Evolution of a tea towel apron

Today I came across some lovely souvenir tea towels that have been sitting unused in my linen cupboard literally for eons (how could anyone bring themselves to use these for doing dishes?  They’re far too cute!)

Sew… (I know, roll eyes if you like), I came up with this very simple pattern for a rather useful apron.  Much more useful than sitting in the cupboard.

The tea towels were 80cm (2′ 7”) x 48cm (19”).  I used some 2cm (0.8”) heading tape for the over-the-head loop and the waistband, about 2.4m (8ft) in length.  In addition, you’ll need some pins, scissors, matching thread and a sewing machine.

First, hold the tea towel against your front and position it like you would want the apron to hang (it’s not an exact science, ok?)  Then, tie a length of heading tape around your waist where you want it to sit on the apron and pin it in place.  My waistband was 18cm (7”) from the top of the tea towel, and I used a length of tape about 160cm (5′ 3”).  Reposition the tape a little once you’ve put it on the table so it is straight across and centred.

Next, fold one of the top side corners backwards over the end of more heading tape.   Put the apron around your neck so you can mark the length of the over-the-head loop (make sure it’s not twisted).  Mine ended up about 50cm (20”).  If that’s clear as mud, have a look at the next photo…

Basically the fabric fold is the width of the heading tape so it hides the tape neatly.  Now, fold back the sides on a slight angle from the top corner down to just above the waistband and pin them to hold in place.

Find the centre of the top of your apron.  This will be the centre of your middle pleat.  Pin this into place.

Now create the pleats to the right and left of centre.  They should be touching the centre pleat, so there is no gap between them.

This is how your apron should look now, all pinned and ready to sew!

*intermission to make banana smoothie for obviously starving husband*

Iron in all your folds and pleats so its easier to sew.  Don’t forget to fold over and iron the ends of the heading tape on the waist band so you can sew them neatly later on.  Thread your machine with a matching colour thread.

(1) Sew along the edge of your apron starting from just above the waistband on one side all the way up, (2) over the top and carefully over the pleats, and (3) down the other side.  (4) Sew across the bottom of the waistband, (5) up the side bit, (6) then across the top of the waistband.  You will sew in a straight line along the waistband, my arrows look wonky because of the crinkles in the material in the photo.

Now you just need to neaten the ends of the waistband ties (fold over a small amount twice to tuck in the end and zigzag to hold it there).

And thats all there is to it…  Go forth and make aprons!

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5 thoughts on “Evolution of a tea towel apron

    • Yay DIY! I love making things too 🙂 I didn’t know how to sew until a few months ago. Sometime in March this year I decided I’d ‘try something new’ each weekend – and this started with crochet (used youtube tutorials to learn) and that rolled on into sewing (I read the manual, tried all the stitches, then filled in the gaps on youtube). Honestly I think you can learn almost anything off the net these days!

    • Great to hear! I have only just started sewing this year, no previous experience at all. I went through the sewing machine manual one evening to learn all the different techniques and I’ve managed to learn enough just with that and internet tutorials so far! Good luck 🙂

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