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Moda's Half Moon Modern Sewing Room: Sewing & Craft Apron

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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

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  • 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

Getting Started

  1. From the fabric for the main apron panel (Novelty Writing Aqua in our sample), fussy cut ONE 13" high x 21" wide rectangle.
  2. From the fabric for the large pocket panel (Butterfly Red in our sample), fussy cut ONE 8" high x 21" wide rectangle.
  3. From the fabric for the small pocket panel (Leaves Aqua in our sample), fussy cut ONE 5½" high x 21" wide rectangle.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. Cut TWO 21" lengths from the piping.
  8. Cut ONE 5" length from the grosgrain ribbon. 
  9. 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

  1. Find both the large and the small pocket panels, the large and small pocket lining pieces, and the two lengths of piping. 
  2. 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.
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  3. 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.
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  4. 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. 
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  5. 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.
  6. Repeat these same steps to attach the remaining piping and lining to the small pocket panel (Leaves Aqua in our sample).

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  7. Press both pocket panels so they are nice and flat. 
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  8. Place the 13" x 21" main apron panel right side up on your work surface (Novelty Writing Aqua in our sample).
  9. Place the finished large pocket panel right side up on top of the main panel.
  10. 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.
  11. Pin all the layers together. 
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Drawing the pocket divisions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
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  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. All the following lines go only from the top to the bottom of the small pocket panel.
  8. 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.
  9. 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

  1. 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.
  2. Thread your machine with contrasting thread in the top and bobbin. We used red.
  3. 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.
  4. Fold the main apron panel back into place.
  5. Find the 13" x 21" lining panel, the 5" length of ribbon and the key hook.
  6. 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.
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  7. Machine baste the ribbon in place.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Clip all corners diagonally, but be careful to not clip through the seam.
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  11. 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.
  12. 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)
  13. 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.
  14. We added our Sew4Home label to the left edge of the small pocket panel.

Waistband and ties

  1. Find the two 4" x 40 waistband/tie strips and the two 1½" x 40 interfacing strips.
  2. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the two 4" x 40" strips together along one 4" side. Press seam open.
  3. 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.
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  4. Fold the fused strip right sides together and pin together along the one long side.
  5. Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance. Leave both ends open.
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  6. Turn the strip right side out.
  7. Roll the strip so the seam is at the back and the motif is perfectly centered on the front. Press well.
  8. To finish ends of our ties, we clipped each corner slightly and pressed the raw edge to the back ¼".
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  9. Then, we folded the end back again to form a triangle. Finally, we edgestitched all around the triangle to secure.
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  10. 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.
  11. 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.
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  12. 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.
  13. Topstitch the waistband in place on the apron.
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  14. 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.
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Optional button-on pincushion

  1. Hand sew the button to the top center front of the small pocket panel section just to the left of exact center.
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  2. 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.
  3. Open up the strip, wrong side up, so the middle crease is visible.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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  6. Clip the corner, trim the seams and turn right side out. Press flat.
  7. Place the 4" x 6½" piece right side up on your work surface.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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  10. 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.
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  11. 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.
  12. Stuff with the polyester fiberfill to your desired plumpness.
  13. Whip stitch the opening closed.
  14. Following your machine's manual, make a buttonhole in the strip to match the size of the button on the pocket panel.
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Project Design: Alicia Thommas   
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild



Comments (23)

Anniida said:
Anniida's picture

Finished mine today. I made some alteration to the waistline for a better "fit". Lovely project and very very handy! I've used mine for half an hour and i'm already thinking how I made do so long without one!

Sharon Snow said:
Sharon Snow's picture

What an absolute rip off of aprons that can be found on Etsy. Shame on you.

MartaFlores said:
MartaFlores's picture

My friend from where I am working now has made some time ago this apron. She has bring to the office to show her sewing. Now there is three more ladies who make the apron. Now my turn. School for my children has Spring Craft Fair and I am to be organizing there and I will proudly wear this apron. I didn't ever comment before, but I have made many nice things and many gifts from your great site. I am sorry to you when someone complain like this one who isn't so smart. For me the free pattern and how to make is helping me get by. I want to say thanks. :)

alicia.thommas said:
alicia.thommas's picture

Sharon Snow: This is an original design. I know becasue I designed it in discussion with our team about features we would like to see in a sewing apron. It coordinates with the other sewing room projects in the series. We have done several market/crafts and they have been remade by many people both for personal use and to sell (on sites like Etsy). Our team has been sewing and designing long before Etsy existed. We do not, and have no need to copy other people's work

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Sharon Snow - this is our own design - in fact we have a similar design from even earlier (2010), which can be found here:


We do allow others to use our designs to make small runs to sell on their own. Perhaps you have seen our design online at Etsy. We are very proud of all our work and would never, ever "rip off" a design from someone else. 

sewmaven said:
sewmaven's picture

ripoff?  what are you talking about?  quite an accusation..you should be ashamed for making an unbased claim with no proof, just name calling!  if you don't like it here, see ya.

Tara Henderson said:
Tara Henderson's picture

On step 1 of getting started you don't state how big we are supposed to cut the main apron panel.  I have my fabric and materials and I'm ready to sew; if you could let me know the size that would be great.  And I am a begining sewer and I love how straight forward and detailed your tutorials are, thank you!!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Tara Henderson - some of the steps for this article appear to have gotten deleted somehow. I've reloaded the beginning of the article and I believe everything is back now. Have fun with the project.

V. Madigan said:
V. Madigan's picture

Seeking this fabric and trim for a friend. Is fabric still available?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ V. Madigan - you may still be able to find a few cuts here and there in shops and/or for sale by Etsy. Is it not a current collection this season for Moda. You can do just what I would do, which is a Google search with various combinations of the name Half Moon Modern by Moda, scissors. Doing this, I located this shop, which had the scissors in yellow but not red. Hope that helps.


AngelicaSews said:
AngelicaSews's picture
I'm a lefty, so I can never find a store-bought craft apron (that I like) with pockets where it suits me. I really appreciate you taking the time to type out that switching the pocket is easily doable for lefties; most of us would have figured it out, but it's nice to be noticed! This pattern is absolutely perfect, and meets every need I have. BTW, I'm infamous for losing the tape measure, lol! Now, I will always know where to find it. Thanks!
Margaret Persinger said:
Margaret Persinger 's picture
I am so glad aprons are in AGAIN. This one is too cute!
phyllis dornbeger said:
phyllis dornbeger's picture
heard about sew4home several months ago at a resteranut were a lady had for her friends a small multiple purpose basket and of course I had to ask questions, so I found you and check frequently
JackieM said:
JackieM's picture
Sweet project! The fabric is so cheerful. I love the red and white especially the butterflies.
cfit said:
cfit's picture
Nice but I would not recommend putting scissors in the pocket.
Cara said:
Cara's picture
Just beautiful!
Definitely going to have to find time to make one of these!
ShawnaT said:
ShawnaT's picture
This is so well thought out. And it so cute on. I'm definitely into making it. Love the scissor print ties and the aqua and red color combination is my favorite.
crescentcity said:
crescentcity's picture
Awesome tutorial!...Love, love, love the removable pin cushion.
vickit said:
vickit's picture
What a great apron and that removable pin cushion is an awesome idea. Great tutorial. Thank you very much.
Mary Ann M. said:
Mary Ann M.'s picture
This is a great pattern. I'm always crafting - mostly sewing small coin purses, so I can use this to help free up my work space and be more organized.
dragicap... made by me said:
dragicap... made by me's picture
It so cute and practic! Small pillow is the best like as pocket.Good idea ,thanks and best wishes,Dragica

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