We are nearing the end of our Sewing Room Series in Moda's Half Moon Modern collection, and we have saved one of the best projects for last. I love this apron! I've always been partial to half aprons, but this little fella with pockets a'plenty is as hardworking as it is cute. The bright apple red, ocean aqua and snow white of the Half Moon Modern fabrics are about as happy as colors can be. Tie it on, load it up with your favorite notions, and get ready to smile.
We use the same detachable pincushion here as we used on our ironing board thread caddy: button on - button off.
Make sure you check out all the Half Moon Modern tutorials we've featured so far: tab-top curtains, ironing board cover, ironing board caddy, sewing machine cover, and serger cover. There's one more project tomorrow; plus, Moda has also sponsored a free downloadable Sewing Reference Guide and a super Half Moon Modern Great Giveaway.
Our thanks to Moda for sponsoring this Sewing Room Series and allowing Sew4Home to be one of the first to debut the Half Moon Modern collection. Our eight projects are perfect to spruce up your own sewing room or to give as wonderful gifts for all the sewers and crafters on your holiday lists.
Half Moon Modern is arriving in stores and online now; make sure you are the first in line to snap it up.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Memory Craft 6300)
NOTE: You are sewing through some thick layers with this project. Our Janome machines are both precise and powerful... even when stitching right on the edge; make sure your machine is up to the task. Practice first on some scrap layers.
- Zipper foot
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ½ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for the apron base: we used Half Moon Modern by Moda Fabrics in Novelty Writing Aqua
- ⅓ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for the large pocket panel: we used Half Moon Modern by Moda Fabrics in Butterfly Red
- ¼ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for the small pocket panel: we used Half Moon Modern by Moda Fabrics in Leaves Aqua
- ⅓ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for the waistband and ties: we used Half Moon Modern by Moda Fabrics in Scissors Red
NOTE: All our recommended cuts are generous enough to fussy cut as needed, and are all based on cutting horizontally - across the 44-45" width of the fabric to get the right directional patterns. Take a look at the Getting Started section below for the exact cut sizes to determine. If any of the motifs you choose happen to run vertically on your fabric rather than horizontally, you will need additional fabric. Remember the rule: read first, measure twice, then cut!
- 1 yard of 44-45" decor weight or greater fabric for the apron lining: we used a bright white cotton duck
- ⅓ yard of 44-45" wide lightweight fusible interfacing
- NOTE: If you are unable to find wide interfacing, you can piece two smaller strips together instead.
- 1½ yards or ONE package of ½" piping; we used Wrights Maxi Piping in red
- Scrap or 1/4 yard of coordinating ½" grosgrain ribbon; we use red
- ¾-1" key hook: we used a swivel hook in a satin nickel finish
For the detachable pincushion:
- Scrap of print fabric 4" x 6½": we used Half Moon Modern by Moda Fabrics in Dots Spots Yellow
- Scrap of solid fabric 3" x 6": we used we used Moda Fabrics' 200 count muslin in Warm White
- Scrap of lightweight fusible interfacing 1½" x 6"
- ONE decorative button, apx 1 to 1½"; we used a plain white 1" button
- A handful of polyester fiberfil
- All purpose thread to match fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Erasable fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Straight pins
- From the fabric for the main apron panel (Novelty Writing Aqua in our sample), fussy cut ONE 13" high x 21" wide rectangle.
- From the fabric for the large pocket panel (Butterfly Red in our sample), fussy cut ONE 8" high x 21" wide rectangle.
- From the fabric for the small pocket panel (Leaves Aqua in our sample), fussy cut ONE 5½" high x 21" wide rectangle.
- From the fabric for the waistband and ties (Scissors Red in our sample), fussy cut TWO 4" high x 40" wide strips
NOTE: This 4" width worked perfectly for the cute scissors motif we used, finishes at approximately 1½". Your strip may need to be slightly wider or thinner if you choose a different fabric.
