At The Makehouse: Apron Making Workshop
Do you have a favourite apron? Is it for gardening, cooking or cleaning? I had never made my own apron before, so I joined the Apron Making workshop at The Makehouse. What I found out was that aprons are very simple to make, all you need to know is the right finishing techniques! This workshop runs fairly frequently and is a great class to take if you are still learning how to sew.
In this workshop, we learned a lot of finishing techniques because essentially an apron is one piece of fabric cut into a certain shape and then hemmed and given additional straps. For my apron, I decided to do a winter holiday themed half apron. I really love baking around the winter holidays and thought it would be fun to have a cute apron for that time of the year.
First steps were to decide on the shape of the apron and then trace it out onto the fabric. For my half apron, my basic shapes were a large rectangle for the skirt, and long skinnier rectangles for the tie. I decided I also wanted a pocket. To make the pocket, I folded my fabric in half so that I would cut two pieces. This would give me a sturdier pocket to put things in. I traced and cut out the shape and sewed the two pieces together. Next, I pinned it to the rectangle skirt piece and sewed it on top. One of the best tricks I learned in order to get pieces to match up in the centre, is to fold both pieces of fabric down the middle and create a crease with your hands. Then you line up the creases on each piece of fabric and pin it in place. No rulers or measuring tapes necessary, and everything is equally distributed!
Once the pocket was attached and finished, I started hemming the bottom and finishing the sides of the apron skirt. For a nicer looking finish, we were taught to finish the bottom first with either a 1/4 inch rolled hem, or a full 1 inch rolled hem (this was up to the maker’s choice and the style of the apron). I went with a 1 inch hem so the skirt would hang with a little more weight. First steps for finishing the skirt was to press the bottom up just shy of an inch and then up a full inch so there were no raw edges showing. Then it was pinned and sewed. Next was to do the sides of the apron skirt. For that I decided to do a 1/4 inch rolled hem. This was done in a similar process to the bottom hem. Working with the right side first, I pressed the edge of the fabric inwards just shy of a 1/4 inch and then another 1/4 inch so no raw edges would show. The side was pinned and then sewed together. This process was repeated again for the left side.
Some people chose to use bias tape for the edges of their aprons. What I learned about bias tape is that this magical skinny piece of fabric is cut on the bias, meaning that the fabric is cut on a grainline that is at a 45-degree angle to the salvage. This makes it is a wonderful option for finishing curved edges because the bias tape can follow the curve without buckling. To attach the bias tape, it is opened up in full and then the outside top edge of the bias tape needs to be pinned to the good side of the fabric. The next step is to sew it on along the pinned edge. Once the first edge of the bias tape is attached, it is folded over and top stitched to finish and secure in place.
I wanted my apron skirt to have a bit of a ruche and not just lay flat. I learned that it was best to sew two gather lines with a long stitch length because it would make the gather stronger than just a single line of thread and reduce the chance of the threads breaking from having too much tension on them. Because the area near the pocket was thicker fabric, and I didn’t want to break the thread, I left it flat and instead just nudged the fabric along either side of the pocket to create a nice gather. To make sure the gathers were even in length I folded the apron along the centre and matched up the sides.
Next was to create the waist tie. For this part, I cut two long 5-inch-wide rectangles that I stitched together to make an extra-long piece of fabric. This was because my fabric was not long enough for me to cut one single strip of fabric for the waist tie. Once the two pieces were stitched together, I folded it in half lengthwise and pressed the fabric to create a crease. Then I opened up the fabric, folded the lengthwise edges in to meet at the middle crease, and then folded it in half again lengthwise to create a long waist tie. To attach the waist tie to the skirt of my apron, I sandwiched the apron skirt between the two folds of the waist tie with pins. I used an overedge foot on the sewing machine for the waist tie. Using this type of foot made it easier to get a consistently thin edge on the tie because there is a lip on the foot that keeps the fabric from slipping.
Once this was all sewed together, my apron was finished! Now I am ready to bake away!
Apron Making is a great class to take to improve your sewing skills because you can make the class as simple or as challenging as you would like it to be! The level of skill comes down to the pattern and style of apron you choose to make. No matter what you will walk away with an apron you love. Check out The Makehouse for the next available class!