Prepare Every Needful Thing

"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear"

Home Production and Gardening–January 2015

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Making Basic Apronsaprons

Back in the days before easy clothing manufacturing and laundering, aprons were a regular part of most peoples’ lives. Aprons were used by craftspeople in all lines of business to keep their other clothes clean, to reduce wear and tear on more expensive fabrics and to keep needed tools close at hand. They can serve the same purpose today. I read somewhere recently where a woman determined that the cause of the pinholes on the front waist-area of her t-shirts was due to her leaning against the counter while she worked. As soon as she started consistently wearing an apron, no new holes!


The following three aprons are constructed using only:

  • 1 middle- to heavy-weight cotton dishtowel, about 27” x 20”
  • 2 ½ yards of wide, sturdy ribbon (1 ½”-2” grosgrain is a good choice)


Dishtowel Apron I

Fold dishtowel in half width-wise, and ribbon length-wise to find centers. Pin centers together with ribbon covering top ½” of towel. Finish pinning along length of towel and then sew towel to ribbon, by hand or with a sewing machine.

Dishtowel Apron II (with pockets)

Lay out dishtowel length-wise and fold up bottom to 4” from the top edge. Pin in place and then stitch edges in place to form one long pocket. Subdivide pocket into two or more smaller pockets by marking (with pins or a washable fabric pencil) and then sewing additional vertical lines into the large pocket. Fold apron and ribbon in half to find centers, pin and sew apron to ribbon, with ribbon covering top ½” of towel.

Dishtowel Apron III (gathered)

Lay out dishtowel widthwise and run a row of long stitches (by hand or machine) about ¼” from the top edge without tying off ends. Pull end of thread to gather (ruffle) edge until top edge measures about 17”. Tie off threads to maintain length, find and match centers by folding towel and ribbon in half and adjust gathers evenly across edge. Pin with ribbon covering top ½” of towel and sew in place.


For further ideas and inspiration—

Pleated dishtowel apron

Gathering apron

Utility apron

Ruffled full apron


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