I just finished my quick and easy craft fair apron! I really needed one for the Sew Funky Market, but I was too busy stocking up on inventory for that show and never got around to making my apron. Since this is my first apron and I’m not sure how well it will work out, I decided to construct it easily and quickly.
Before I start, I should mention that I’m a size small – 5’3″, 108lbs (something like that =P). However, this apron is so easy to make that you should be able to adjust the measurements to your size and what you need in an apron. ..and of course, there are many ways to make an apron, but I hope my following tutorial will give you some ideas for a quick and easy handmade utility apron.
I wanted the apron double layered for some durability and found this remaining piece of fabric that I had that I thought would work perfectly for a background. The measurements (folded at the bottom edge) were 15.75″W x 11″H. Be sure that the right-sides of the fabric are facing each other.
Sew up both sides with a straight stitch and don’t forget to go back and forth to lock the stitches at the beginning and end so that when you flip the apron, you won’t lose your stitches. Cut the corners at an angle so that when you flip and fold the apron, there won’t be a bulge.
Flip the apron right-side out and use a pen/chopstick/something with a sharp point to get the corners pointed. Press down the sewn edges neatly with your fingers and then iron the sewn edges and folded (bottom) edge.
Top-stitch the edges to keep the double layers from shifting. You will only need to top stitch the 3 closed edges. The open (top) edge will be covered by the apron’s sash/belt. I chose my signature wavy stitch that I use on most of my bibs, burp cloths, and blankets.
Now, on to making the apron’s sash/belt… The largest part remaining from the fabric gave me 17″ (folded) x 3.75″. Since the fabric was folded, the actual length of each cut piece were 34″ x 3.75″. I had to cut 2 pieces since 34″ would not allow me to tie the apron (I want the apron to sit on my hip).I didn’t want the connecting seam to sit on the middle (front) of the apron, so I took one of the strips and cut it into 2 strips of 17″ x 3.75″ and sewed them to each end of the 34″ strip. I ironed the seams open.I folded the apron’s belt as you would to make bias tape. First, fold it in half length-wise and iron down the fold. Open the strip back up and take one edge and fold it up along the center fold (that you just made). Be sure the edge is just beneath the fold or else it won’t fold smoothly in the end if there is extra fabric in the fold. Take the other edge and repeat, then fold the belt back in half (length-wise) and iron.Find the center of your belt and match it up to the center of your apron and tuck the apron into your folded belt. The open edge of the apron is the part that should be tucked into the fold of the belt and the 3 edges of the apron showing should have the top stitching that you previously made. Pin and sew the belt from end to end.I went with a straight stitch to attach the belt and left the ends unfinished.Then, I had to figure out what I needed pockets for, what would fit, and how they should be arranged. I definitely needed pockets for bills (for change), my phone (since I use it to process credit cards with Square), and coins. I wanted a separate pocket for business cards, but as I was measuring it out, I decided that I would tuck the business cards in the same pocket as the bills or my phone.I had big pieces of scraps remaining of the Sweet Shops print – YAY! The print is adorable, has hints of purple that would match with the apron, and I thought it was fitting since I will be using the apron when I vended at craft fairs/shows. ;D
I wanted the pockets to have double layers as well, so again, I folded the fabric in half. This time, fold it with the right-sides out (you’ll see why in a bit). I just aligned a bill along the edge of the fabric and cut with some extra room for stitching and a stack of bills. The measurements came out to 7.25″W x 4″H.
Next, I measured my phone (don’t forget to include the thickness of your phone and adjust for credit card processing attachments/hardware!) and came up with 4.25″W x 6.25″H.I decided to make 2 small coin pockets (1 for pennies and 1 for the rest of the coins) each measuring 3.25″ squares. Iron the folds of your pockets (which would be the top of the pockets) and top-stitch the folds (again, I chose my wavy stitch). Pin the pockets (again, folds are on top!) where you want them on your apron. (Click on the photo above to enlarge to see details of top-stitching on the fold of the pockets.)I decided that I wanted my pockets stitched on with a zig-zag stitch for several reasons. The first main reason was because zig-zag stitching is much easier to take off with a seam ripper in case I wanted to make any changes, adjustments, etc. Another reason was that it made making the pockets super easy (wasn’t it?!?!?!). Also, the zig-zag stitching is a little decorative. If you want, you can choose threads that would boldly outline your pockets! ;D..and voila! Here is my quick and easy handmade craft show apron! ..photographed with the pretty rose that J brought home for me yesterday. ;DPockets filled with bills and change.I’ll see how well my apron and pockets work out tomorrow at the Downtown LA’s Art Walk where I will be vending at the Handmade Boutique! For now, I think I would adjust the width for the pocket for the bills an extra 1/4″ – so, 7.5″W x 4″H – and the height for the pocket for my phone (it’s a little too deep in).
I hope this has inspired you to make your own utility apron! If you have any thoughts, questions, etc., please share!! Also, if you end up making your own apron, please share that as well! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!