This apron is made with two 15x25" flat-weave dish towels from the dollar store.  These particular ones were in their Fourth of July decorations section.  It would have been cute to add a star-shaped pocket, but that would require a third dish towel, since I wanted a flounce at the bottom of the apron.  

The whole thing takes under an hour to make if you're used to sewing.  How much less, I don't know because of my Mommy Sewing Method... you know the drill!   -Cut, iron, start stitching, pull out lunch for everybody, sit and eat with everyone, sit and sew, stop to get the Table-Clearer child back to do his job, iron, sew a little more, stop to get the youngest child down for a nap, sit and sew some more...

You could use the terrycloth dish towels for an extra-absorbent apron.  There are some cute dish towels sometimes!
 
 
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Maria VonTrapp had a great idea when she made those playclothes....

This apron is made from a damask tablecloth and an embroidered fabric placemat.  

Since the tablecloth is designed to be spilled on, this should be a pretty stain-resistant apron!

Why wear aprons?  You mean besides the fact that I always splash or spill when cooking?  And that I feel more feminine and domestic when wearing a pretty one?   Read through my favorite-ever story about aprons: Apron Evangelism, from Hillbilly Housewife.

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Another "tablecloth apron"; since the tablecloth was labeled "harvest", it was on clearance for $2.  The contrast trim and pocket are cut from a fabric napkin, also on clearance ($ .50). 

Other cheap sources of fabric can include new or used tablecloths you already have or from thrift stores (cut around any stains), sheets, curtain panels.  I've used all of these to make dresses before, too.   Make sure the drape of the fabric is what you want on your finished product.  A crisp sateen sheet will give a much different look than a silky damask tablecloth or satin sheet.

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This one is a rough copy of a mid-1900's vintage apron.  I was able to make 3 of these from one 60" round tablecloth ($5).

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After cutting out the main apron body, cut pieces of the placemat to fit where you want them.  Cut them out a little bigger than you need, to allow for seams. 

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Iron under any edges that need to be hidden, pin in place, then stitch. 

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This placemat was two layers thick, and so was difficult to turn under for a clean edge.  I found some 1/8" white ribbon, set that over the edge to hide the little frayed bits, then used a zigzag satin stitch the same width as the ribbon. 


The red tablecloth was 60x120"; I can get 4-5 of these flounced aprons from it, or twice as many if they're straight and simple.  And the placemat will be enough for trim and a pocket on two aprons. The green tablecloth was 60x72; it will only make two; the flounce is cut in a circle and takes up a lot of fabric.

For 50 free apron patterns, see here; it's also listed on my Favorite Resources page, 2/3 the way down, under "sewing".

Just think of the possibilities!
 
 
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An interfaced brim holds its shape, see here for the whole photo, which is not mine.


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If there's no interfacing, crinoline, or something similar, the brim flops, like this.  Click here to see this one as an apron; it's very cute!

Showtime’s  almost here- our LDS stake will have the youth participate in a pioneer trek reenactment next week.  I went to a local store that sells pioneer costumes, “just to see”.  One apron, one skirt, and one bonnet  totaled $60.    If don’t want to pay an arm and a leg, and you’re looking to make a simple bonnet, have I got a pattern for you!  I stumbled across it while looking for an easily-collapsible hat to put in my 72-hour kits. 

Introducing... th
e handy-dandy, old-fashioned
Apron Bonnet Pattern  

I made one for myself, but my 8-year-old daughter begged for it.  It easily adjusts to fit either one of us, as well as adjusting to give you lots of shade, or just a little.  One other thing I love about it is that you can use it as a waist apron later, so it doesn’t just sit in the costume box somewhere.  Or wear it as a bonnet when you’re out in the garden.   The pockets are big, too; I’ve heard the suggestion that they would be great for holding clothespins in, if you hang laundry on a clothesline.  This pattern has you stitch down the middle, to make two pockets, but you could leave it as one big pocket.

You need only ½ yard of fabric, two buttons, and some crinoline or stiff interfacing.  The crinoline is optional, but I love how the brim keeps its shape when you use it.   See the photos, above.   I found crinoline for about $7 per yard at both local fabric stores.  One yard is enough to line four bonnet brims.  If you can’t find crinoline, you can line it with a layer or two of interfacing, or some stiff fabric, or cut a couple pieces of cardstock (or plastic) to fit. 

A couple words of advice about the pattern-  the ruffle above the waistband  becomes the neck shade.  Keep that in mind when deciding how tall to make that ruffle.  The bottom curve becomes the bonnet brim.  I put gathered lace along the sides and bottom of the pocket, but not along the top of the pocket.  Just my preference.  Use any trim you like-- ribbon, ric-rac, flat lace, gathered lace, crochet trim, soutache-- or none at all.  Also, the pattern pieces’ edges do not match up as intended.  Ignore “Diagram 2” and cut another of “Diagram 1” for the pocket, except make it only 9” tall, measuring from the bottom.  If you want to see other people’s comments on the pattern, see here. 

Have fun!