Apron aficionado Mary Mulari wrote a series of blogs, Top Ten Apron Sewing Ideas. In each post, learn an apron sewing technique, tip, pattern, or quite possibly all of the afore listed! As a vintage apron collector, apron pattern designer, and authority on creative sewing, she knows what type and style of aprons we all like to sew. Plus, she’s promised to share a recipe with each apron idea. Sew and eat—two of my favorite pastimes! Welcome Mary.
PS: Special thanks to my friend, Jill, for modeling Mary’s aprons in this blog posting. Jill knows her way around an apron. She’s one of the very best cooks I know.
By Mary Mulari
Cut four blocks of fabric to construct this smart, durable, and stylish apron to wear in four different ways. Everyday bright fabrics reverse to high style, elegant black prints for a comfortable coverup to wear over a black hostess outfit.
The inspiration for this apron with many wearing options came from an all white restaurant apron I found at a consignment shop. I wasn’t even sure what it was—a large white rectangle of fabric with strings sewn in the middle on two sides. The idea seemed great because you can wear one side facing out until you spill something, and then you flip the apron over for a clean side out. Mess that one up and you can flip the inside layers of the apron to the outside and get two more chances to show a fresh front!
My version of this apron uses four different fabrics, because it’s lots more fun, and a good chance to shop one’s fabric stash/quilting leftovers for possibilities. Instead of using four pieces of fabric of equal size, I chose two 1/2 yard pieces and two more pieces of fabric 2/3 yard in length.
You can see that two of the ways to wear the apron feature the shorter layer over the coordinating longer layer. The featured apron also has two distinct sides, one for daytime wear and the black and white combination for evening wear, with your little black dress or skirt.
One of the special features of this apron is a fabric tab with a large button for you to secure a towel prepared with a buttonhole. I used a purchased dishtowel, cut it in half, and added a buttonhole to one corner on each half. (The apron instructions page has the details for making the easiest buttonhole with a template to trace and a repeating straight stitch for the buttonhole outline…you should check it out and try it!)
What’s an apron without pockets? For this apron, I designed pockets that are formed by stitching through two layers of the 2/3 yd. fabric section. You’ll cut out the apron fabrics with 1″ extensions on each side. It’s a good idea to zigzag or serge the edges of the pocket extensions before sewing the side seams together. The pocket extensions are fused in place and using the pocket shape template, trace the outline on the right side of the apron fabric and sew through both layers. Now you’ll have hidden in-seam pockets!
The bottom and top edges of the fabrics are left open so it’s easy to turn the fabric tube right side out.
You’ll notice that I chose two different grosgrain ribbons for the apron ties. Why not? You could also use twill tape, decorative braid, or fabric strips. Satin ribbon is too slippery for apron ties, in my opinion. The ties need to be long enough to extend from the back of the body to the front where they’ll be tied together in the center.
The finished width of the apron can be altered to be narrower or wider than the apron instructions suggest. There will be plenty of fabric for a wider apron, and a narrower apron means you’ll have more fabric to add back into your stash. Other options for fabric for this apron include vintage tablecloths or curtains.
Consider this apron for a bridal shower gift. You could select two fabrics for the bride, and two for the groom, if you think they’d like to share the apron.
This apron is smart in both style and practicality. Its reversible feature adds durability and a perfect excuse to shop for cotton fabric coordinates in your favorite colors and patterns. I think you’ll enjoy designing and wearing this apron.
The dimensions and instructions are part of my pattern, Easy Reversible Aprons Waist Tie Pattern. You’ll find five other nifty styles.
Watch Mary and Nancy online!
Want to see other waist tie apron options? Watch online, on DVD, or on PBS. The streaming video version, Easy Reversible Aprons TV Show part 1, is only a click away. You can also watch on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone.
Nine More Apron Blogs:
With each of the apron blogs there will be a recipe included. These are tried and true recipes from my recipe box, many with food stains and fingerprints on the cards. Since this is the first apron blog, I’ll start with an hors d’oeuvre recipe so easy that you can spend more time sewing than cooking:
Easy Chipped Beef Cheese Ball—just four ingredients, kind of like the apron!
- Two 8 oz. packages cream cheese
- 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
- One 3.5 oz. pkg. chipped beef, coarsely chopped
- Box of your favorite crackers
Mix together the first three ingredients and form into a ball. Refrigerate. Serve with your favorite crackers.
The flavors blend and age well, if you have leftovers!
Thanks for the apron idea and recipe, Mary!
The random winner of Clover’s Tablet Keeper Template, from the April 19 posting, is Christie Staton. Here’s her comment: “Both my husband and I have iPad’s, but the first one I would like to make is for the “old school” paper legal pad. It’s my favorite device for note taking at sewing expos. This would be firm enough to serve as a lap desk. And my sew-personality could shine through. Thanks Nancy, another success with so many options. And the opportunity to win one just makes it sew much sweeter”.
The random winner of the Sewing A to Z book, from the April 26 posting, is Lynda A. Here’s her comment: “I use the zigzag stitch over the bobbin thread. It seems to work well every time I do it and my gathers all turn out even. I learned this from Nancy 20+ years ago and have made great gathers since. Thanks for the your instructions and a chance to win your book”.
Updated to add: Nancy Zieman’s Sewing from A to Z is now out of print. Please see the updated new version, The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew by Nancy Zieman, for a comparable replacement.
Bye for now,