Cowl Neck Apron Top - TUTORIAL

let me begin this post by saying...
use this how you like
don't care if you make to sell
DO care about acknowledgment (so if you repost, please add a link to this post :)

I (and a couple of readers) did search google after my last post and DIDN'T find anything similar, so here is a tutorial.

I bought , what is listed on the receipt as  a 'jersey knit'. 1 metre was ample for this. I am quite tall, and this gives me plenty of "apron" to cover the girly bits (not that I wear them without pants! OH, no, no. I just prefer my tops top sit at just below 'girly bits' height. Jersey knit doesn't fray when you cut it so there is minimal sewing involved. You need a fabric that will have a nice drape, and other tops I have seen like this have serged edges (if you are lucky enough to have a serger!)

 lay your fabric out, fold over the selvage edge about 5cms. You are going to cut this off and it will become one tie. When you have done one side, flip over and do the other. Now you should have two ties. If you dont want the little holes in the selvage edge, just cut off first, THEN do the above step to get your ties.
Once you have your ties, fold your fabric , right sides together, selvage edge to selvage edge (the edges you just cut!!)

cut while folded over. It will give you a cleaner line

circled is where you snip the corner off.
This will be sewn together to create the neck hole

next, cut out a section as shown.
Start at the bottom of the snipped off corner, and I use the very technical process of measuring the distance between my shoulder and elbow (takes you to approx waist height) to know how far down I want the cut out to end.
This cut reduces the bulk of the fabric under your arm. Because this particular fabric is non-fraying, you can cut more out later if you are still not quite happy with the look.

pin your neck seam

 Ok, so your neck seam is pinned.

Next pin the ties in place. Make sure the fabrics are facing the right way! I pin them at the top of the cut out so you dont have a random edge pointy edge flapping around.

Then you whip out to your sewing machine, and sew those three seams.

I use a straight stitch for the neck  and a double line of zigzag for the ties so they can handle the pulling and stretching. Speaking of stretching, I recommend a stretch needle.

Right, you are done! Hook the hole over you neck. Grab the ties. These will be quite low down, but just pull them up to waist level, wrap around you back, bring back to the front, and tie. You will probably need to pull the cowl neck out, and the readjust until you are happy with how it is all sitting.

Here is another one I made. I actually screwed up on this one  little, and the cowl neck is not as deep, and before this pic, there was far too much fabric under the arms, but I just re-trimmed, and its all good!

Edited to add: I just made one of these in cotton (non stretch). It was a little more fiddly, as EVERYTHING had to hemmed (but it certainly looked way classier), and I would recommend that curve cut out for under the arm is far more 'circular' (cuts in much more) than shown here. With the fabby having no stretch it pulled a little under the arm and behind the neck. It was only prototype one though, and I had plenty of compliments. Someone even said "bet that cost you about $200" ....uh, no. $3.50 actually!


Pam Kellogg said...

Thank you Jo! This is really cute! Will have to add to my very long list! ;)

Possibilities, Etc. said...

This is wonderful!! I shall make them for my daughters and D'sIL. My mother used to love an apron my grandmother made - similar to this - with pockets. One needs pockets.

Rose Anne B said...

Well this looks very smart and I think I'm going to unearth some of my jersey fabrics from my stash and try making one at least! I especially love the blue one with the black!!!

Stitch1Peta said...

thanks Jo I am plotting how to turn it into a dress. I have linked to you on my blog and pinched one of your photos. Hope you don't mind

Stitch1Peta said...

Hi Jo thanks for the pattern it looks great. I have linked to you on my blog and used on of your photos,

Molly The Bear said...

I've just made 2 of these!!! Thank yo so much for the simple tutorial!!! Both of mine are different - I have made them to tie around the neck and scrapped the long waist tie to just a little one at the back as having it tie in the front didn't suit me, the other I sewed the back panels together instead of having a tie. They are perfect! and both for $12!!!