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Eclectic Elements by Tim Holtz for Coats - A Penny Saved Apron

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Unisex in style, tone and fit, today's Eclectic Elements apron welcomes the first crisp mornings of Fall with a distressed, vintage palette that hints at the warm browns, taupes and reds of turning leaves. Our final measurements are shown below, but it's easy to size the pattern up or down since the main panels start as simple rectangles. We provide the armhole template as a free download. With holiday gatherings just around the corner, wouldn't this apron make a wonderful host/hostess gift wrapped up with some natural wooden spoons, handsome metal skewers or even a vintage cookbook find?! It's always fun when a fabric collection has such interesting motifs, like these little game pieces and price tags as well as the lining's dictionary pages; they inspire innovative gift giving ideas.

Tim Holtz has included a great Ticking Stripe in three colors within the Eclectic Elements collection. It's a great blending fabric, and as you can see in our apron, you can run the stripes both horizontally and vertically within one project for added interest.

Eclectic Elements is available now. You can find the entire selection as yardage and bundles at your local independent fabric shop as well as select designs at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores®. 

As with store-bought aprons, our design is meant to be one-size-fits-all. However, we realize you may still wish to make yours smaller or larger. As a reference, this apron finishes approximately 32" wide at its widest point across the center and approximately 11½" at its narrowest point across the top; the total length, top to bottom, is approximately 29"; the ties are each approximately 30" long.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

NOTE: For the very best look, all your pieces should be carefully fussy cut. The yardage shown allows extra for this purpose.

Getting Started

  1. Download and print out the Apron Cut Out Part One and Apron Cut Out Part Two templates. 
    IMPORTANT: Each template is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid lines. Butt the pieces together at the arrows as indicated on the templates. Do not overlap. Tape together to form the complete template. 
  3. From the fabric for the apron top, bottom border, neck loop, lower pocket, and waist ties (Ticking in Taupe in our sample), cut the following IN THIS ORDER:
    NOTE: If using our selected fabric, it is important to cut the fabric in the order shown below to insure you have enough. If you are unsure of your cutting skills, get an extra ½ yard of fabric.
    ONE 33" wide x 13" high rectangle for the apron top (stripes running vertically)
    TWO 3” x 31" strips for the waist ties (stripes running horizontally)
    ONE 3" x 28" strip for the neck loop (stripes running horizontally)
    ONE 3" x 33" strip for the apron hem (stripes running horizontally)
    ONE 9" wide x 16" high rectangle for the lower pocket (stripes running horizontally)
  4. From the fabric for the apron bottom and upper pocket (Game Pieces in Taupe in our sample), cut the following:
    ONE 33" wide x 16" high rectangle (16½" x 16" on fold) for the apron bottom
    ONE 5½" wide x 13" high rectangle for the upper pocket, we fussy cut to feature the 33¢ motif
  5. From the fabric for the apron lining (Dictionary in Neutral in our sample), cut ONE 33" wide x 30 high rectangle. 
  6. From the fusible interfacing, cut the following:
    ONE 33" x 13" rectangle for the apron top
    ONE 1½” x 12½" strip for the bib top reinforcement 
    ONE 16" x 9" rectangle for the lower pocket
    ONE 5½" x 13" rectangle for the upper pocket

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Side cut outs

  1. Find the lining panel.
  2. Fold the panel in half vertically, matching the long raw edges. Find the armhole pattern. Place it in the upper corner, aligning the pattern with the top and side raw edges as shown in the photo below. There are markings on the pattern to follow as well. Pin in place
  3. Cut along the pattern outline to create the side curves for the "armholes."  
  4. Remove the excess fabric.
  5. Repeat to create the same side curves on the apron top panel and matching interfacing top panel.

Apron front

  1. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the apron top. 
  2. Find the additional 1½" x 12½" interfacing strip. Fuse this across the upper edge of the top of the apron bib on top of the first layer of interfacing. This provides extra reinforcement for the suspender fasteners.
  3. Find the top and bottom apron panels. Place them right sides together, aligning them along one 33" edge. If using a directional motif as we did, make sure you are aligning the bottom of the top panel and top of the bottom panel (oh yeah... that hurts my head). Pin in place.
  4. Stitch together using a ½" seam. 
  5. Press the seam allowance up towards the top. 
  6. Flip over the sewn panel. Switch to your accent thread in the top - the bobbin color can stay as-is.
  7. Topstitch across the panel, approximately ⅛" from the seam, staying within top portion of the panel.
  8. If necessary, switch back to matching thread in the top.
  9. Find the bottom border strip. Place it right sides together along the bottom of the apron front, aligning them along one 33" edge. Pin in place.
  10. Stitch together using a ½" seam. 
  11. Press the seam allowance up towards the apron. 
  12. Flip over the sewn panel. If necessary, switch to your accent thread in the top.
  13. Topstitch across the panel, approximately ⅛" from the seam, staying within the main body of the apron.

