Country Traditions

September 13, 2010

How to Make an Apron

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , — dmacc502 @ 2:13 am
Afternoon costume

Image via Wikipedia

A sewing apron should be worn during the sewing class. It not only protects the dress but the pockets are convenient for holding the necessary tools and materials during the work. One pocket should be used for the handkerchief only; the other for such tools and materials as may be used during the work.


Fig. 8. – Sewing Apron

Suitable Material

Materials such as flaxon, dimity, lawn, muslin, cambric, percale, chambray, or any other material may be used. Material 27″ wide works up to better advantage than any other width.


Fig. 9

Required Measurements

The waist measure – the band may be 2″ or 4″ smaller than the waist measure, since the strings are added.

The length – this should be taken when the person is standing. Measure the length from the waist to the finger tips. This will give the length needed for the apron.

Standard Measurements

By standard measurements is meant those measurements which experience has proved are used for the average person.

Waist – 26″.

Length – 18″.

Required Material

To make this apron use 3/4 of a yard of cross-barred material 27″ wide. No. 90 white thread for machine stitching.

No. 9 “between” needles for hand sewing.


1.  Measure 7″ from the selvage on the width of the material and draw a thread. (See Fig. 9.)

2.  Cut off this piece, and use it for the band and the strings. Lay it aside until the body of the apron is finished.


1. Take the body of the apron, which is a piece 27″ by 20″, and on the width (the narrower side) fold a hem which, when finished, is 3/4″ deep.

2.  Crease this well. Pin or baste it down. In loosely woven materials, especially in cross-barred dimity, threads pull very easily. The pulling of a thread assures an even hem.

3.  Stitch this hem by machine, close to the turned-in edge.


1.  From each end of the hem measure 8″ along the selvage and 8″ along the opposite side. Draw a thread. This indicates the depth of the pocket.

2.  Fold this over on the apron so that the hem is on the inside, and crease the fold well.

3.  Divide this into two or three equal sections. Put pins at these dividing points. By means of the dull-edged scissors indicate the lines which are to be stitched.

4.  Stitch the dividing line by machine. On each divided line, make two rows of stitching 1/4″ apart. Start from the bottom of the pocket.

Sides of the Apron

1. Baste each side of the pocket to the side of the apron. Baste with fine thread and very close to the edge.

2. Baste a 1/8″ hem on each side of the apron and stitch it by machine.

Gathering the Apron for the Band

1.  Find the middle of the apron and mark this with a basting thread of a contrasting color.

2.  Make 2 rows of gathering stitches by machine 1/4″ apart. To gather the material by machine, loosen either the top or the lower tension and adjust the machine to the longest possible stitch. The thread which lies the straight-est on the material will be pulled up for the gathers.

Preparing the Band

1.  Take the piece of the apron which was laid aside and cut off a strip 3″ wide for the band.

2.  Make a 1/8″ turn on all four edges and crease it well. If possible, press it with a flat-iron.

3.  Fold the band crosswise and find the center. This will be the center of the front. Mark this with a contrasting thread. Measure 7″ from each side of the center front and mark this also with a contrasting thread.

Putting the Band on the Apron

1. Pin the right side and the center front of the band to the wrong side and the center front of the apron.


Fig. 10. – Detail of Sewing Band on Apron

2.  Pin each side of the band marked with the contrasting threads to each side of the apron.

3.  Draw up the gathering threads of the apron to fit the band.

4.  Divide the fullness so that there is very little in front.

5.  Fasten the gathering threads by twisting them around the pins at each side.

6.  Baste or pin the apron very evenly to the band.

7.  Stitch the apron to the band by machine. Use the creased line of the band as a stitching line.

8.  Crease the seam open between the thumb and forefinger and then press it back on the band.

9.  Next turn the band over on the right side of the apron and pin it so that it covers the first stitching.

10.  Pin the extending portions of the band together.

11.  Do not stitch it until the strings are put on the band.

Stitching the Strings

1.  Take the piece of material 4″ wide which was left from the band and on each one of the long sides make a 1/8″ hem and stitch it by machine.

2.  On the two narrow sides, fold a 3/4″ hem and stitch this by machine.

3.  Cut this piece crosswise into two parts. These are for the strings.

Putting on the Strings

1.  Make two pleats in both unfinished ends. Make these pleats so that they will fit exactly inside the band. Slip the strings into the open side of the band.

2.  Baste the strings to the band very carefully, so that each side will look like one continuous thread.

3. Stitch the band to the apron and stitch the strings into the band. This can all be done in one stitching. Begin at the right side of the apron near the end of the gathering. Stitch all along the gathers and the one extending end of the band. Turn the corner and stitch the string to the band. Stitch this up, down, and up again, so that there will be three rows of stitching. Stitch these close to each other. Next turn the corner and stitch all around the upper edge of the band; then repeat the three stitching strips where the other string joins the band. Finish the remaining stitching on the band. Tie and finish the machine threads carefully.

The seam of the apron may be finished with a feather, a chain, or any other fancy stitch.


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