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


Jannie aka Chickengirl October 19, 2007  

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

Heather October 22, 2007  

Happy Birthday Bradley!!!

Anonymous,  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/.

Unknown 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:)

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.

Mrs Bell 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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