I’ve often admired the style of Japanese pattern books; the clothes look so stylish and understated. I’ve resisted buying any as the size range is usually tiny and would need some serious grading up (plus the instructions are in Japanese!) One thing I’ve really wanted however is a cross back apron.
Simplicity 5201 and 7481 are the only commercial pattern I’ve found but both are out of print and fetching over £35 online. There are many tutorials of how to draft your own but after a little browsing of Pinterest I came across a free PDF pattern from Japanesesewingbooks.com. Patterns are available for both adults and children and there’s a very good video tutorial of how to put it together.
I couldn’t see any measurements for the adult pattern but knew I would have to size it up a bit (I’m a UK 14-16) I added 2 inches to the centre front and an inch to each side seam.
I used two meters of medium weight denim from the stash (I’d made the mistake of pre-washing it when it was folded and subsequently had a faded fold line down the front) It was very quick and easy to sew, there are only two pattern pieces (and one of those is the facing)
The edges are finished with bias binding which can be exposed or faced under. I used possibly six metres (just guessing but it was a lot) I’d made around 25 meters of single fold binding using remnants of Liberty Lawn a couple of months ago, it’s proved to be time well spent. I added the pockets myself as they are none included in the pattern.
(I’ve just realised one of the straps is folded in this picture)
I’m incredibly happy with how it’s turned out, the denim makes it perfect for gardening (I have a habit of getting my hands covered in compost and wiping them on whatever I’m wearing) I’d like to make a Linen version to wear around the house for cooking and housework (although this would likely get a lot less use than the denim one as far as housework’s concerned!) All in all, it’s incredibly practical and far more stylish than a flowery apron!
11 thoughts on “My Cross-Back Japanese Apron”
This is great! Very practical, yet it looks great too! I saw it on IG but loved seeing the details here.
Thanks Linda, I’ve been wanting one for quite a while, glad I finally got around to making it! x
I love this. I recall seeing a pattern for one, but it was about £18!! Pockets are essential on an apron in my opinion, and I shall be clicking on that pattern link!
I had a bit of a dilemma with the pockets, I cut out some inseam pockets but then realised it needed something to break up the front a bit so cut out the patch ones, I did briefly contemplate doing both but thought that would be pocket overload! 😀
That’s beautiful! I fantasize about making one of these from time to time… maybe after I get moved!
It was very quick and easy to make, one of those enjoyable projects where you don’t have to do zips buttonholes or any fitting!
I’m a big fan of aprons and this one is just so nice! Love your pockets and binding.
Thank you, it’s much more stylish than all the flowery ones I have!
I really love all the details. I’m not a pro but I dabble in sewing every now and then. I do have a question regarding upping the size. How can I achieve that successfully for a very top heavy figure?
Hi, I increased the size, I think I measured across my full bust armpit to armpit and compared it to the front pattern piece. I increased the width at the front side seam to my bust measurement and around an extra 3 inches. I think I added a couple of inches to the side seams at the back too. If you baste the side seams together and then try it across your bust you should be able to get a fit that you are happy with. Hope this helps! Helen x
can you still down load the pattern i have looked at all the other patterns and i really like the way yours looks and i cant find how to download it thanks