- From the fabric for the apron panel lining (white cotton duck in our sample), cut the following:
ONE 13" high x 21" wide rectangle
ONE 8" high x 21" wide rectangle
ONE 5½" high x 21" wide rectangle
- From the lightweight fusible interfacing cut TWO 1½" high x 40" wide strips
NOTE: As above with the waistband strips, this interfacing width is based on our scissors motif. Your strip may need to be slightly wider or thinner if you choose a different fabric. Also as noted above in the Ingredients section, if you are unable to find wide interfacing, you can cut FOUR strips at 20" wide and butt them together.
- Cut TWO 21" lengths from the piping.
- Cut ONE 5" length from the grosgrain ribbon.
- We gave you actual cut sizes in the Ingredients list for the optional pincushion, so if you are adding this, your cuts should already be done. If not, simply refer to the list above for the cut sizes.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Find both the large and the small pocket panels, the large and small pocket lining pieces, and the two lengths of piping.
- Pin one length of piping to top of the large pocket panel (Butterfly Red in our sample). Use your seam gauge to insure the piping cord is ½" from the raw edge of the pocket fabric.
- Machine baste the piping in place; use your zipper foot to stay as close as possible to the edge of the piping insertion fabric (the raw edge of the piping.
- Pin the large pocket lining and the large pocket fabric right sides together, sandwiching the piping in between. Still using your zipper foot, stitch a ½" seam across the top. If you measured correctly when pinning, this ½" seam should stitch right along the piping cord.
- Flip the lining to the back so that the piping stands up straight and the lining and exterior pocket pieces are now wrong sides together. The sides and bottom of the two pieces are still un-sewn.
- Repeat these same steps to attach the remaining piping and lining to the small pocket panel (Leaves Aqua in our sample).
- Press both pocket panels so they are nice and flat.
- Place the 13" x 21" main apron panel right side up on your work surface (Novelty Writing Aqua in our sample).
- Place the finished large pocket panel right side up on top of the main panel.
- Place the finished small pocket panel right side up on top of the large pocket panel. Match up all the raw edges of both pockets and the main panel. The large pocket panel should extend approximately 2½" above the small pocket panel.
- Pin all the layers together.
Drawing the pocket divisions
- We are showing our recommended divisions based on the size of standard patterns and tools. How you divide the pockets can be personalized to your own tools.
- We put wax paper on top of the pockets, drew our sewing lines onto it, stitched through the wax paper and fabric, then simply tore away the wax paper.
- You could also use a fabric pen or pencil, but since you are drawing on the right side of the fabric, be POSITIVE you can easily wash or wipe away the lines.
- There are TWO stitch lines that go from the from the top to the bottom through both panels, but all the other pocket dividing lines stop at the top of the small pocket panel. REMEMBER: you are just drawing right now, not stitching.
- First, fold the pocket panels together to find the exact center. Place a pin at this point, then unfold and draw your first vertical pocket line. This line only goes from the top to the bottom of the small pocket panel
- Next, draw the two double-pocket lines. Draw one line 7" in from the outside right edge and other line 7" in from the outside left edge. Both of these lines go from the top to the bottom of both pocket panels.
- All the following lines go only from the top to the bottom of the small pocket panel.
- From the right 7" line, measure an additional 1½" to the right and draw a line. From that drawn line, measure 1½" again to the right and draw a second line. This gives you two narrow pockets for gauges and pens and one wider pocket for other tools.
- From the left 7" line, draw two diagonal lines. We used these for scissor and rotary cutter pockets. The angled pocket keeps the tools more secure and makes them easier to grab. The first diagonal line should be drawn so its bottom point intersects exactly the the bottom of the 7" line. The pocket is approximately 3½" at its widest point. The second diagonal line should be parallel to the first and approximately 2½" to the left.
Stitching the pocket divisions and adding the main lining panel
- Unpin the main apron panel (the Novelty Writing Aqua in our sample) from the layers along the sides of the pockets and the bottom and lift it out of the way. Remember, as we mentioned above, only TWO of the seams go through all the layers. You need to move the main panel out of the way to stitch the other divisions.
- Thread your machine with contrasting thread in the top and bobbin. We used red.
- Using your drawn lines, topstitch the two diagonal seams, the center seam and the two right side narrow pocket seams. Do not stitch the two 7" seams.
