Spring fever has officially hit in my neck of the woods, and everywhere I go I’m hearing folks talking about gardening. Whether they’re planning a windowsill herb garden, planting some succulents for their porch, or ripping out the front yard to put in a vegetable patch, the color of spring is green, baby, green! The urge to spruce up my own little dirt clod has come over me as well, so I whipped up a colorful quilted gardening apron to help keep my tools at the ready while I’m pulling weeds. Here’s how I did it!
2 pieces of solid cotton fabric measuring 10½"×18½" each I used a gray linen blend; canvas and denim would also work well.
Piece of patterned cotton fabric measuring 14"×18½" I used a mushroom-patterned canvas from Superbuzzy.
Piece of cotton quilt batting measuring 10½"×18½" I like Warm & Natural brand.
Package of double-fold bias tape
Package extra-wide double-fold bias tape
Scraps of thick ribbon or twill tape (optional)
Step 1: Use a bowl from the kitchen to trace out 2 curved corners on the quilt batting and trim away the excess to form rounded corners at the bottom of your apron-to-be. Do the same on the 2 pieces of solid fabric.
Step 2: Fold the patterned fabric in half so the long edges are together and press the fold flat with an iron. (The folded edge will later become the top of your pocket.) Then grab your quilt batting and use it to trace the rounded corners onto the bottom edge of your pocket-to-be (or just use the bowl again).
Step 3: Stitch along the folded edge of the pocket piece, sewing about 1/8" from the edge.
Step 4: Layer the main apron pieces in the following order: 1 solid piece, the batting piece, 1 solid piece. Pin the layers together all over and stitch the layers together. Here’s where you can get creative with your stitching! Use a coordinating thread and straight stitching for a subtly quilted look. Or do what I did and go crazy with a bright, contrasting thread and free-motion quilting. If you’ve never tried free-motion quilting, this YouTube video is a great primer. The only thing it doesn’t mention is that in addition to using a special darning or free-motion presser foot, you will also need to put your feed dogs down.
Step 5: Place the pocket piece on top of the quilted, solid piece with the rounded edges matched up and pin together. Stitch 1–3 vertical lines through all the layers, from the top of the pocket to the bottom of the apron piece, to create pockets.
Step 6: Cut a 40" length of bias tape and tuck the raw edge of the apron inside the fold, starting at the top right edge of the apron. Sew through all layers. You can pin the bias tape in place if you like, but I find it easier to sew it on without pinning. Just go slowly, turning and stretching the bias tape around curves as you sew. Trim away any excess bias tape from the top edge of the apron.
Step 7: Cut a length of extra-wide bias tape that is long enough to go around your waist and tie in a knot or bow. Starting at the center of the length of tape, insert the top, raw edge of the apron inside the fold and pin layers together. (If you like, you can insert a couple of pieces of twill tape or ribbon into the fold as well, which will form loops to hold gardening tools.) Sew along the bottom and top edges of the bias tape to secure the layers together and create a waistband. Now tie on your apron and get out in the garden!