Sunday, July 3, 2011

Baker's Apron Tutorial

I made this baker-style apron as a birthday gift  for my son's fiance.  She loves to cook and often uses my apron for her culinary ventures. It's made of white denim from Joann's.  Decorative cotton is pretty, but I wanted the denim which is more likely to keep the spills from going through the fabric.  My old natural bull denim apron is a workhorse that has lasted for years.


In addition to the small pocket in the top bib portion, there is a large pocket divided into two section just below the waist.

I found the embroidery design from EmbroideryDesigns.com.  The hardest part about the apron was choosing the design for embroidery.  There are so many fun ones!  Some of the other designs I bought said, "Is Carrot Cake a Vegetable?", "I Have a Knive and I Know How to Use It", and, my favorite, "Spooning Leads to Forking."  All will be going on some Huck toweling fabric soon.

Now for the tutorial. The amount of fabric will depend on the width of the fabric you are buying and the amount of shrinkage that can be expected.   Prewash your fabric!  You will need:
  •  one piece of fabric 34.5x 31.5" for the main part of the apron
  • one strip of denim measuring 35x3" for the neck strap and D-rings strap (You will cut off  7" of this for the D-ring strap)
  • 2 strips 35x3.5" for the waist ties (long enough to wrap around to the front for tying)
  • 1 piece of denim 8.5x5.5" for the top pocket OR, if you don't have a serger,  one 8.5x10.5" for the fold-over method
  • one piece of fabric 8.5x15" for the bottom pocket OR, if you don't have a serger, make this piece 16.5x15" 
  • 2 one-inch D-rings
Directions for getting the curved sides on the main piece of fabric:  Fold the main piece of fabric in half across the 31.5" side.  You're going to mark the curved area from the top to the waist.  Starting at what is the neck area measure from the fold out and mark using a chalk marker or disappearing marker or whatever it is that you use:
  • at the top, mark 5.5" from the fold
  • 4" down from top, 6.5 inches out from the fold
  • 6.25" down, 8 inches out from the fold
  • 7.25" down, 9 inches from the fold
  • 9" down, 11 inches from the fold
  • 11" down,  should come to the edge of the fabric
I didn't take photos of this part of the process, but here is a  picture showing the marked curve on another piece of fabric.  I have a Wright's EZ Flex Design Ruler that bends to the curve for marking, but you could use any firm but flexible strip of plastic, a piece of string, or do this freehand.
See my little dots next to the ruler?  Once you've marked out your line, cut it!

When you have all the pieces cut, here are the seam and sewing measurements.  I don't serge the main piece of fabric because I prefer the hems to be really solid. All are folded under twice.  Aprons in this house get a lot of use and spend their fair share of time in the washer and dryer.

For the main piece of fabric:
  • Hem the curved side seams first.  Press under a scant 1/4" seam.  (I use a seam gauge while pressing for this. It's easy to set the exact measure to stay on target.)  Then turn it under another 1/4" and press.  Pin and sew these curved edges in place about 1/8" from the edge of the seam.
  • Hem the straight side seams by turning under and pressing 1/4" then turning and pressing 1/2".  Sew 1/8" from the edge of the seam.
  • Hem the top, neck end by pressing under 1/2", then 3/4".  Again sew about 1/8" from the edge of the seam.
  • Hem the bottom turning and pressing first 1/2", then 1" with the same 1/8" sewing line. 
For the 36x3" neck straps:
  • Press in 1/2" on each long side.  Then fold this in half and  press.  This will leave you with a 1" wide strip. (You might be wondering why not just do the" fold in half and press each side into the center" method which is easier.  That would make the straps bulkier and stiffer since this is denim. Hence, this method.  A little more work, but the straps are more flexible and comfortable.)
  •  Now, cut 7" off the end.  Fold and press the short ends of both strips under 1/4".  Sew the long ends of each piece closed 1/8" from the edge on both pieces.  Then sew the short ends closed.    
  • Slide the two D-rings on the 7" strip.  Fold it in half and place it on what will be the right-hand side of the apron when you are wearing it.   (Look at the photo if your confused.)  With the stitching line side on the outside edge,  place this folded piece one inch down on the inside corner and sew in place using the usual square with an x inside for strength. 
  •  Now sew a line just under the D-rings to hold them in place.  Directions will be on the D-ring package if you've not used them before. 
  • Sew the other neck strap on the other side in the same way.  Remember to have the stitching line on the outside edge.
For the waist ties:
  • With both 35x 3.5" strip, Press in 1/2" on each long end, then fold in half and press.  Fold under a quarter of an inch on the short ends, and sew the long ends and both short ends closed 1/8" from the edge.
Okay! The basic apron is complete!  Now for the top pocket which you've decorated-- or not.
  • First the directions for a serger because  I do use my serger for the pockets since these seams are inside and don't get as much abuse as the outside edges of the apron.
    •  Serge around the squares and press in a 1/4 seam around all four sides.  
    • Sew the upper edge seam of the pocket across, again using 1/8 sewing line.  
    • Now place the pocket 3" down from the top, center it, and pin in place.  Sew the sides and bottom to the apron using the 1/8 line. Remember to reinforce the top corners with a few extra stitches.  Pockets get a lot of tugging there.
  • If you are not using a serger
    • Fold the pocket in half inside out (if it matters with your fabric or if you have embroidered, painted, appliqued a design) to get an 8.5x5.25" square. 
    •  Sew the two sides shut using 1/4" seam allowance.
    • Turn right side out and press the open ends in 1//4" You can sew a  line across the folded edge now if you want to.  It will give you a crisp top pocket edge.  It's not necessary, though.  
    • Place the pocket with the folded edge at the top 3 inches down from the top and centered. Pin in place.   Sew the sides and bottom to the apron using the same 1/8 sewing line.
For the bottom pocket, you will do the same as the top pocket.  If not using a serger, fold the fabric into an 8.25x15" square and follow the same instructions as for the smaller pocket.  Place this pocket 14.5" down from the top and centered.  Pin and sew it in place and you are finished!

It's actually a quick and easy project.  Give it a try.  







8 comments:

  1. Love your apron tutorial. My daughter is the head cook at her high school, she also helps a caterer for special parties. plus works summers doing prep work for a local resturant.How cute that would be. I just don't know when I can do it.I haven't wanted to sew since my hubby died.

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  2. Love this, nicely done! Thanks for sharing this at Fantastic Friday, I hope that you will join us again tomorrow!

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  3. Well, your information will helps lot to my sister. She is so much crazy to cook different foods any time. Your idea will helps her for any occasions also she is working in local restaurant in vacation time.

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  4. Great apron, I love the quote you chose for the pocket!

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  5. Love the quote!!! Except for the quote, this reminds me of the aprons we wore to cooking lessons at school. Unfortunately for me, that was not a subject I excelled in. Thanks for sharing such a detailed and easy to follow tutorial.

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  6. So cute! I love aprons!

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