Everyone has a cute apron, right? Well, not my mom, and it was her birthday. I actually didn't even think to make her an apron until I saw this chicken fabric (you know, she has the craziness of chickens) and it screamed "make me into an apron!" - so I did. I have only made half-aprons before (like HERE and HERE) but figured a full apron is just a half apron with a top, right? So this is my first full apron, and I tackled it without a pattern. I'm sure there are better ways to put it together, but here's how I did it. With all the pieces already cut out, the assembly just took however long my son's naptime was. Enjoy!
Update - - I made another apron using this same tutorial (for me this time!) and talk about it here: Full Apron Again
And I used a pattern and made one for my sister-in-law here: Inspired Apron
~ How to make a full apron ~
First pick out your material - fun material is what makes the apron super cute, so choose wisely. I bought 1 yard of my main fabric and 1/2 yard for my trim. I think I have enough leftover to make a matching potholder (add that to the project list.....)
I cut my pieces as follows, but then adjusted them later - this is up to you - you can hold pieces up to yourself and see how you'd like them to fit. Here's where I started, measured in inches: Bottom 28 wide by 19.5 long; Top 14wide by 9.5 long; Waist (cut 2) 28 wide by 3 long; Ties (cut 2) 28 wide by 2 long; Top Trim (cut 2) 14 wide by 2 long; Pocket (cut 2) scrap fabric whatever size; Neckband, cut to taste (I think mine was 4 inches long and however wide to make it all the way around my neck and hold on to the apron).
First comes the boring part of sewing - all the prep work. I love to see a project coming together and that doesn't happen at this stage. But prepping makes everything ready to go. First the pocket.
First sew or embellish anything you want to put on the front of the pocket - ric rac, fabric flowers, hand embroidered name, iron-on transfers, or keep it plain. Then sew your two pocket pieces right sides together - leave a hole for turning and clip your corners (see first pic). Then turn it right side out and topstitch the top of the pocket to make it lay nice. Fold under where the hole is so you don't see the raw edge - iron to hold it in place if you need to.
Place it where you want it on the bottom piece and sew around 3 sides (leave the top open). And the pocket's done. Some cute pocket ideas: centered, off-set, two circle pockets, mini-pockets, one giant pocket, etc - get creative!
Now prep your ties. Fold them right sides together, sew up the edge, and turn them right side out. (During the turning I realized that next time I'll cut my ties wider so it would be easier to turn - later I discovered an AMAZING tool that will turn it in a matter of seconds) Then iron them so that the seam is in the back, not on the side. Then turn one end in and sew it to finish it off. Set aside. Do the same thing to the neck band.
Prep the bottom - I added a couple of pleats at the top of the bottom piece to give it a little body. About 6 inches in from the edge I folded the top over on itself as pictured - you can sew this to tack it down, but I just pinned it. Then you'll need to finish the bottom edge - you can hem it or add trim - I added a ruffle (I posted about it HERE). After you finish the bottom edge, finish the side edges - just hem each side. Fold over the edge just a little, iron, fold again, iron, and stitch it down for a permanent hold. Do the same thing to the sides of your top piece. Almost time to start putting things together. But first take your waist and top trim, and fold over and iron down the ends so they will look finished.
On to assembly - the fun part! Lay down one of your waist pieces face up, then place the top of your bottom piece face up, then lay down your other waist piece face down, as shown. Stitch the top edge. Then iron it up to make it lay nice, so the place where you sewed becomes the bottom edge of your waistband.
Next iron down the top edges of your waistband. Place the top piece inside the waistband, put the two waistband pieces on top of each other, and sew the top edge of the waistband. Notice how I ended up slanting in the sides of my top piece instead of using a straight rectangle - you can do it however you'd like.
Now put the trim on the top of the apron just like you did the waistband.
But before you sew the top edge together, sew a piece of velcro on the back side of the trim - you do this first so the stitching will hide inside the trim. Then when you sew the top edge of the trim, stick the unfinished edge of the neck band into the trim so it gets sewn in. Sew the sides of the trim shut as well. On the other side of the neckback, sew velcro where you would like it to attach to the apron.
Finally add your ties in to the open edges of the waistband - just stick the unfinished edge in the waistband. I folded the waistband a little at the end to reduce the size heading into the tie, as shown. Sew several times since this spot will get a lot of pull.
Voila! Cute chicken apron - here it is, with the chickens in the background. That's not my mom, just my apron model. So go make an apron! They're really fun because they give you the opportunity to practice sewing techniques (like that ruffle) and use really fun and wild fabric that you wouldn't pick for anything else. Think of adding fun trims or ric rac or practicing using bias tape - you can do it! (oh, and does anyone know what the words on this apron mean? I assume it's something to do with chickens - hopefully it's nothing obscene....)
If you're wanting to print this tutorial out, try this link to eliminate the ads, etc: