logo. Our Seahawks logo was 1" up from the bottom edge and 1" in from the right side.
  15. For the team logo, we simply folded back the raw edges ¼" all around and stitched in place in matching thread.
  16. Pin the bottom pocket in place. The left edge of the pocket should be at the exact center of the main apron panel. The bottom of the pocket should be 3½" up from the bottom edge of the apron panel.
  17. Pin the upper pocket in place. The center dividing line on the pocket should align with the center of the main apron panel (so it will also be directly above the left edge of the bottom pocket). The top of the pocket should be 3" down from the top edge of the apron panel. 
  18. If necessary, re-thread the machine with the topstitching thread and lengthen the stitch.
  19. Topstitch along each pocket's vertical dividing line. You are stitching through all layers of the pocket as well as through the front and lining of the apron. 
  20. Stitch each pocket in place around the outside edge along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. 

Make and place the optional towel loop

  1. Find the remaining 3" x 8" strip for towel loop.
  2. Press the loop in half wrong sides together (so it is now 1½" x 8") and press to set a center crease. 
  3. Open up so the crease line is visible. 
  4. Press back both sides and both ends ½".
  5. Re-fold along the original crease-line, creating a 7" x 1" strip that is finished on all sides. 
  6. With the machine still threaded with the topstitching color in the top and bobbin, edgestitch around all four sides of the strip 
  7. Place the loop on the apron front. It should be positioned 3½" down from the bottom of the armhole curve and 5½" in from the left side of the apron panel. Pin the loop in place at both ends. Make sure the loop is straight by measuring from the bottom edge of the apron to the bottom edge of the loop at each end of the loop. 
  8. Stitch each end of the loop in place, running the short seams directly on top of the loop's original topstitching seam. 

Optional hand towel

  1. Open up the towel so it is flat.
  2. Find the additional team emblem. Press back all the edges ¼" as you did above for the pocket logo - or whatever is appropriate for your emblem. 
  3. Pin the emblem in place at the center of the towel's bottom edge. Ours sits approximately 1" up from the towel's hem. 
  4. Re-thread the machine with thread to match the emblem and edgestitch in place all around. 

Contributors

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

Section: 

Comments (3)

Sarah Tron said:
Sarah Tron's picture

I've made a couple of these now and they look great!

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

@Sarah - That's great to hear. If you're on Instagram (sew4home_diy) or Facebook (sew4Home) we'd love to have you share a picture or two!

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