As some of you all know by now, vintage tablecloths are one of my absolute favorite things to upcycle! I am head over heels in love with the prints from the beautiful florals to the fun novelty prints. There is just nothing like the hand of a vintage tablecloth whether it be a sweet drapey linen or a wonderfully thick cotton. I use cutter tablecloths to make all kinds of items for the blog and the shop, so I have quite a few scraps lying around. I’ve been wanting to find a way to use some of my favorite scraps. I love wearing my vintage aprons for shows, but needed one with more pockets, so I thought I’d make my own with some upcycled tablecloth pockets.
Here’s What You Need:
*Vintage Tablecloth Scraps- Four pieces cut at 10″ wide x 11″ tall
*Cotton Fabric for Main Apron- 42″ Wide x 14″ Tall
*1 Package of Double Fold Bias Tape
*42″ or so of Ric Rack Trim
*3/8 yard of coordinating fabric for band and ties- Cut 2 pieces at 3″x22″ and one piece at 3″x25″
The first thing you need to do is cut your fabric pieces. I gave measurements for mine in the material list above. I am a size 18. What you basically want to do is measure the front of your waist plus a couple of inches. The width of your apron will be 1.5-2 times the width of that measurement for you are going to gather the fabric at the waist. To figure out the pocket size, divide the width of the apron by four(the number of pockets.) Add 1/2 inch to each side for seam allowance. Cut the waist band at 3″ by the width of your apron plus 1/2 inch seam allowance on each side. And also cut two pieces for your ties at 3″x22″.
Next, take your four pockets and sew the first pocket to the second with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Then stitch the second to the third and the third to the fourth, so you have one long strip. Iron open the seam allowances.
Now, fold over the top of each pocket by 1/4″ to the back side and press. Then fold over again by 1/2″ or so and press. Stitch down close to the open end. Now the top edge of your pockets should have a nice finish. Sew the ric rack trim to the top inside edge of the pocket.
Next, lay the long pocket piece over the top of the main apron fabric piece which should also be face up. Line up the bottom of the pockets and sides to the bottom of the apron fabric and sides. Pin in place. Stitch the pocket down to the main fabric around the edges but leaving the top of the pocket open with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Now you need to add your bias tape. Sandwich the apron fabric edges between the fold of your bias tape. Pin in place. When you get to the corners, fold and mitre the corners with your fingers then pin in place. Stitch the bias tape all the way around the apron except for the top, stitching close to the open edge of the tape. You should now have an apron piece with pockets at the bottom and bias tape concealing the raw edges on both sides and the bottom. The top edge of your apron should be raw edges.
Next you can go ahead and make your ties. Fold the tie pieces over in half with right sides facing. Clip one end of the halved tie at an angle. Stitch the folded tie closed with a half inch seam allowance starting at the square end leaving that end open, and ending at the tip of the angled edge. Push the tie right side out and press it flat. Repeat with the other tie. Set aside.
Now you are ready to baste and gather your apron. Adjust your stitch length to a basting stitch. Stich a basting stitch at about an 1/8 inch away from the edge of your raw edge, then another basting stitch right below that one a little less than a half inch away from the top.
Now, line up the edge of your apron about a half inch in from each side of the waist band and pin. To gather the fabric, pull the top and bottom basting threads gently making sure you pull only the basting strings on one side of your fabric. Distribute your gathers along the width of the fabric. Pull the basting strings from each side and adjust the gathers until your gathered apron fabric fits into the width of the waist band where pinned. Loop the basting threads around the end pins in figure eight motions. Then pin the rest of the gathered apron to the waist band. Make sure your waist band and apron fabric are right sides together. Stitch the apron to the waist band with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Clip all excess threads.
Now you are ready to make the waist band. Fold over the top edge of the waist band to the back side by about a half inch and press down. Also press the sides of the waist band in by 1/2″ and press. Pin in place. Stitch the waist band down close to the bottom leaving the sides open.
To finish off your apron, you need to add your ties. Insert your ties on each side opening of your waist band. Pin in place. Stitch the sides closed. Clip excess threads. Now it is ready to wear!
I absolutely LOVE my apron! I am a larger gal and this one is made perfectly for my size! It is so much fun to wear and I can’t wait to use it at my next show or market! Upcycling vintage linens is seriously my favorite thing to do! I love to use my vintage scraps, but you can change it up and use any fabric you have on hand. You can play around with the proportions as well to fit your body. I think this would make a great gift for the holidays as well! Everyone loves aprons, right! So next time you find you need a new apron, give this one a try. It’s fast and simple! I’ll be back next week with another fun DIY. Until then…