Gardener's Apron

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2006


Andrew Beckman is as pleased with his apron as I am with mine. It's made from faux-bois, or wood-grain, oilcloth. The nature-inspired motif seems suitable for wearing when working with plants. Give this with appropriate accoutrements: shears, seeds, markers, and suede gloves.

You will need to following patterns to complete this apron:

Gardener's Apron Template
Gardener's Apron Pocket Template

Use a leather needle and topstitch-weight thread for this project (we used red for visibility, but you should match thread to trim). When working with the leather trim, sew a 3 mm stitch length to keep it from ripping.

Gardener's Apron How-To
1. Cut a sheet of thin leather (it shouldn't feel plush or too stretchy) into 5/8-inch-wide strips for trim. Strips' length will depend on the size of the sheet; we used a total of 145 inches of 5/8-inch-wide strips, plus a 20-inch-long strip of 1 1/2-inch-wide leather to trim the top of the pocket. Fold a strip in half lengthwise. Working on a very hard surface, hammer along fold to create a crease. Repeat with remaining strips. Using the apron template, cut one apron form from oilcloth and one from cotton broadcloth for lining. Stack apron and lining, wrong sides facing, and sew together 1/8 inch from edge. Sandwich apron edge into a strip of folded trim. Topstitch trim in place as shown (make sure you are sewing through all the layers). After you've attached one strip of trim, overlap its end with the next strip. Continue to attach trim until all edges of the apron are covered.

2. Using pocket template, cut a pocket form from canvas. With a disappearing-ink pen, mark lines where each compartment (and pleats for roomier pockets) will fall. Pin 1/4-inch pleats, and sew along the bottom. Attach trim to bottom and sides of pocket, as above, and then add trim to top of pocket. Snip excess.

3. Use masking tape to position pocket on apron. Sew sides and bottom of pocket to apron. Remove tape as you work. Sew along pen lines to create compartments.

4. To make straps and belt loops, cut 2 1/2-inch-wide strips of canvas: one 8 1/2 inches long (for waist D-ring strap), one 40 inches (long waist strap), one 10 inches (neck D-ring strap), one 33 1/2 inches (long neck strap), and two 3 1/2 inches (belt loops). Fold strips in half lengthwise, right sides facing. Sew a 1/4-inch seam along long open edge and one short edge of the 4 straps; sew a 1/4-inch seam only along long edge of the 2 belt loops. Turn all pieces right side out with a loop turner. To finish straps, tuck 1/4 inch of unfinished end into strip; hand-stitch closed. To finish belt loops, fold strips in half widthwise, and sew a 1/4-inch seam across open ends to join. Turn loops inside out, so sewn edges are on inside. Attach D-ring straps: Thread two D rings on waist D-ring strap. Fold strap in half, so D rings are centered. Using a zipper foot, sew strap just below D rings to secure. Sandwich apron, as shown, between 2 sides of waist D-ring strap, so strap overlaps apron by 2 inches. Topstitch strap, as shown, to secure. Repeat to add neck D-ring strap to top of apron. Place long waist strap across from waist D-ring strap, so it overlaps apron by 2 inches. Sew to secure. Place long neck strap parallel to neck D-ring strap, an equal distance from edge, so it overlaps apron by 2 inches. Sew to secure. Slide belt loops onto long straps so seams fall behind the straps.


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