Introduction: Speedy T-shirt Into Apron

About: Sam is a member of Flowering Elbow. Loves gardening, sewing, cooking, bright colours and pottering around with up-cycling/recycling/ re-using and revamping.

There are lots of how-to's around for sewing aprons, all of which are great, I never knew how popular aprons were until I needed to make one. Leaving things to the last minute as usual, I realised creating a beautiful master-piece was not affordable, practical or appropriate for something about to go to a festival kitchen.

So this apron has a few different features:
1.  It uses an old t-shirt and a shoe lace
2.  It is very quick and easy and requires no pattern (this took me a few hours to knock up).
3.  The results are functional* and fun rather than neat and tidy!

* Although, highly ironically I was not allowed to wear this particular apron for said festival due to a mis-understanding of environmental health rules -one must have a 'bibbed' apron, apparently. I'll be working on an extension soon...

Step 1: Select Your Materials

You will need:
  • T-shirt : hold it up against you to make a rough guesstimate for sizing. I chose a large mens-sized, air-tex cotton one to give me plenty of material of an appropriate weight and washability.
  • Scraps of material for a pocket and/or decoration
  • Shoe lace - for the ties, you could substitute with ribbon, cord, anything really 
  • Thread
  • Scissors (dress makers/ fabric scissors will save A LOT of frustration and time)
  • Pins and pin cushion 
  • Sewing machine (or lots of time and patience for hand sewing)
  • Tape measure
  • An iron (not strictly necessary but helps with neat edges)
  • Some taylors chalk might also come in handy as an optional extra

Step 2: Create a Large Tea-towel!

As we are going for a simple, 'cafe style' apron, you are basically looking to create a rectangular shape. When all the edges are nicely hemmed, this becomes like a large tea-towel really! 

So, as the photos detail, the procedure is cut, iron, pin, sew for each edge in turn *.

*One marginal time-saving tip: depending on the t-shirt, you might be able to save some sewing by utilising an existing neat edge on the bottom of the shirt.

Step 3: Engage the Tying Devises

So the only thing stopping our tea towel from fulfilling its aprony potential is a shoe lace, basically.

You could go for one shoe lace each side if you want long ties, or slice one in half as I have here.

Then it is a matter of doing your best to prevent fraying fabric and making a secure join to the tea towel...

Step 4: Decorate at Will

So now we have a basic apron :) Time for a trying on.

In my cafe working days, I found pockets to be really useful and wanted to add some summer festival spirit to an otherwise bright but plain apron. A scrap of old sheet and a snip round some old 70s flower power material did the job nicely.

For a pocket, basically repeat the tea towelling process of cut, iron, pin, sew. If you want to add a decoration - sew this on BEFORE the pocket is sewn onto the apron - otherwise it will get very tricky.

Step 5: Get Baking!

When you are happy with your creation, tie yourself in and bake away with extra messy abandon - safe in the knowledge your apron is there to save the day!