This apron project uses 1-3/8 yards of fabric. It can be dressed up with binding, lace or rickrack trims to add a feminine touch or made sans trims for a grilling apron. The one-size-fits-most design includes a pocket across the front, which can be customized for the items that might need to be handy.

For this project, we used Simplicity’s 9286 pattern, which is available online at, and, but similar designs can be found in almost any pattern catalog at fabric and hobby stores. The pattern envelope includes suggestions for fabric types and weights for the project, as well as a list of any other supplies or notions, such as thread and buttons or nail heads. We opted to keep this project simple, so the only notion we needed was thread that matched the fabric we chose to use.

The start of any sewing project (except quilting) is the pre-wash and pressing. The pre-wash shrinks the fabric before it’s cut, so it doesn’t shrink or pucker later. Wash it in the same water and drying temperatures that you expect to use on the finished product; then, press it well, so it lays flat during the cutting process.

Read the pattern directions before you start, especially if you are new to sewing. These directions will tell you how much seam allowance was designed into the pattern, as well as direction of stitching and some tips that will make the sewing go faster and easier.

Follow the pattern directions to place the paper pattern on the fabric for cutting; paying attention to how many of each piece should be cut and whether the piece should be placed on a fold of fabric or on the straight grain. Also, if your fabric has a one-way design, such as dogs that run in the same direction across the material, be careful to place the apron pattern with the dogs running across the apron and not up and down it.

Pin the pattern in place, smoothing out the edges, so the pieces lay flat. Some sewers like to trace around the pattern and transfer marked guides before removing it and then cutting on the traced lines. Others like to cut around the paper pattern and then transfer markings and remove the pattern. Both methods work and generally are a matter of preference.

Use a water soluble or disappearing marker to transfer the guidelines.

Fold the paper pattern pieces carefully and return them to the pattern envelope, so they don’t get lost.

Then, prepare all the pieces of the apron: Stitch the ties right sides together and turn them right side out using the eraser end of a pencil t push it through the tube. Stitch the neckband and turn it right side out using a safety pin attached to one end. Feed the closed pin through the fabric tube to the opposite end, pulling the fabric with it. Turn under and stitch the top edge of the pocket and draw lines to indicate the size of the pocket divisions that you will stitch once the pocket is placed on the apron. Press each piece after you sew it.

Press in and stitch the curved edges on the sides of the apron, and consult your pattern directions to attach the ties, neckband and pocket, using the transferred markings as your guides.

Pin the neckband in place and try the apron on before stitching the neckband down. This is the time to adjust the fit of the apron. You may even need to cut a few inches off one end of the neckband to get the right fit before you stitch it to the apron front.

Follow the pattern directions to finish the pocket placement and the hemmed edges; then, put the apron on and start cooking up some of those delicious recipes you’ve found while staying at home.