Happy birthday Bradley!
(men's apron tutorial)

>> Thursday, October 18, 2007

I think the first step for sewing for a man is the colour scheme, choosing colours they like that aren't too girly.
I wanted to make an apron for Bradley - now that we have a barbecue. I found the perfect piece in my stash, a sturdy white cotton with blue stripes and a striped ribbon for the neck strap. This was a sample piece of fabric and already serged, so it saved some extra steps. I made it up as I went along but it worked quite well, so here's another tutorial.

Step 1: The rectangle was 26" inches wide and 34" long. I pinned the neck strap in place (20" + hem allowance), and folded over two corners at the top. At this point you can try it on to see if it's roughly the right size. I had to try it on myself then imagine myself a little bit taller.
 Step 2: Once the right amount of fabric at the top corners was folded over I cut off the excess and folded the edges and pinned in place. Then iron and sew! (You could also hem the top and sides next if you wish)

Step 3: The waist straps were just twill tape stitched in place. I recommend making them long enough so you can wrap around the back and bring them around to the front again to tie. 
Step 4: Love is in the details. I hemmed the ends of the straps (by hand) so that they wouldn't fray. 
Step 5: I added a 9" x 17" pocket. The serged edges were just folded once then sewn in place, with a 1" hem at the top. Pin it in place before you sew then try on the apron to see if you like the position. I sewed a couple of extra seams to make divisions in the pocket. That way there's a skinny one to hold tongs. Finally, I embroidered Bradley's name to personalize it. I should have done the embroidery first, then hemmed the top of the pocket to hide the back of the embroidery but I didn't think of it. The easiest way to do it neatly is just pencil in the lines before you stitch.
Done! Bradley loved his new apron... Gosh he's handsome. And such a good sport letting me take pictures.

Sewing books with apron patterns I recommend (hover on the links to see more info):
This is a beautiful book with inspiring sewing projects photographed in front of inspiring decor. It has a French chef's apron, perfect for men! This book also has a garden-artist's apron with pocket.
Simple Sewing with a French Twist: An Illustrated Guide to Sewing Clothes and Home Accessories with Style


This book includes seven apron patterns! And each project just uses one yard of fabric.
One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Fabric Projects; Look How Much You Can Make with Just One Yard of Fabric!
This book has an apron pattern on page 49 - a short pleated apron with pocket. Amy Butler's books always have great instructions and solid sewing techniques.
Amy Butler's In Stitches: More Than 25 Simple and Stylish Sewing Projects
This book has an apron pattern on page 23 called Sunday-dinner hostess apron, very simple, super cute!
Weekend Sewing: More Than 40 Projects and Ideas for Inspired Stitching
This book has two apron patterns, a cafe apron with pocket on page 31 and a reversible apron on page 44. Lotta = cool and beautiful style.
Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing: Patterns and How-To for 24 Fresh and Easy Projects
This book has a handy no-frills apron on page 199, similar to mine (in this post) with a large pocket. This practical book has so many great projects and lots and lots of general sewing info.
Sew Everything Workshop: The Complete Step-by-Step Beginner's Guide with 25 Fabulous Original Designs, Including 10 Patterns

Books all about sewing aprons:
The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort
Sewing Vintage Aprons: Classic Aprons for Today's Lifestyle
A Is for Apron: 25 Fresh & Flirty Designs
Little Retro Aprons for Kids


8 comments:

Chickengirl October 19, 2007  

awww! He's looking good in his new apron! Happy birthday, Bradley!

Sarah,  October 22, 2007  

Hi Claire - the apron looks great. Glad it was a hit.

Carolyn October 11, 2008  

Thanks! I followed your tutorial and made an apron for my brother. You can see it over at Wardrobe Refashion at http://www.nikkishell.typepad.com/wardroberefashion/.

Kathleen December 04, 2009  

Awwww....Bradley DOES look awfully handsome. But help! I need one for a doctor friend coming over for Christmas. He's six' six" - any ideas? thanks and Happy Holidays:)
Kathleen

Amelia,  November 21, 2010  

I made one this morning. We love it! Thanks for the steps.

Claire Louise Milne February 23, 2011  

Thanks for the comments! A taller guy would just need a longer version of the same thing.

Anne Bente November 07, 2011  

A looong time after you posted this, I find it:) The great thing about blogs!

Been looking for an easy apron pattern, thanks!

Have a good week!

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