Edwardian Apron Pattern Instructions


I created this pattern from a circa 1910-12 apron pattern, tracing the original pieces and adding sizing for ladies 8-18 (see measurements on yardage sheet). Aprons like these were called “dress protectors” and were made to amply cover a lady’s dress while she was in the kitchen or the garden. The sizes are quite forgiving, since the apron ties in the back, and the princess lines give a flattering shape.

I recommend 100% cotton for durability and easy wearing. The apron looks wonderful made in old-fashioned floral prints, tiny calicoes, stripes and solids. Worn over a favorite skirt and blouse, the apron makes a fine pinafore as well. Another truly striking option is to a use a printed voile or organdy and wear your apron over a solid colored dress.

Please note that this pattern was revised in January of 2008. If your pattern does not have the "revised 2008" note under the other copyright info, then click HERE to download the revised areas in PDF format. I added size lines at the shoulder and some additional "scoops" to the neckline. The 12-14 line is the original top of the shoulder and neckline, so line up your pattern there, then add in the rest of the size lines from that reference point.

Special thanks to Celeste K. for supplying the pictures used on this page as well as the helpful tips for construction! Celeste has illustrated an alternative step two that makes it easier to add the back belt. Thanks, Celeste! (You can view Celeste's original page of helps at this link.) All of Celeste's comments are in italics, while the original pattern instructions are in normal text.

Suggested Pattern layout:

(Click for larger image.)

Assembly Instructions:

I made this apron in November 0f 2006. I was inspired by photos of ladies in aprons on the Sensibility Message Board and by a particularly lovely blog of a lady who routinely wears aprons. I needed a project that would not be time-consuming, since I have been looking after my baby grandson many times per week.

I used fabric that was in my stash. It was a fabric I had originally purchased to make a Romantic Era Dress, but either I told the lady at the fabric store wrong, or she shorted me a yard! So I had this nice fabric, but only 4 yards. The pattern actually calls for 4 1/2 yards, but it fit well on just 4. I used bias binding from my stash, and was even able to make a lace medallion using a small piece of organdie from my stash, and a computer embroidery card that I bought two years ago (and never used!).

I am going to post some instructional photos, because one of the steps (step 2) is tricky and hard to visialize. I spent a lot of time thinking through how it was to be done. I ended up making the the apron using the suggestion of a lady named Rebecca, who recommended an alternative way of doing the step that made it much simpler.

  1. Take up darts in apron side back, sewing along dotted lines. Iron toward back opening.

    The first part of this pattern that may cause some confusion is the placement of the darts. One of them seems to be sitting in the wrong place, and the temptation is to move it over next to the end of the strap section of the apron. Don't! It is there for a reason - it is needed to be in that position in order to do the next step and get the back "belt" of the apron in a nice, square shape (see later photos to see what I mean).

    The photo on the left below shows the darts sewn, with a yellow pin indicating where the top of the inside dart is. Notice how it seems to be in the middle of nowhere?

    (Click thumbnails for larger images.)
    Left: inside view of darts sewn and pressed to the side; Right: finished darts from outside

  2. Pin back belt to apron side back above darts, matching notches. Sew along two pinned edges, taking up a 3/8” seam only. Iron seam allowances toward back belt. [Note: If you want to follow this original step, be sure to watch my "Sewing into a Corner" video, which will help you out. However, the alternative method is much easier!]

    Now on to Step 2. This is the part where you will attach the back belt piece to the back main piece. This was initially very confusing to me! Below left you see the back belt pinned in place. Notice how the edge with the single notch is overlapped past the strap edge? That is the seam allowance for the next part of this step. On the right is a photo of the seam sewn and the back belt section pressed towards the strap. I put the yellow pin at the top corner of the single notch edge, just so you could see where it ends up.

    (Click thumbnails for larger images.)
    Left: belt pinned in place; Right: close-up of the belt end

    (Click for larger image.)
    This shows the end of the belt before the seam allowance has been turned under as explained below.

    One of the ladies on the Sensibility board suggested the following for doing the next part of this step: "Right sides together, I stitch the bottom edge of the band to the apron, matching notches. I then press the seam up and the side seam allowance under, at the dart. Pin and topstitch. It's easy as a wink and it stays together nicely."

    (Click thumbnails for larger images.)
    Left: end of belt turned under and pinned; Right: belt corner mitred (as per Celeste!)

    I ended up mitering the corner, because with the narrow bias binding I was planning on using, I didn't think it would cover the raw edge if I left as was. Here is the topstitched seam:

    (Click for larger image.)

  3. Finish tops and curved edges of pockets with bias binding. You may use either pre-packaged tape or make your own bias tape from the leftover material (the latter option looks nicest, in my opinion).

    Sorry! No photos available yet for the pocket steps!

  4. Pin pockets to side back portions of apron, aligning straight edges with the side seam allowance and following the markings on the pattern for placement. Sew in place by topstitching along the outer curved edges of each pocket. Baste along seam allowance to hold pocket in place for the next step.

  5. Pin apron front and side back pieces together, matching notches. Sew. Iron seams toward back of apron.

  6. Pin back straps to back belt section at either side of skirt back, matching notches. Sew in place, taking up a 3/8” seam only.

    (Click for larger image.)
    Here you see how Celeste finished the end of the strap by topstitching
    across the lower edge after it was sewn in place.

    I also mitered the corners of the back strap piece for the same reason as above.

  7. Sew shoulder seams together, matching notches. Iron seam allowances toward back strap.

  8. Finish the raw edges of your apron (straps, neckline and top of back belt) with bias tape, topstitching in place. Hem back edges of apron opening or use bias tape to finish.

    Above is the armhole, with the bias binding sewn onto the edges and mitered corners. (I'm sorry about the brightness of this photo, but you can just make out the bias binding in it!)

  9. Fold apron ties, right sides together, along fold line. Stitch, leaving bottom edges open. Turn right-side out and iron flat.

    Sorry! No photos available yet for the tie steps!

  10. Pin apron ties to back belt as shown and stitch, having presser foot even with the raw edge of each tie. Iron apron ties toward back apron opening and topstitch in place, having presser foot even with the folded edge of each tie.

  11. Try on apron and pin hemline in place. Hem by hand and press.

    Here is a close-up of the lace medallion I made for the apron. I used Brother's embroidery card #29, style #5. I used a piece of organdie, lightly starched, and some water-soluble stabilizer for the back, which I then soaked away.

    Here is the apron being put to good use!

    (Click thumbnails for larger images.)

    Enjoy your new creation!

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Edwardian Apron Pattern copyright Mrs. Jennie Chancey, 2000-2008.