Make and attach the pockets

  1. Find the 9" x 16" bottom pocket rectangle.
  2. Fold the pocket in half, right sides together so it is now 9" x 8½". 
  3. Pin along both sides and across the bottom, leaving a 3" opening along the bottom for turning. 
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners and remembering to lock your seam at either side of the 3" opening. Clip corners at a diagonal, being careful not to cut into your seam.
  5. Turn right side out through the opening.
  6. Use a long, blunt-end tool, like our fave - a chopstick, to square the corners.
  7. Press well, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. 
  8. Repeat with the 5½" x 13" upper pocket rectangle.
  9. Find the apron front. Fold it in half and lightly press to set a center crease. 
  10. Unfold and place it right side up and flat on your work surface.
  11. Place the finished bottom pocket on the right side of the apron front, 2" below the horizontal top/bottom seam and 2½" to the left of the center crease line. 
  12. Place the finished upper pocket on the left side of the apron front, 1" above the horizontal top/bottom seam and 1½" to the right of the side curve.
  13. Re-thread your machine with the second accent thread in the top and bobbin (we used red) and select a decorative stitch. 
  14. Stitch each pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom. This decorative seam also closes the openings left for turning. 
  15. We added our Sew4Home label to the bottom pocket.

Finishing the apron body

  1. Place the finished apron front right sides together with the apron lining, sandwiching the pockets between the layers. Pin in place, leaving a 5" opening along the bottom edge. 
  2. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around all sides, remembering to pivot at the corners and to lock the seam at either side of the 5" bottom opening. 
  3. Trim the corners. Turn right side out through the bottom opening. Gentle push out all the corners so they are nice and square. Press flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. 
  4. Re-thread the machine with the first contrasting thread (dark brown in our sample).
  5. Edgestitch around the entire outer perimeter of the apron. This stabilizes the layers and closes the bottom opening.
  6. Across the top of bib, add a second line of topstitching 1" below the first. 

Make neck loop and waist ties

  1. Find the neck look strip and the two waist tie strips. 
  2. On EACH strip, press back both ends and both long sides ¼".
  3. Fold the strip in half, aligning all the pressed edges. Pin in place.
  4. Edgestitch in place around all four sides. 

Attach the waist ties

  1. Place the ties on the apron front. One waist tie should be pinned at each side with the top of the tie sitting along the edgestitching of the side curve. This bridges the top and bottom panels as shown in the photo below, overlapping by approximately 1½".
  2. Stitch each tie in place with an "X-box."

Suspender clips and neck loop

  1. Following manufacturer's instructions attach the overall buttons and buckles. The instructions that came with our Dritz® buckles were quite easy, and you get to hit something with a hammer!
  2. Thread the neck loop through the buckles, making sure not to twist the strap loop.
  3. Mark the position for the buttons. We centered ours between the two horizontal lines of topstitching 1" in from each side.
  4. Insert the button tack from the back through to the front at your marked points. 
  5. Flip the apron over and drop the point of the tack into the hollow shank of the button cap. 
  6. Make sure your button cap is sitting absolutely flat on a hard surface.  When the two pieces are in position, cover up the back of the tack with a piece of fabric to protect it, and WHACK it several times with a hammer. Make your swings strong and even. It takes some force to drive the tack into place and you don't want any twisting.


Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas  
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Michele Mishler

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Comments (6)

missusg said:
missusg's picture

i so love this apron but simply can not imagine wearing it as i wouldn't want to spoil it!!! LOL

Donna Gibson said:
Donna Gibson's picture

Very cool!  Would love to make one of these to where while crafting!

dstitchgal said:
dstitchgal's picture

Love this apron.  What wonderful fabric designs.

Debbie said:
Debbie 's picture

Awesome. I can't wait to get this fabric and make the apron. Super cute.

thanks for sharing.

Gabby said:
Gabby's picture

LOVE this apron! The combo of fabric is awesome! :) BTW saw your link on Paula's One Lucky Day blog.

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