Modular Apron




Since the advent of computers, the real world strikes me as so highly inefficient anymore.  Holding up a book to read it!?  Turning pages with my fingers and keeping on the right page when I set it down with a bookmark?!  How archaic!

Why can't my shelves be self organizing?  Why can't I click a button in a corner and hide the things I'm not working on right now.  And so on.

In my humble attempt to get reality to get in line, I give you ....

OpenApron: An apron with easy to configure customizable pocket modules.  Use the Apron Plugin Interface to add and remove pocket modules.  It's Open Source!  Free to all developers!  Nothing to download!  No data plan required!  Access it from the Cloud*

*j/k not really

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Step 1: Warnings and Disclaimers

Aprons can be Hazardous!

Please use all due caution when doing anything.

Don't keep pointy things in your apron if there is a risk of falling, tripping, slipping or otherwise poking yourself inadvertently.

Your mother would be sad if you hurt yourself and so would we.

Step 2: Materials

sewing machine
an apron
a lot of velcro
remnants  (Goodwill is a great source for awesome and cheap remnants)

Step 3: Motivation

Okay what is it?  It's just an apron with velcro stripes that lets you create customizable pockets that you can put on and remove at will.

Why do you need that?  Well, a lot of times I'm running around wondering where I put the scissors or the screwdriver or the phillips bit or tape measure or pen or whatever it was I was using last.  And what I'm looking for tends to vary depending on what I'm working on.  But there are definite trends.  Some tools I use for almost all projects, and other projects require specialized tools.

So, why not have an apron with pockets dedicated to just a particular tool(s) that you can paste on or remove at will.   And you can paste and remove it from any surface that has the fluffy side of velcro on it.

Relish my moment of OCD joy with me.

Step 4: Attach Velcro Stripes to an Apron

Sew strips of the soft plushy side of the velcro in horizontal stripes across the front of an apron of your choosing.  Initially I made them approximately three inches apart but felt it needed more, so now they are 1.5 inches apart.

Use the plushy side of the velcro on the front of the apron as it is the lesser of two rough things.  I don't want to ever have to touch the rough prickly side as a rule.  The rough side will go on the back of the pocket appliques.   But the plushy side is fine, I don't mind brushing my hands against it.

For economic reasons, I am only going partway round this apron as velcro is expensive.  Practically it doesn't need to go way around in back either.  For that reason, it might have been better to choose a more subdued color for the velcro, like black.  But I could not resist the sportiness of alternating horizontal colored stripes.  

Step 5: Pocketses, Pocketses, Lots of Pocketses

And you can make them out of any fabric you want and fit them to any tool you want.  so there!

You can make a bunch of different sized square pockets or a custom shaped pocket that just holds a particular thing just so and position it just so.  A scissor holster, for instance.

As you are designing the pockets, you may want to consider things like: which hand do you want it to be local to.

Step 6: Simple Example: Making a Square Pocket

Choose a fabric that has a nice feel to it to be both the lining and the exterior.

Cut two squares of your chosen fabric to the size square you want.

Hem the top edge of both pieces.  For the piece that will be the front, top stitch it twice to keep the hem laying flat.

Attach strips of the pokey side of the velcro to back of the piece that will be the back, leaving room for your chosen seam allowance.

Add additional strips to the back piece along top, sides, bottom, and a few in the middle if it's a big pocket.

Sew the front and back squares together into an envelope so that the front side is right side in and the back side is velcro side in.

Turn it right side out.

Top stitch through all that around the envelope.  This is where the thread breaks a lot for me and I've broken the needle as well.

Step 7: Pocket Variations

You can get as carried away with this as you want, making custom pockets for all your favorite tools.

Note:  If you ever want to pick up threads, use the pokey side of velcro.

Also, I am thinking it might make an awesome pot scrubber material.

Now you have another fine use for all your beloved remnants that are a little too small, but a little too precious to toss out.

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    21 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    neat idea!

    May I just add a word of caution about carrying scissors in apron pockets? There was a news report of a man who died doing some DIY; he had scissors in his apron pocket, slipped off the ladder and they stabbed him .

    4 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Dear god how hideous! Okay. Something else to worry about. I will add a warning I think, since you mention it now.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    mounting them sideways might be safer - or use those plastic kiddie ones - mind you that's your street cred down the loo if ya do : -)

    Could be your the person who makes carrying scissors safer for us all - oh and screwdrivers too cos I am always putting them in a back pocket and sitting on them - eeeeeeoooooowwwww!!!!!!!!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Maybe some kind of cowboy-style gunbelt, with loops for tools to sit in? and a "holster" for a drill etc? I think having tools behind one would be a bit safer than having them in front - one might get stabbed in the bum, but that's better than being stabbed in the stomach.

    But it all comes down to human nature in the end - the bloke I mentioned was an experienced DIY-er who knew what he was dong - he just slipped, which couldn't have been predicted.

    One could make a sheath for scissors, to cover the blades, but it's remembering to use it all the time, every time - it only has to be forgotten once ...


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Well, sh*t happens, be mindful. I really think that's all you can do. I guess you can cover the entire world with padding and possibly never hurt yourself, but so much energy would be expended trying to be safe against every potentiality that you'd never make any progress. Like if Zeno were would only go halfway there if there was an ambulance waiting at the finish line just in case.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Woah, looks like you have enough content to make an Instructable. I think you should go for it Ms. Mama.

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    It was no worries at all. You didn't have to take it down. Anywayz. It's not hard to make an Instructable. You'll figure it out if you want to. Cheers.

    Very nice! "Katie No-Pocket" (author Emmy Payne and artist H A Rey) would love it! (I like it too.) Go to the address below for kattie and her apron :0)

    3 replies

    Excerpt from "Kattie No Pocket" "So Katy stood under the tree and screamed at him, (the owl)“I’m a mother kangaroo and I haven’t a pocket to carry my child in. How shall I carry him? What shall I do?”


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I love children's books and I have a minor mission to read all the best ones someday (and maybe make one of my own!)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent - I would really appreciate an instructable on organizing/storing your materials, how to decide what to keep, etc. Any suggestions that would help someone who needs to declutter her sewing room. I have many books on this topic, somewhere..., but it seems that having a delegated "remnant drawer" was beyond me. Thank you.

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    You know, I think about this problem all the time. It's easy to be creative when things are clean, when it's a mess, I get an overwhelmed sensation. So I am always trying to think of the optimal way to store and arrange things. It's in a constant state of evolution. Some day I will get to the perfect setup, I don't know when though.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    But I am attracted to the challenge of your question and I may go ahead and attempt to do one on that subject. I kind of have been thinking about it for a while.