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Pro Chef Half Apron with Renaissance Ribbons

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The inspiration for this project came from our official Sew4Home You Asked 4 It list. When you send us a request or comment online about something you'd like to see, we add it to this list. Then, we refer to our list when we're creating new ideas. You wanted more aprons for guys, and your wish has been fulfilled by today's Pro Chef Half Apron accented with stunning Renaissance Ribbons. Our thanks to Renaissance Ribbons for sponsoring today's project! You've made all those You Asked 4 It guys very happy.

The style of this half apron is similar to the aprons you'd see at your favorite bistro. Longer with a slim fit and thin wrap around ties secured in the front with half hitch. We added a monogram on the pocket because pro chefs do love their notoriety.

Although we made our sample for guys, it would work equally well for the fairer chefs in your midst. Simply switch out the ribbon accents to match the wearer's favorite colors and patterns. We used the graphic Lime on Aqua Meander Lime Water from Anna Maria Horner.

For more ideas, check out a few of the other popular designers whose creativity is executed in vibrant, intricate detail by Renaissance Ribbons, like Parson Gray, Amy Butler, Luella Doss and Tula Pink.

One of the great features on this apron is its handy towel loop. Not only does the horizontal band give us an excuse to add two additional ribbon accents, it's a super functional detail designed to hold a standard kitchen towel. We all know the pro-chefs are also the messiest chefs!

We recommend a ⅝" ribbon for our design, and there are many, many to choose from at Renaissance Ribbons. You could even give your Pro Chef Apron a holiday spin with ⅝" White Snowflakes on Red by Sue Spargo or ⅝" Scalloped & Dotted Edge Holiday Motif on Green by Dena Designs

Many of the holiday ribbons are on sale right now for 15% off at the Renaissance Ribbons online store

The apron is fast and easy to make, so there's still time to whip up a few for the Pro Chefs on your holiday gift list. 

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • 5 yards of ⅝" wide ribbon for all the accents; we used ⅝" Lime on Aqua Meander-Lime Water by Anna Maria Horner for Renaissance Ribbons 
    NOTE: The amount of ribbon is based on the sizing for our chef, you may need slightly more or less should you adjust the length of the apron or ties. 
  • 1¼ yard of 45"+ wide medium-weight, cotton-poly (or similar) fabric for the apron body, pockets and ties; we used Diversitex Poly/Cotton Twill in White (#0266293) from Fabric.com
  • Stabilizer for the optional embroidery as recommended for your embroidery machine
  • All-purpose thread to match fabric; we used white
  • All purpose thread to match ribbon and/or Invisible Thread in Clear; we used invisible thread
  • Embroidery thread to coordinate with the fabric for optional monogram; we used teal
  • See-through rule
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Tape measure
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

Our apron model is 6' tall; his pant size is 34" waist x 32" length. The design is based on standard bistro style aprons which meet in the back with ties that wrap around to the front and tie with a half hitch. Should your chef be larger or smaller, adjust the cuts as necessary. As we often recommend, cutting a prototype from an inexpensive muslin to test fit is a great way to insure sizing before diving in to cut your final fabric and ribbon. In general, the math is as follows: 

Measured width + 1½" (for two ¾" side hem) = cut width

Measured height + 3½" (2" top hem and 1½" bottom hem) = cut height

  1. From the apron fabric, cut the following:
    If monogramming, cut ONE pocket rectangle big enough to hoop; it will be cut down after embroidery to 8" wide x 13" high
    If not monogramming, cut ONE 8" wide x 13" high rectangle
    ONE 37½" wide x 24½" high rectangle for the main body of the apron
    ONE 8" wide x 5" high rectangle for the towel loop
    TWO 1½" x 43" strips for the ties
  2. Cut the ribbon into the following lengths:
    TWO 22" lengths for the vertical stripes on the apron front
    TWO 8" lengths for the towel loop stripes
    TWO 43" lengths for the ties

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Optional embroidery

  1. Select a script font.
  2. Hoop the twill fabric and stabilizer, and monogram your chef's name. 
  3. The name should be positioned in the upper left of the rectangle. The tallest letter should be approximately 2¾" from the top raw edge. The left section of the pocket is approximately 4" wide when finished, so your lettering should be centered towards the left, at least 1" in from the raw edge, depending on the length of the name. For our short name, our first letter was approximately 2" in from the left raw edge.
  4. Trim the monogrammed pocket to 8" wide x 13" high, keeping the position of the name intact. 
  5. The photo below shows all our small pieces ready to go.

Apron hems

  1. All the hems are made in the same manner, they are simply different widths.
  2. For each side hem, fold back the raw edge ¾" and press well to form a crease. Fold the raw edge into the crease, concealing the raw edges within the folds. Press again and pin in place.
  3. Starting approximately 4" down from the top raw edge, stitch both side hems in place, staying close in the inside fold. The upper portion of each hem will be secured later when the ties are sewn in place.
  4. For the top hem, fold back the raw edge 2" and press well to form a crease. 
  5. Fold the raw edge into the crease... 
  6. ... concealing the raw edges within the folds. 
  7. Press again and pin in place.
  8. Stitch all the way across, staying close to the inside fold. There will be openings at each side, which is where you will later insert the ties.
  9. Finally, for the bottom hem, fold up the raw edge 1½" and press well to form a crease. Fold the raw edge into the crease, concealing the raw edges within the folds. Press again and pin in place.
  10. Stitch all the way across, staying close to the inside fold.

