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What’s Cooking Good Looking?

Today I have a little tutorial for you. I hope you guys like it.

I love cooking (and eating hahahaha) and make almost all of our meals from scratch. I also love wearing pretty dresses. Unfortunately the two don’t always go well together and may have led to the early retirement of a beloved me-made in the past. My own fault for not wearing an apron. It’s not that I don’t own one. I do, I’m just not reaching for it.

So when I saw this beautiful Cotton and Steel Border Print Fabric I immediately thought it is perfect kitchen linen. So I decided to make up an apron that I actually want to wear and that fits in with my vintage inspired aesthetic.

I love the border print and thought it would be perfect to run along the hem of an apron. I had a look for some vintage apron inspiration online. I decided I wanted the apron to be fully covering whatever I am wearing underneath. I remember my grandma wearing aprons like that. They were almost like overlay dresses, they did the trick and always kept her nice clothes clean underneath. So I came up with this design.

I’m not a great artist but I’m sure you get the idea. A bib with straps and ruching detail and a full gathered “skirt” that is showing off the border print of the fabric. I also planned a few patch pockets to pick up the blue in the border print for a bit more interest. I used some plain Cotton Poplin Fabric in the colour Copen for that.

This is the pattern I came up with. Most pieces are just simple rectangles. The measurements are based on my size. I’m 5’6” and about a UK 10/12 to give you an idea. Since the apron ties in the back it should fit a lot of sizes. Adjust the straps if you need to. Maybe cut them a bit longer and fit them along the way. Also the measurements in the drawing are without seam allowance!!! I added 5/8” to all of my pieces

How I made the apron:

  1. I interfaced one of the bib pieces, 2 straps pieces (out of 4) and one of the waistband/belt strips(this is optional but I like to add a bit of body to those pieces).

  2. I sewed the bib pieces together along the top, right sides of the fabric facing another. Then I turned the right sides out and pressed.

  3. Next I went on to do the Straps. I folded the 2 strips of fabric in the contrast colour in half lengthwise, pressed and gather the strips along the open edge down to the length of one of strap pieces.

  4. I basted the gathered strip along the edge of the two interfaced strap pieces, right side of the (strap)fabric facing up.

  1. Then I layed the second piece of strap (right sides facing) on the other strap piece sandwiching the ruffles in between.

  2. I sewed through all layers along the full length of the strap.

  3. Turned the strap out right sides of the fabric and ruffle showing. Then I pressed everything again.

  4. I then folded the remaining raw edges of the straps inward by 5/8”, pressed them and pinned them along the sides of the bib piece. I then topstitched along that edge of both straps along the edge of the bib and all along the rest of the length of the strap.

  1. Next I hemmed the sides of the skirt piece with a narrow hem. I had cut the skirt piece along the border print selvage of the fabric. I decided to keep the selvage and leave it unhemmed. I like the cotton and steel logo and branding along the selvage. I says “from Porto with love” which reminds me of vintage novelty tea towels that people used to bring home from holiday.

  1. Then I gathered the “skirt” piece along the top down to 29” and pinned it to the interfaced waistband piece with right sides of the fabrics facing. I made sure that the waistband and skirt panel middles were matching leaving an even amount of waistband each side of the skirt. Then I laid the other waistband piece right sides of fabric facing on top, trapping the skirt piece. I sewed through all layers, turned and pressed.

  2. For the next step I sewed the bib to the waistband using the same technique as I used to sew the straps to the bib. I also fitted and pinned the straps to the waistband. Finally I topstitched all around the waistband/ tie ends.

  3. Lastly I made the pockets. I pinned 2 pocket pieces together, sewed all the way around them, leaving a small gap to turn them inside out. I pressed them and then appliqued a motive from the border print to each of them. I had a small remnant left of the border print and cut them out to not waste any of that cute print. I appliqued them on using a zig zag stitch set to a very short stitch length.

  1. I then pinned and adjusted the patch pockets to where I liked them to sit and top stitched them onto the apron.

I hope any of this description was at all helpful. I realised as I was writing this how difficult it actually is to write a tutorial. I have so much respect for sewing pattern designers now, who describe in such detail what to do.

I wish I had a lot more pictures of the construction process. Although I find this to be a very easy make, it might not be the same for you readers. I am happy to answer any questions should you have any.

The end result is a very fun apron that is already in use in my kitchen. I love it as if covers whatever I am wearing and looks super cute.

You can find me on Instagram @beatricewinter for more vintage inspired sewing.

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