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Dressing for Kitchen Success

by Jan

When’s the last time you thought about dressing up for kitchen detail? If you’re like me, the thought probably hasn’t ever entered your mind. When I have kitchen work to do, I put on the old duds and maybe top things off with a corny barbecue apron.

But television housewives in the fifties knew how to bring glamour to cooking! Not only were they well dressed in the kitchen; they had a full wardrobe of fancy aprons for added flair. Maybe you’re not ready to wear heels and pearls as you toil over a hot stove, but you can add instant sartorial style to your time in the kitchen with our easy-to-make, fifties style apron. Many thanks to my dear, sweet Mom for designing this pattern that is custom-sized to fit!

Apron Supplies:

Two yards of 45" material (Cotton, or cotton blends work best. You can use up any leftover fabric by making potholders to match!)

One yard of contrasting color material if desired

Matching thread


Tape measure

Pencil or chalk for marking material


Hand sewing needle for finishing touches

Rick-rack or other trim if desired



1. Take skirt measurements. To determine width, measure around your hips and add one inch for hems. To determine length, measure from waist to knee and add one two inches for hem. Cut out skirt. If your fabric has white edges (without the pattern) do not include them in your measurements.

2. Take bib measurements. To determine length, measure from approximately the place where your bra strap meets the cup of your bra to your waist and add an inch for hemming. To determine width, measure from bra strap to bra strap and add an inch for hemming. Cut out bib.

3. Measure sash. Sash should be 3" wide and length is up to you; measure around your waist and add 30". You may need to cut two pieces and sew them together to create a long enough sash. Cut out sash from contrasting fabric if you like.

4. Measure strap. Strap should be 2 1/2" wide and long enough to reach from the point where one bra strap meets the cup, around behind your neck and over to the point where the other bra strap meets the cup. Add 2" for attaching to bib. Cut out strap from contrasting fabric if you like.

5. Measure pocket by measuring width and length of your hand and creating a square that will accommodate both, adding 1" all around for hemming. Cut out pocket from contrasting fabric if you like.

6. Fold strap in half lengthwise and fold raw, long ends up about 1/4". Press and sew together, as seen here:

7. Hem or bind all four sides of the pocket. Now’s the time to sew on any rick-rack, binding material, or other decoration.

8. Hem or bind all four sides of the bib, folding in 1/4" and then folding in another 1/4" on each side and stitching to create a rolled hem.

9. Press skirt. Hem sides of skirt, folding in 1/4" of fabric and pressing, and then folding in another 1/4" to create a rolled hem. Hem bottom of skirt, folding and pressing in 1/4" of fabric and then folding in again 3/4" of fabric to create a rolled hem. Sew across top of skirt about 1/2" in along raw edge. Carefully pull bottom thread) to create gathers to desired width. Adjust gathers to make them even.

10. Hold apron up to your waist and determine best pocket placement. Sew pocket onto skirt.

11. Stitch bib to skirt with wrong sides facing. Be sure to center bib on skirt, as seen here:

12. Fold over and press long edges of sash about 1/4". Fold sash in half lengthwise with raw edges inside. Topstitch long folded edges together, as with the strap. Pin sash to right side of apron so that the sash is centered at the middle of the front of the skirt. Sew both edges of sash to apron. The sash will cover up the waist seam, as seen here:

13. Tuck raw ends of sash inside it about 1/2" and handstitch across each end.

14. Attach strap to wrong side of bib, sewing on in an x pattern and then creating a square around the x.

Now you're cooking with gas!













































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