I am not a particularly violent cook, but getting into the apron habit has had several benefits. All it takes is one little spot of grease or stubborn fruit stain or bleach from cleaning solution to permanently alter a piece of clothing. Although I try to dress for the jobs at hand, I don’t like to wear “grubbies” everyday of my life as a stay-at-home mom who spends a lot of time cooking and cleaning.
I like to have aprons that coordinate with my kitchen colors AND my clothing to some extent! Buying quality aprons is often costly; or the aprons are just boring square designs or made of cheap, thin cloth. Fortunately, aprons are one of the easiest things to sew. Consider just a few things first:
- Choose a sturdy fabric. I like to use cotton decorator fabric such as I find at Home Fabrics and Rugs in Boise. (They have several other US locations) They have oodles of choices for prices much better than I have seen elsewhere. With their sales, I can frequently find fabric at $3/yard and make an apron for $6. This weight of fabric doubles as a hand towel around your waist without being heavy or quickly getting saturated.
- Stick with uncomplicated designs. Many pretty designs have simple lines, which are faster to sew. Don’t complicate your sewing or your washing machine capacity with an abundance of ruffles. More ruffles also require more fabric.
- Have at least one good pocket. Whether is be for a hankie or an iPod (protected in a small ziplock bag), you will almost always wish you had a pocket.
- Apron skirt length should be enough to cover, but not be a problem with touching the floor every time you bend over.
- The apron bib should cover your front well. An apron without a bib is basically decoration or uniform. The upper body is what is most exposed to the cooking and cleaning mess.
McCalls apron pattern 6092 is one of my favorites. It only takes about 2 yards of fabric (depending on the size), but yields a stylish apron. You can finish the edges with purchased bias tape, or you can use their pattern piece to make enough for the apron. (That amount is included in the yardage estimate I gave) Learning to make your own bias tape adds a very nice touch to the project, especially if it is a gift.
This little gizmo (Clover Bias 1-Inch Tape Maker) might come in handy, although I have done it without it, too. Same-fabric bias tape gives the apron a smooth, custom look. Specially made contrasting bias tape can give the apron some pizazz.
One word of caution: I have never been able to make complete sense of the markings the pattern tries to use for sewing the ends of the bias piece together. In the end, I ignore those and go with the picture on the instructions. Of course, you could discard the pattern piece all together, but I find it is useful in making one long piece of bias tape for the apron.
Below are a couple of photos of the latest version of this apron that is now in process. You can see the curved lines, but how it takes very little fabric. Don’t forget the advantages of using a hemostat for turning ties. Straight Hemostat – 12in. Although peaches may look pretty, the stains they leave behind aren’t and are an example of why aprons are part of my kitchen attire. And aprons are fun to swirl during the kitchen dance routine. 🙂 [hr]