Today on the blog is a FREE step-by-step tutorial on how to make an adorable modern patchwork apron! This is a beginner-friendly sewing pattern that uses only the most basic sewing supplies.
You know those projects that you make a dozen of for Christmas gifts... the night before Christmas?? For me, 2016 was the year of the zipper pouch, 2017 was the year of the bucket tote, 2018 was the year of the potholder set, and 2019 was the year of the Maypole pillow. Well, get ready, because 2020 is the year of the modern patchwork apron, and you still have six months before Christmas!
These aprons come together SO quickly, and are tons of fun to make! Just wait - you'll be an apron-making factory in no time.
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One of my favorite things about these aprons is how personalized you can make each one! Does your dad need a new apron for flipping burgers on game day that also features his favorite sports team? Does your grandma have a soft spot for all things floral?
Or do you yourself need something to protect you from the inevitable mess when your toddler is "helping" you mix up a batch of cookies? (*Raises hand*) Well you can pick four fun fabrics for each apron to meet all of those needs.
Modern Patchwork Apron Supplies
- 2 printed apron template
- 1 FQ Fabric A*
- 1 FQ Fabric B*
- 1/2 yd Fabric C*
- 1/2 yd Fabric D*
- 1 yd Backing Fabric*
- 1/4 yd Fabric for Ties and Loops
*If you are using directional fabrics, be aware of their orientation in the apron. Scroll down to Step 3 to see the layout diagram. You may need a larger cut of fabric if the print is running the wrong way.*
- Simple sewing machine
- Cutting mat
- Rotary cutter
- Straight pins
- Iron & ironing board or pressing mat
- Large sheet(s) of paper - I used wrapping paper, but posterboard or a roll of paper would work too
- Tape (basic Scotch tape is perfect)
Step 1: Pick Your Fabric!
Picking fabric is my favorite part of any sewing project, and this modern patchwork apron is no exception! Choose four coordinating fabrics for the front of your apron, one for the back, and one for the ties.
I went with five prints from Bonnie Christine's latest line for Art Gallery Fabrics called Her & History - it's seriously one of my favorite collections EVER! Plus, AGF has the silkiest smoothest cottons that are a dream to sew with no matter what project you're working on.
I chose an AGF denim for the ties since it's a little heavier and also is a wider than your typical 42" quilting cotton, which means I didn't have to piece the ties together.
Step 2: Assemble the Apron Pattern
Instead of giving you lots of annoying template pieces to cut out and assemble, let's keep it simple. Using some large sheet(s) of paper (or that ugly wrapping paper that you know you'll never actually wrap gifts with,) cut out one rectangle that is 21 1/2" x 27 1/2" and one square that is 11 1/4" x 11 1/4". Fold both of these pieces in half widthwise, and align the creases. Tape the square to the top of the rectangle, keeping the creases aligned.
Next, print two of the apron template found here, and tape one piece face up in the right armpit, and one template face down in the left armpit. Voila! Your apron pattern is assembled and ready for use!
Step 3: Cut and Piece the Patchwork Top
As a graphic designer, I've always loved bold color blocking. This modern apron uses four color blocks that intersect right at the waist, to be the most flattering proportions. Everytime I finish one I feel like I should be presenting it to Tim Gunn on Project Runway!
Once again, refer to the diagram for piecing, and be mindful of the orientation of directional fabrics.
- Cut Fabric A to 13 1/4" x 12 1/4"
- Cut Fabric B to 16 1/4" x 12 1/4"
- Cut Fabric C to 13 1/4" x 22 1/2"
- Cut Fabric D to 16 1/4" x 22 1/2"
Next, sew Fabric A to Fabric B (RST) along the 12 1/4" sides. Sew Fabric C to Fabric D along the 22 1/2" sides. Press seams open, then sew Unit AB to Unit CD, matching up the seams. This finished unit will be slightly larger than your apron pattern to give you a bit of wiggle room when cutting.
If your backing has a print that runs horizontally, you'll need piece it so that it is the same height and width as your pieced top . If the print runs v ertically, you're in luck and won't need to piece. Want to be sure you're matching up that pattern perfectly? Check out a blog post on just that here!
Step 4: Cut and Sew Loops and Ties
Things are "cooking" right along on your modern patchwork apron (definitely had to sneak that pun in there!) Next up, cut two 2 1/2" x 50" strips and two 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" strips from your ties and loops fabric.
If you are working with a standard width of fabric, it may work best to cut three 2 1/2" x WOF strips and join them as if you were prepping binding for a quilt. Then cut it down to the two 50" and two 3 1/2" strips.
After that, use your iron to turn and press 1/4" along the length of each strip on each side. (Hint: use a tailor's clapper for these steps to keep everything super flat!) On the two 50" strips, press the corners in 1/4" as shown in the photo, then press the mitered end over to the back side of the strip.
Do not do this end-folding step to the 3 1/2" strips. Press all strips in half widthwise, then sew close to the edge to secure, being sure to catch both sides with your needle.
Step 5: Cut the Patchwork Apron Out
Place your backing fabric and patchwork apron top wrong sides together with the apron top facing up. Next, take your assembled apron pattern, and place it on top of the apron top. Shift the placement of the template until it is straight, then pin it in place around the perimeter, being sure to catch the pattern and both layers of fabric with the pins.
Aligned the armpit corners to be 1/4" below the pattern corner, as shown in the photo. This way, once it is sewn, that corner will become a perfect point in the patchwork.
Once everything is pinned together, take your scissors and cut out your apron!
Step 6: Pin It All Together
Unpin the pattern from your apron top and backing, and place the apron front and backing right sides together (I didn't have you cut them right sides together so that you could easily see where your seams were to get everything straight.)
Next, take your 3 1/2" strips and fold them in half. Tuck and pin one 1/4" down on either side of the armpit point so that the loop is on the inside of the apron.
Now, take your 50" strips and align the raw edge end 3/8" from the top corner on either side of the top of your apron. Pin in place, and be sure the tails are tucked inside the apron and will not be in your way while sewing the edge seam of the apron.
Finish off by pinning around the perimeter of the apron.
Step 7: Sew!
Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew around the perimeter of the apron leaving a 6" gap at the bottom. When you come to a loop or tie, you may want to backstitch over it then continue sewing as a bit of added reinforcement.
Step 8: Turn and Press
We're nearing the end! Turn your apron right side out, and push out seams and corners. I found it helpful to press around the perimeter of the patchwork apron to keep it nice and flat for the next step.
Step 9: Topstitch
Last but not least, topstitch around the edge of the apron to give it a nice finish and close the 6" gap.
Now you're ready for any culinary challenge, cookout, or only have 11 aprons left on your Christmas sewing list! These beauties are addicting, so take my advice and GIVE IN! Just keep making!