Thursday, December 5, 2013

My take on the Men's Shirt Apron

What girl doesn't need a Carhartt Apron?

Over Thanksgiving my daughter Kylie and I got into a crafty mood. We have been super Pinterest lurkers looking for aprons when I ran across this one. We hit Goodwill and each bought a shirt. This is the result.

Materials Needed:
1 or 2 large or extra-large men’s long-sleeved, button-down shirts, with pockets
white thread (or you match it if you like)

If using one shirt, you may need scraps of material for the straps if you decide to make the apron bottom wider. If using two shirts you can follow the instructions from the link below. But use construction instructions from section #4 as there is an error in the construction in the link.

I modified these instructions from  The original pattern called for two shirts and constructed the front pocket differently. I had one great shirt and some vintage floral that I used. The pictured apron was made extra wide to wrap around me and ties in front.

I suggest cutting all your pieces first before you begin sewing.  So read the directions then start cutting.J
Let’s get started!

1. Apron Bib: Cut one side of the shirt front. I choose the left hand side with a pocket. The apron bib should be about 10-11inches wide and 12-13 inches high. It is easiest to cut out the entire front panel of the shirt and then cut out the bib. Look for a buttonhole on the placket that is an inch or two above the top edge of the pocket. Measure about 1½ inches up from a buttonhole. (This can be fudged by just sewing a button hole once you have the front cut out.)

On the top and the right-hand side edge, fold the raw edge over ½ inch and iron. Then fold the ½ ironed section under to hide the raw edge. Pin and sew with a running stitch to finish the edge. This will give you a nice edge as if you had folded ¼ under and then ¼ under again.
2. To make the neck strap: Cut the button side placket from one shirt, cutting it close to the stitching on the finished edge. If you are using a loose weave fabric that threatens to fray a lot, cut the shirt front side of the placket with an extra ½ inch of fabric that can be folded over twice and sewn to finish the edge. (On a tighter weave, this will be unnecessary.) The bottom edge of the neck strap/button placket will already be hemmed. Attach the hemmed end to the top right corner of the apron bib (about an inch down from the top) with a double row of stitching across the top edge of the bib, catching the strap. I added a square box of stitching just to make it more secure. The actual neck strap is formed when you button the other end to the buttonholes on the left-hand side of the apron bib. The many buttons available on the placket make the neck strap length fully adjustable.
3. Apron skirt:  The apron skirt is made from the entire back of the shirt turned on its side. Cut out the back of the shirt, removing the collar and sleeves, and square off each side and the top of the shirt back. 

Leave the bottom hemmed edge as is or if it bothers you, square it off.  Fold the top edge of the shirt front down ¼ inch, then another ¼ inch again, and pin and sew to hem. If you want a wider apron, than cut the two sleeves apart, making two rectangles the same length as the apron bottom. Sew the two sleeves to the sides of the apron hemming the side ½ inch. (If you use the sleeves for added width, you will need a second shirt of spare material for apron ties.) 
This shows the sleeves attached to the sides of the apron. I left the buttons on the sleeve openings. If you   use the sleeves to add width to your apron, you will need scrap material for the waistband/ties.

Cut a rectangle of fabric from the remaining front piece of the shirt that is about 8 x 18 inches. This will be the apron pocket. Fold three sides of the perimeter edges back ¼ inch and press with an iron. Fold one long edge back ½ and iron, fold the ironed edge under again and stitch first.  Position the pocket on the shirt front about four inches from the top. Center the pocket and stitch. Sew a row of stitching down the middle of the pocket to make two sections for your hands and other goodies.

4. To assemble the apron: From the sleeves of shirt cut lengths of fabric about 3 inches wide to make the waistband/ties. (If you don’t have enough material, grab a second shirt or old scraps like I did.) Seam these pieces together to make an overall length of at least 60 inches (Measure yourself and add at least 12 inches to tie in back. I like to tie my apron in the front so I measure myself around my waist and add enough length to tie in front.) Fold the ends back ½ inch, then fold the long edges in ½ inch, then fold in half lengthwise to make the waistband about 1  ¼ inches wide. Press to crease.

I sewed one of the long edges to the apron front, right sides together. 

Center the bib on the apron skirt with wrong sides together. (This part was wrong in the original pattern and placed the ties on the back of the apron front.)  Pin to hold. Center the waistband over the top edge of the apron skirt and the bib. I sewed one edge along to the apron then folded the waistband/ties over the raw sewn edge, pinning then sewing the folded edges together to make the ties and enclose the raw edges of the apron and bib. A running stitch, sewn about 1/8 inch in from the edge, works best here. Once the waistband/ties are attached, flip the apron bib up and sew a second row of stitching along the top edge of the waistband to hold the bib upright and finish the assembly of the apron.  
The apron waistband/ties are pinned to the apron front. The two folded edges are folded over and sewn together.

Waistband/ties sewn to the apron. Ties are in floral material.

Not sure why it wants to be upside down but you get the idea.