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Easy No-Pattern Apron

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Easy Apron - Continued

Along the "top" of your pocket, fold the 1/4" hem over -- and then fold over a 2" piece for the top of your pocket. Press these folds flat, then sew along the bottom of the 2" fold to finish the hem.
Time to assemble the apron body and the apron pocket. Set the right-side of the apron pocket against the wrong-side bottom of the apron body. Should look something like this.

Once I had the pieces positioned, I pinned them in place along the bottom. I'm just not good enough to skip the pinning.
Next, sew along the bottom of the apron body/pocket combination. This will join the two pieces. I used about a 1/2" seam allowance.

Be sure and remove the pins when you come to them. If your sewing needle hits a pin, it's usually the needle that breaks, not the pin!
Almost done! You could actually fold the apron pocket over to the front side of the apron body right now if you wanted to. The seam at the bottom is raw and unfinished, but it will be on the inside of the pocket where it won't show.

This bothered me a little bit, so I used my pinking shears to pink along this bottom edge before I folded it over.

In hindsight, I could have used a "French Seam" technique after folding the pocket over to the front -- this would have enclosed the raw edge, plus it might have looked a little neat. Maybe next time.
Here's what it looks like after folding the pocket to the front. All ladybugs heading the same diretion! Note how I've tucked the pinking shears into the "pocket".

Sew along the edges of the pocket to lock your pocket in place. After you finish, you'll have a pocket 44 inches wide. This is a little too wide, so you want to sew some straight seams from the top of the pocket down to the bottom of the pocket to separate it into smaller pockets.

I separated mine into four different pockets, 2 pockets about 8 inches wide on the edges, with two pockets about 14 inches wide in the middle.

I had a little trouble with the Singer 221 Featherweight at this point. When I sewed along the edges, I was sewing through multiple layers of fabric -- about 8 layers. The machine balked at this -- surprised me a little. I think it would have worked if I were able to start with fewer layers and would feed into the max thickness instead of beginning with max thickness. I'm not sure if the problem wasn't really the feeding of the fabric -- perhaps I could have adjusted my foot pressure to get by.

Anyway, I took the easy way out and just shifted my stitch line so that I missed some of the fabric folds.
Time to make the drawstring. We have two 2 inch by 44 inch pieces left. Fold them over to make 1 " by 44 inch pieces (right sides in). Sew along the long side, then sew one side closed. I used about a 1/4" seam allowance.

You want to be sure and only close off one side -- leave the other side open, because ...
... the next thing you'll do is use a small dowel to invert the drawstrings in order to turn them rightside out! It'll have to be a dowel -- a broom handle will be too thick.
Once you've done this, press the drawstrings flat. Press them so that the seam line runs down the middle of the backside.

Here's my two drawstrings after pressing them flat. All I need to do now is join them together.
Each drawstring has one closed end and one open end. I joined them at the open ends. I folded 1/4" of the open end in, then overlapped the pieces by about an inch. I sewed the folded 1/4" portion down, then flipped it over and sewed the other 1/4" fold closed.

I just noticed when I looked at the picture that I messed up and joined the front side of one drawstring to the backside of the other! Ouch!
Oh well, that's not the worst thing I've ever done (probably sewing sleeves to the waist of a garment would be the worst. Then ripping them out and doing the exact same thing again -- twice!)

You know what's coming next -- let's feed the drawstring through the apron casing. Attach a safety pin to one end of the drawstring, then insert it into the open edge of the top apron casing.

Work the safety pin through the casing -- try to make sure the drawstring doesn't twist when you feed it through.
And here's my drawstring once it's come out the other side. Pull the drawstring so that an equal amount sticks out both ends of the casing.

Remove the safety pin ... and you're done!
Here's the finished piece. I was able to pull the drawstring around the the front of the waist to tie it off. When I put it on me, it wouldn't quite reach around enough (enough said), so I had to tie it off in the back!

How did the Featherweight do? Well, it's simple, lightweight, and sews one mean straight stitch. Gotta watch multiple layers -- adjusting foot pressure might help, but the motor is only .4 amps, so it doesn't have a tremendous amount of power. Surely enough for standard usage, though.

The Feathweight's major plus is portability. It weighs about 12 pounds and easily transports in a nice case. If remote sewing is a plus for you -- going to classes, friend's houses, sewing when you travel -- the 221 is on the list to consider. When you add that this is a classic and sturdy machine, that forces it a little higher on the list. There may be machines that are lighter -- but will the still be sewing after 70 years?

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