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Weekend Wonders with Fabric.com: Reversible Summer Apron

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I think more things in life should be reversible. Having a string of bad luck? Flip it over, and win the lottery. Say something stupid to your best friend? Turn it inside out, and it never happened. Wake up to gray and rainy day for your family picnic? Reverse it to blue skies and sunshine. Sounds good, don't you think? Although I can't promise these awesome social swaps, I can guarantee you'll love today's project in our Weekend Wonders with Fabric.com series. Our reversible apron is made of three bright and happy Kokka cotton canvas prints. From cooking in the kitchen to gardening in the flower boxes, this apron is both hardworking and goodlooking. The front boasts deep pockets and pretty flat felled seam accents. And, as part of our Weekend Wonders series, you know it's fast and easy. Make one for yourself, and one (or more) as gifts.

Our fabric choices are from the Kokka Cotton Canvas options available at Fabric.com. Kokka fabrics are always hugely popular as soon as they hit real or virtual store shelves, and so often sell out quickly. The Kokka Hexy Orange we selected for the reversible back of our apron is indeed already out-of-stock. But, no need to worry, as Fabric.com has many, many more options (seven pages in fact!) from which to choose. Come up with a unique blend of three fabrics to create your own signature look!

We've come to the end of our first week of Weekend Wonders with Fabric.com. But... no tears yet! We'll be back with Week #2 on July 30th. There will be a beach tote, picnic blanket and an adorable set of zippered bags, as well as another dandy tutorial and a Great Giveaway from Fabric.com

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

The yardages shown below allow a bit extra in order to allow for some precise fussy cutting. If you feel super-duper confident with your cutting, take a look at the Getting Started section below for the actual cut sizes and reduce the fabric amounts to the minimums you feel you can work with. 

Getting Started

  1. Download and print out the Apron Cut Out Part One and Apron Cut Out Part One 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. There is a handy ruler on the print outs to check that your sizing is correct.
  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 front center section and ties (Large Spot Pink in our sample), fussy cut the following:
    ONE 11¼" x 32" rectangle
    TWO 4" x 37" strips for the waist ties
    ONE 4" x 22" strip for the neck tie
    ONE 4" x 2" rectangle for the D ring loop
    NOTE: For the very best look, all your pieces should be carefully fussy cut. If you use the Kokka Large Spot fabric, the drawing below shows you how we measured our cuts to get the perfectly centered spots.
  4. From the fabric for the apron front sides and pocket (Stripe Orange in our sample), fussy cut the following:
    TWO 11" x 32" rectangles
    ONE 32" x 17" rectangle
    NOTE: The extra yardage allowed us to cut the 11" wide x 32" high rectangles to feature a vertical stripe for the side panels, and the 32" wide x 17" high rectangle to feature a horizontal strip for the pocket.
  5. From the fabric for the apron back (Hexy Orange in our sample), fussy cut ONE 32" x 32" square.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Apron front

  1. Find the apron center panel and the two apron side panels.
  2. Pin an apron side panel right sides together on either side of the center panel.
  3. Stitch together, using a ⅝" seam allowance.
  4. Finish both seams with an inside flat felled seam technique. We used our purple accent thread for the topstitching on our flat felled seams. 
    NOTE: If you are new to this technique, check out our tutorial: Weekend Wonders with Fabric.com: How To Make Flat Felled Seams.
  5. Place the sewn apron front right side up and flat on your work surface. 
  6. Use the armhole pattern to cut the armhole curve from both sides. You'll cut one side with the pattern facing right side up and the other side with the pattern facing right side down. There are markings on the pattern to follow as well. 

Make and place the apron pocket 

  1. Find the 32" x 17" pocket rectangle. Fold it in half, right sides together, so it is now 32 x 8½".  
  2. Pin in place along the bottom raw edges. 
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch along the bottom. Both sides remain open.  
  4. Turn right side out through the side openings and press flat.
  5. The apron front should still be laying flat and right side up on your work surface. 
  6. Find the center of the pocket. It should be 16" from each side. Measure, or simply fold the pocket in half and place a pin at the center point. 
  7. Place the pocket on the apron front. The top edge of the pocket should be 3”  from the bottom corner of each armhole cut-out. The center point mark should be at the exact middle of the center panel. Pin in place. 
  8. Mark and draw a perpendicular line at the center point with a fabric pen or pencil. Measure 8" to the left of this center line and draw another perpendicular line. Measure 8" to the right of the center line and draw a third perpendicular line.  
  9. Using the drawn lines as guides, topstitch along each. For the neatest look, lock your stitch at the beginning and end rather than using a back tack. However, if you are super careful to stitch directly over your seam line, a back tack would work equally well and would be stronger at these pocket stress points.  
    NOTE: You are working on the front of your apron; make sure our fabric pen/pencil is easy to remove.
  10. If possible, attach a Quarter Inch Seam foot. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch the pocket in place around the outside edge along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. 

    NOTE: For all the apron topstitching, we used the same purple accent thread as we did for our flat felled seams.

