Saturday, April 10, 2021


A couple of days ago I had to jump up in the middle of a meal and throw the top I was wearing into the washing machine, as I had just splashed some tomato-based sauce on it. Fortunately it did not stain, but it did push me to finally make myself an apron.

I've admired the Japanese style cross-back aprons on various internet sites, and downloaded 3 free patterns over the years. It was time to actually try one out! I decided to use Tessuti's pattern as it has an A0 copy-shop file included, so I wouldn't have to assemble lots of smaller sheets of paper. I got the large scale print done at Officeworks for $4.35 - worth it to avoid sticking together the 25 pages of the print-at-home file, I thought.

Picture from Tessuti's site

One potential issue with the pattern is the sizing - "One size". I am probably outside the size range they had in mind when drafting the pattern - taller and wider. So rather than use anything too precious, I found a couple of remnant pieces in my fabric stash that I could use for a trial version. I made the pattern exactly to the instructions, and it looks pretty good on a coat hanger:



However, on me it is a different story. The apron is obliviously too small. No photos, you will have to take my word for it! The cross-over, which on Tessuti's sample and on a coat-hanger is towards the waist, is between my shoulder-blades. There is no rear coverage - which perhaps doesn't matter for practical reasons, but it is not a good look.

On this close-up you can maybe see how I had to use a different fabric for the straps. I didn't have enough of either for the whole apron:

The top edge is too close to my face, which adds to the impression that I am wearing an apron a few sizes too small. I could fix that by cutting longer straps. I think they will need to be quite a bit longer, as the "armhole" section, which looks like it is at waist level or below on the Tessuti models, is well above my waist. The apron length in the Tessuti photos appears to be at least knee-length, but on me it is mid thigh - only just below finger-tip length.

So, I can wear this apron, and it should offer some protection for my clothes. But it does not have the look I wanted.

Adjustments required:

Add length to straps.

Add length to apron - above the waist, and at the hem.

Add width to apron - centre front, and also under the arm (slash and spread pattern).

Don't add the pocket until the apron is made, so it can be put where most useful.


  1. I like this look, but the website photo does look to be a Japanese size. Women wear these aprons to the grocery store or when out with children here. I admire them, but know I don’t have the body size and shape to wear them.

  2. My aprons are all bibbed and back tied...they nicely expand as I have-- hahaha );-- just have to make sure the ties are long enough...That is a pretty looking pattern; sorry the fit wasn't good for you...I am sure it wouldn't be good for me either....
    Nice to try something different though...hugs, Julierose

  3. I can imagine your frustation. but now you have written down all the observations and the next one will be perfect

  4. I understand your frustration. It's a nice pattern though. Now that you have totally redesigned the pattern it should look great when you make it again. I like your idea for where to place the pocket.

  5. One size does need clarification as there is such a range of body shapes in the world. What a pity you went to all that work only to be disappointed. I have a huge linen apron which wraps right around and ties in the front but the fabric is too nice to use!
    Interestingly the Ikea one size apron is a good fit for me. So their base body shape must be much larger.

  6. I sympathise with you. That was a big commitment of time and effort, as well as fabric.
    My solution would be to make your own pattern.
    Get out a dress that fits, a roll of baking paper, and a roll of masking tape. The masking tape will stick permanently when ironed. This will not be a fitted garment for ballroom dancing.
    Place the paper over the dress and start drawing a new front with a 2B pencil. Look at the purchased pattern of the back and adjust everything so it fits your body.
    Grab an old sheet from the opshop for this sewing experiment. You've already followed the procedure once, so the second time will be easier. It's a toile! Perhaps sew with big stitches and use bright coloured thread or perhaps not.
    Abracadabra! The new Coco Chanel lives in Lal Lal.

  7. You did well working out how to make the pattern fit...

  8. We have a couple of dishes we cook - Laksa is one- when we leave our aprons on to eat! I tend to buy aprons in op shops, Savers is good for plain colours with logos on them, which I cover with a patch or pockets of fabric. Well done to work out the pattern issues - I never quite trust the “ one size fits all” idea!

  9. I’ve admired that pattern too, but I can see the issues with a one size fits all pattern like that.

  10. Well done on altering your lovely pattern. When I made mine I lengthened it to my knees and made the wraps longer to tie in front. Our mother's era always wore aprons and they seem to be coming back into fashion.

  11. Very interesting creation. I would also like such an apron. M.