Sewing 101 – Gardening Apron reposted by Grace Bonney

I always get SEW excited when  see my fellow sewing bloggers post these step by step instructional sewing projects. Thanks to Grace Bonney for this one in particular by Brett Bara.  I find this project ideal for the beginner sewist. In the days of “Home Ec” aprons were the order of the day. But this is not your grandmama’s apron. This apron has a tailored feel to it. It’s design incorporates various sewing techniques. I’m thinking of adding this apron to our upcoming Silver Spring Sewing Sisters Sewing Class in two week. Students will still be able to sew the straight lines and unique seams. I’m feeling inspired this morning. Thanks Grace and Brett.

Design Sponge

May 25th, 2011
sewing 101: gardening apron

There’s no rule that says we have to make a mess of ourselves when digging in the dirt, right? Well, maybe there kind of is, but even so, it helps to have all your tools handy while you’re getting dirty. This simple work apron will do the trick, keeping your gloves, seed packets and shears at your fingertips while you work in the garden. It’s super easy to sew using nothing but a few simple straight seams, so even if you’re just a budding seamstress, I promise you can whip this up in an afternoon. And if, like me, you can only dream of the day when you have a place to plant tomatoes, this project makes a great gift for the gardener in your life. Let’s get started! — Brett Bara

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


  • 1 yard sturdy fabric, such as cotton duck
  • 1/2 yard coordinating fabric in a similar weight for the pocket
  • sharp scissors (or a rotary cutter and cutting mat)
  • straight pins
  • sewing machine
  • iron and ironing board


1. Cut the fabric.

Cut the following pieces from your fabric:

For the tie: From the longest edge of your fabric, cut a strip 4″ wide. (If this piece doesn’t seem long enough to tie around your waist, cut two 4″ strips and piece them together to make one long strip.)

For the apron body: Cut two pieces measuring 20″ x 15″.

For the pocket piece: Cut one piece measuring 20″ x 20″.

2. Sew the pockets.

Fold the pocket piece in half with the wrong sides together, and press the fold to flatten it. Place this folded piece on the right side of one of the body pieces, with the folded edge as the top edge and the raw sides and bottom edges aligned. Determine where you would like your pocket divisions to be placed, and lightly draw a line in these spots using a pencil or chalk. Pin all layers of fabric together along these lines.

Sew along the marked lines, sewing through all layers of fabric and backstitching at the beginning and end of each seam to secure.

3. Sew the apron body.

Place the remaining apron body piece over the pocket piece with the right sides together. Pin all layers together around three sides, leaving the top side unpinned.

Sew all the layers together around three sides (the sides and the bottom) with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Trim away some of the fabric from the corners, being careful not to cut too close to the stitching. (This will help you get nice, sharp corners when you turn the piece inside out.)

Turn the apron body right-side out, and press all the seams flat.

4. Make the tie.

Next, fold the strip you cut for the tie in half lengthwise, with right sides together. Pin.

With a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew along the short ends and the long edge, leaving an opening in the center of the tie that is 1/4″ longer than the width of your apron body, or about 19 1/4″.

If desired, sew a slanted edge on the ends of the tie (or a squared edge, if you prefer). Trim away the excess fabric from the corners.

Finally, turn the tie right-side out and press the seams flat. Turn under the raw edges of the fabric along the center opening 1/2″ and press.

5. Attach the tie.

Slip the tie opening over the top edge of the apron body, sandwiching the apron inside the tie’s opening. (The top edges of the apron body should be enclosed between the two layers of the tie.) Pin together.

Beginning at one end of the tie, topstitch close to the edge of the fabric all along the length of the tie.

When you reach the section where the tie overlaps the apron, just keep on sewing.

Sew all the way to the other end of the tie, pivot and continue sewing back along the tie going in the other direction.

When you’ve sewn around all four sides of the tie, you’re done!

Now get out there and plant something lovely!

Read more at Design*Sponge

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