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!