- Fold the main apron panel back into place.
- Find the 13" x 21" lining panel, the 5" length of ribbon and the key hook.
- Loop the ribbon through the key hook. Place the raw ends of the key hook approximately 3½" from the right raw edge along the top of the main apron panel. We positioned the ribbon so it was directly in line with pocket seam below. The raw edges of the ribbon should be flush with the raw edge of the fabric and the key hook should be hanging down.
- Machine baste the ribbon in place.
- Place the finished apron front and the apron lining right sides together. Pin around all four sides, leaving a 3-4" opening along the top for turning.
- Stitch around all four sides, using a ½" seam allowance. Remember to pivot at each corner and lock your stitch on either side of the 3-4" opening. Stitch back and forth several times over the ribbon that holds the key hook to help secure it.
- Clip all corners diagonally, but be careful to not clip through the seam.
- Turn the apron right side out through the opening. Press flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Rethread your machine, keeping the contrasting thread in the top (we used red), but replacing the bobbin with thread to match the lining (we used white)
- Topstitch the final two pocket divisions: the two 7" seams. Stitching through ALL the layers, including the lining, helps reinforce these two large seams and holds the panels together. Press well.
- We added our Sew4Home label to the left edge of the small pocket panel.
Waistband and ties
- Find the two 4" x 40 waistband/tie strips and the two 1½" x 40 interfacing strips.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the two 4" x 40" strips together along one 4" side. Press seam open.
- Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse one interfacing strip from the center seam all the way to the right end of the strip and the other from the center all the way to the left end of the strip. The interfacing strip should be centered exactly behind the center motif that will be the feature strip of your waistband ties.
- Fold the fused strip right sides together and pin together along the one long side.
- Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance. Leave both ends open.
- Turn the strip right side out.
- Roll the strip so the seam is at the back and the motif is perfectly centered on the front. Press well.
- To finish ends of our ties, we clipped each corner slightly and pressed the raw edge to the back ¼".
- Then, we folded the end back again to form a triangle. Finally, we edgestitched all around the triangle to secure.
- This is kind of a fancy finish, but it sure looks cute. You could also simply tuck in the raw edges to form a straight end, and either edgestitch the ends closed by machine or whip stitch closed by hand.
- To attach the finished waistband/ties to the finished apron, fold the apron in half in find the center. Place the center seam of the waistband/ties at this center point of the apron. The top edge of the waistband/ties should be flush with the top seam of the apron.
- Make sure your machine is threaded with thread to match the waistband/ties in the top and thread to match the lining in the bobbin.
- Topstitch the waistband in place on the apron.
- Keep your stitching close to the edge of the waistband/ties along the top and bottom of the waistband and then pivot to stitch the sides staying as close to the edge of the apron as possible.
Optional button-on pincushion
- Hand sew the button to the top center front of the small pocket panel section just to the left of exact center.
- Fold the 3" x 6" solid fabric in half, wrong sides together, so it is now 1½" x 6". Press lightly to form a crease.
- Open up the strip, wrong side up, so the middle crease is visible.
- Place the 1½" x 6" strip of interfacing on the wrong side of the strip, aligning it with the center crease. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse in place.
- Re-fold the strip right sides together and pin in place. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch across the top and down one side. The opposite end remains open for turning.
- Clip the corner, trim the seams and turn right side out. Press flat.
- Place the 4" x 6½" piece right side up on your work surface.
- Place the finished strip on top of it, aligning the raw edge of the strip with the top (the 4") raw edge of the fabric piece. Pin in place.
- Fold up the fabric piece so it is now right sides together and 4" x 3¼". Pin across the top and along both sides, but leave a small opening on one side for turning.
- Stitch around the three sides, pivoting at the corners. Remember to leave the opening at the center of one side and to lock your stitch on either side of the opening.
- Clip the corners and turn right side out. Press flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Stuff with the polyester fiberfill to your desired plumpness.
- Whip stitch the opening closed.
- Following your machine's manual, make a buttonhole in the strip to match the size of the button on the pocket panel.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild
Other machines suitable for this project include the Elna 6600 and the Baby Lock Serenade.