Make and place all the ties

  1. Find the two 4" x 37" strips for the waist ties and the one 4" x 22" strip for the neck tie. 
  2. Fold all the strips in half right sides together so they are now 2" by the appropriate length.
  3. On each of these three long ties, using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch one end and the long side. Leave the opposite end open for turning. Remember to pivot at the corners. 
  4. Clip the corners.
  5. Turn the tube right side out. Square up the corners with a long. blunt-end tool, and press well. 
  6. Find the 4" x 2" loop piece. Fold it in half, right sides together, so it is now 2" x 2". 
  7. Using a ¼" seam allowance, sew along the side only; leave both ends open. 
  8. Turn right side out and press well. 
  9. Place the apron front flat and right side up on your work surface.  
  10. Place the ties on the apron front. One waist tie should be pinned at each side ½" below the bottom of the arm hole curve. 
  11. The neck tie should be pinned at the top upper left (left - looking down at the apron on your work surface) of the apron bib ½" in from the left side.  
  12. The D rings loop should be pinned at the top upper right, ½" in from the right side. Thread both D rings onto the loop. Fold the loop in half. Pin the raw edges of the loop in place so they are flush with the top raw edge of the apron. 
  13. All ends of the ties should be flush with the raw edge of the apron front. Pin the tails of the ties to the middle of the apron to keep them out of the way of the final seam.

Cut the back and layer front to back

  1. As you did with the apron front, use the armhole pattern to cut armhole curves from both corners of the 32" x 32" apron back piece.
  2. Place the apron back right sides together with the apron front, sandwiching the ties in between the two layers.  
  3. Pin well, making sure your ties don't shift position. If you are unsure of your pinning accuracy, you could baste the ties in place prior to layering the back and the front.
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch all the way around the apron, leaving a 5-6" opening along the bottom edge for turning. Make sure you back tack at either side of the opening, and backstitch over each of the ties for extra stability. Go slowly to keep your arm hole curve nice and even.  
  5. When done, clip all the corners and the curves.
  6. Turn right side out through the bottom opening. Use a long, blunt-end tool to poke out and square all the corners. Press well, pressing in the seam allowance at the opening so it is flush with the sewn seam. 
  7. If desired, re-thread your machine with contrasting thread for the final stitching. We again used our purple thread. 
  8. Edgestitch around the entire apron. We used our Quarter Inch Seam foot for a consistent line. This closes the opening used for turning and helps hold the front to the back so the apron stays flat. 


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



Comments (14)

pansythomas said:
pansythomas's picture

The fabric apron looks very beautiful and I would love to make one for me. I am bored of my aprons that looks so dull. My kids will be very happy to see me in this apron that lokkks so colorful. Thanks for the detailed descriptipn about the procedure to make this lovely apron.

Stephaney said:
Stephaney's picture

I can't seem to download the pattern. Help, anybody?

K. Mowers said:
K. Mowers's picture

I know it has been quite awhile since this was posted, however I experienced a similar issue. When I was attempting to download the pattern while inside the PDF, it kept directing me back to the PDF I was using. I went back to the HTML formated page, and successfully downloaded them that way. I don't typically reapond, but thought maybe others had simliar issues. Oh, and even though the two pattern pieces are labels the same (both say pattern piece 1) there are two different pages.

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

@ K. Mowers - Thank you for the heads up. We have reloaded and re-posted both pattern pieces. All is working well now. 

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

@ Stephaney - we testing and re-printed the two PDF downloads on our end and everything is working great. Make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (it's free) and that you browser settings allow you to open downloads from a website (sometimes browser security settings prevent any downloads). Each pattern piece is just one page, so size shouldn't be an issue, however, if your connection is slow, you might need to wait just a bit for the PDF to open. Those are our best suggestions. There are so many variables when it comes to computer systems, platforms and browsers that it is quite hard to troubleshoot long distance. If everything is working from our end, the above suggestions are the best we have. Sorry for any frustration. 

Pat Reed said:
Pat  Reed's picture

I am making reversible aprons this summer. I adapted a vintage patterns to make cobbler aprons like my grandmother wore. On each side I use the print of the other side for the pocket.  I had some pieces left over and used them to make child aprons to match larger ones. I love looking on the internet to find new patterns and ideas.  Your site is inspiring.

mizrae13 said:
mizrae13's picture

Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas this year?  These aprons are perfect for the cooks (men and women) on my list.

Wendy said:
 Wendy's picture

I was clicking along pinning nearly every project I looked at.  then I discovered I could simply FOLLOW the entire Sew4Home crew.  Perfect - and thanks.

Devna said:
Devna's picture

I on the otherhand, LOVE the reversible aspect of this apron.  I must cook with gusto, because my apron is never pristine while I am cooking.  It is terrific to do the quick switch in the last twenty minutes and look bright and tidy when I bring the food to the table!

P.S.  Thanks for the easy pattern!

SugarJo said:
SugarJo's picture

Just fabulous, as usual.  I've made several of your projects because when I decide to make something, I know your instructions will be super which is not always the case elsewhere.  I'm going to do this one this weekend.

Would be super neat and fun if you'd have a place where people could post what they've made from your projects!

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

@ SugarJo - yep... a "Visitor Gallery" is something in we are working to implement. We love seeing what folks have done. Thanks for letting us know you like the idea.

palak said:
palak's picture

I have been wondering lately-- is it ok to leave a link to something you've made from someones tutorial in the comments of that post?

Anyhow, I'm not a big fan of reversible projects, but an apron is one place where it would really come in handy! i always seem to have company when I make a mess.

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

@ palak - yes, you can leave a single link in the comment field of a post. As I mentioned above, we are also working on a Visitor Gallery as a central place for people to share their projects. 

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