I have a confession: I’m kind of obsessed with aprons. Even before I got into sewing, I loved the notion of aprons and their history. To me, the apron just invokes that sense of ultimate nostalgia and vintage charm. And for those that know me well know that I am in LOVE with all things vintage.
For the beginning sewer, an apron is an ideal project to start with. It’s no surprise that many Home-Ec and Sewing 101 classes start students off with making an apron as a first sewing project. They are remarkably simple to make.
From the first time I got my sewing machine, I’ve managed to sew up a nice little collection of aprons (going on 6 now!) The first one I ever made was used as a costume for one of my Sunday School girls in our church’s Christmas Program last year. It’s a bib apron, and it’s in the cutest Christmas Baking pattern from Spoonflower!
Shortly after that, I had made a second apron using a Butterick pattern that I’d had sitting in my sewing cart for a quite a while. It’s in a vintage, half-apron style. Isn’t this the most darling vintage strawberry pattern, tho?? I seriously went bonkers when I found it, because for the longest time I had looked high and low for the perfect vintage-kitschy “fruit” pattern that wasn’t the typical cherry print (not that I don’t love a good vintage cherry print, though.)
Truth be told, with this apron, I don’t plan on wearing it at all because when I made it, I was very new to sewing, and didn’t take the proper measures to secure my seams. So even though you can’t see it up close, this apron is super delicate, and therefore only for “show.” I do have more strawberry pattern left, so I may just make another sturdier one out of it at another time.
As we started adjusting to being in Quarantine, I decided it was a good time to start teaching my sons some life-skills. Cooking was one of those. My oldest didn’t take to it as much as my youngest did. After a few cooking lessons (mainly breakfast food), my baby is now a Pancake Pro! 😊
Naturally, I thought, “This boy needs an apron!” So I set about finding a pattern that was both kid friendly and non-girly. Well, I couldn’t find one that I liked until one day, when I was sorting through all of last year’s church Christmas play costumes, I realized I had a costume apron that my son had used when he played a Salvation Army Ringer. Since it already fit him, I thought, “why not use it to draft an apron pattern?” I had never done that before, and it would definitely be added to my list of growing skills as a sewer.
So that’s what I did. I took the Salvation Army apron and folded it in half, and, as if it was a pattern piece, placed it on Kraft paper I found at Dollar Tree (the ones I found come in large rolls and are a great resource for drafting your own clothing patterns, btw!). I traced around the apron, and added a 1/2 inch seam allowance around the whole thing. For the straps, I measured the neck loop and waist ties from the same apron, and then just used an apron strap template I already had from another pattern to make them.
Since the apron was going to be double-sided, and since I didn’t really have a clear tutorial for the pattern I had just constructed, I kind of just winged it and used my previous knowledge from making the other aprons to construct this one. Proud to say, I think it turned out pretty well.
On my son, the apron runs a tiny bit large, but it has good coverage, I think. And the PRINT! So much fun, isn’t it? I realize that this apron would look even better with a matching red trim or piping to set off the bacon in the print. What do you think? I love it!
These next aprons, along with the skirt of the Christmas one, were all constructed from a pattern by Professor Pincushion. If you get the chance, make sure to bookmark her website and YouTube channel. I’ve learned a TON from reading all her tips and from watching her tutorials. Her website is definitely one of my favorites to go back to again and again. Anyway, her half-apron is simple to make, and the vintage style with the ric-rac trimming is super adorable!
This is pretty much my go-to pattern for aprons (as you can tell, since I’ve made four already!) I made two of this pink and aqua version: one for me, and one for my mom and sister for their kitchen. How cute is this apple pie print, btw?? But by far, my FAVORITE is this absolutely fantastic vintage Pyrex print.
Isn’t she gorgeous?? (The apron, I mean…not my makeup-less face and Daria t-shirt…Actually, is it just me, or would this combo totally work as a cute little outfit??? It’s like 50s-meets-90s-socially-awkward-chic. I’m so diggin’ it!) Anywhoo, I just love the apple green heart “polka dots” with this pattern. They blend so well together, no?
Bet you’re wondering where I got my super cute prints, huh? Most of them are from Spoonflower. This website has the holy grail of prints and patterns to choose from! I absolutely love this site, but just a heads up, they can be quite pricey, even for cotton fabric. This is mostly due to the nature of the prints, as they are created by an artist/designer and you can choose which one of their patterns you want digitally produced onto the fabric themselves. OR, you can design your very own pattern, have it printed on the fabric of your choice, and then whip up something completely unique and all your own! I was lucky to get all my fabrics as a Mother’s Day gift from the Hubs. Since we were in Quarantine at the time, I figured I would just make my own present, rather than buy one. I think it was well worth the expense. 😊
So, I think it’s safe to say that I am properly obsessed with apron making! If you want to start building up some new sewing skills, this is your project. Before I go, if you’re interested in the materials used for my aprons and want to make them yourselves, I’ve linked the info and tutorials I used that helped me along the way down below.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy,
1. Christmas Baking Bib Apron
- Main fabric: Spoonflower petal signature cotton in Baking Gingerbread by scarlette_soleil
- Coordinating fabric: red Swiss dot cotton from Joann Craft
- Trimming: white ric rac from Joann Craft
- How to make: Bib: Amanda Rolfe Apron tutorial/ Skirt: Professor Pincushion Apron tutorial
2. Vintage Strawberry Half-Apron
- Main fabric: cotton vintage strawberry pattern from PinkButtonStudio on Etsy
- Coordinating fabric: blue gingham calico cotton from Joann Craft
- Trimming: red ric rac from Joann Craft
- How to make: Butterick B6467
3. Eggs & Bacon Full Apron
- Front Fabric: Spoonflower petal signature cotton in fried egg and bacon by kostolom3000
- Back fabric/pocket: small dots yellow cotton by Riley Blake Designs from TheQuiltersCrossing on Etsy
- How to make: I drafted my own pattern from an existing apron that I already had. You can however, make a similar design here:
4. Vintage Pyrex Half-Apron
- Main fabric: Spoonflower petal signature cotton in Vintage Pyrex Vegetables Soup (jumbo scale) by martamunte
- Coordinating fabric: Spoonflower petal signature cotton in Apple Green Polka Dot Hearts by sweetzoeshop
- Trimming: white ric rac from 21Reasons on Etsy
- How to make: Professor Pincushion Apron tutorial