Towel Loop

  1. Find the 8" x 5" rectangle for the towel loop and the two 8" lengths of ribbon.
  2. Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, so it is now 8" x 2½". Pin together along the 8" raw edges to form a tube.
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch together.
  4. Press the seam allowance flat and turn the tube right side out. Roll the seam to the back.
  5. Press flat. Place the two ribbon lengths horizontal across the front surface. The outer edge of each ribbon should be ¼" from the folded edge of the fabric and there should be ¼" between the two ribbons. Pin in place.

    NOTE: You'll notice we used pins to hold our ribbons in place. Another option would be to apply a little basting glue or strips of lightweight fusible web, such as Stitch Witchery by Dritz, to the wrong side of the ribbon. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and test to make sure the ribbon can be easily stitched without the adhesive gumming up the needle. Some adhesives are not meant to be sewn through.
  6. Re-thread the machine with clear thread (or thread to match the ribbon) in the top and thread to match the fabric in the bobbin. To secure, stitch along both sides of each ribbon. 
  7. Turn back the raw side edges ½" and pin in place.
  8. Find the hemmed apron panel. Fold the panel in half to find the exact center point. Mark with a pin. 
  9. Place the inner side edge of the towel loop 2" to the right from the panel's center line.
  10. And, 6" down the top hemmed edge.
  11. Rethread the machine with thread to match the apron fabric in the top and bobbin. 
  12. Stitch each end of the towel loop in place with two short seams. The first seam should be approximately ⅛" from the folded edge.
  13. The second seam should be approximately ⅜" from the first.

    NOTE:
    You are stitching through several layers at this point. This is no problem for our Janome studio machines. If you are unsure of your machine's power, test first on a stack of scraps. We also recommend a lock stitch, rather than backstitching, to secure the beginning and end of your seams. If you do not have this option, you can leave the thread tails long and hand knot them to secure. 

Pocket

  1. Find the pocket panel with the optional monogram in place.
  2. Fold back the top edge ½" and press.
  3. Fold back an additional 2". Check the hem from the front; the highest point of the lettering should be approximately ¼" from the fold. Adjust the hem as needed.
  4. Topstitch in place. This seam should run approximately ¼" from the bottom of the lettering. 
  5. Fold back the remaining three raw sides of the pocket ½". Press and pin in place.
  6. Find the apron panel. Place the pocket so its right edge is aligned with the center line of the panel (you figured that out above when placing the towel loop). The top of the pocket should be 6" down from the top hemmed edge, parallel with the top of the towel loop.
  7. Pin the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom.
  8. Using a ¼" seam, stitch the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom, remember to pivot at the corners. As with the towel loop, we recommend using a lock stitch to secure the beginning and end of the seam for a neater look. Or, leave the thread tails long and knot. 
  9. When this seam is complete, run a second seam, following along the first, as close to the edge as possible.
  10. To divide the pocket into two sections, measure 2" from the right side and draw a vertical line with your fabric pen/pencil or mark with a line of pins. If using a monogram, this line should be to the right of the end of the chef's name. 
  11. Following the drawn line (we used our quilting guide bar as an additional help, running it along the pocket's seam), stitch one vertical dividing line. As above, use a lock stitch to secure if possible. 
  12. When complete, stitch a second line ⅛" from the first. 

Add the accent ribbon stripes

  1. Find the two 22" lengths of ribbon. 
  2. Place one ribbon 1" to the left of the pocket's left edge.
  3. Place the second ribbon ¼" from the first. Pin both ribbons in place.
  4. At the top and bottom of each ribbon, turn back the raw edge ½". The folded ends of the ribbon should be flush with the top and bottom hems. 
  5. Adjust the fold of the ribbon as needed so the ribbon and fabric are perfectly flush.  
  6. Re-thread the machine with clear thread (or thread to match the ribbon) in the top  and thread to match the fabric in the bobbin. 
  7. To secure, stitch along both sides of each ribbon.

Ties

  1. Find the 43" lengths of fabric and ribbon. 
  2. On each strip, fold in each long side to meet in the middle. Press flat.
  3. Center a length of ribbon on each strip, concealing the fabric's raw edges beneath the ribbon. Pin in place.
  4. On one end of each tie, you need a clean finish. An easy way to do this is to miter that end of the fabric (make it like a triangle) so the edges are neat. 
  5. Fold back the raw edge of the ribbon and the point of the fabric so the two layers are flush. Pin the end together like a little porcupine. The opposite end of each tie remains raw.
  6. To secure, stitch along both sides of each ribbon on each tie.
  7. Insert the raw end of each tie into the side opening of the apron's top hem. Pin in place.
  8. Re-thread the machine with thread to match the apron fabric in the top and bobbin.
  9. Stitch from the top of the apron down to the original starting point of the side hem. Be careful to precisely match the seam widths. If possible use a lock stitch to secure the beginning and end of the seam or leave the thread tails long and knot. This will make the two seams look like one.
  10. As with the towel loop seam, and to best secure each tie, we recommend edgestitching an additional short seam just within the width of the top hem.



Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas      
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

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Comments (1)

Susan Mac Donald said:
Susan Mac Donald's picture

thank you Alicia Thommas for the well written tutorial; such a nice design from a regular 1/2 apron; looking forward to more patterns from you!

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