This spring I have decided to pay more attention to my garden. Last year I was too busy to spend much time in the dirt but my schedule has freed up this year and the land around my house could really use some help. To aid me in the endeavor I have brainstormed a few craft projects specifically for the garden. This is the first one, a garden apron.
The Garden Apron was designed to be a place to stash small tools, gloves and seed packets. I am always setting my clippers down somewhere or having the seed packets spill so I thought a sturdy apron with pockets would be very useful.
First I did some measuring and sketched out rough dimensions.
You can make your apron any size to fit you but I decided that 20 inches wide by 10 inches tall would be big enough to hold all the stuff I needed without being too big and cumbersome. I then drew in where I planned to put the pockets and how tall they would be.
Next I chose the fabric and the pieces. My fabric is a hemp and recycled polyester twill which I chose because it is sturdy and tough but also washable. Go for a fabric that is a good weight but not too heavy or it can be difficult to sew the binding on.
I then cut the three main pieces. A full back piece, the strip for the second pocket and the strip for the third row of pockets. You can make your apron have more or less layers but I wanted a good amount of pockets.
Before sewing the pieces together I turned down the top raw edge and stitched it. I used white thread and sewed two lines to give it some style but it will also help with wear and tear.
After the raw pocket edges were sewn I pinned everything down and stitched one dividing line down the middle. I did extra back and forth stitches at the top of the pocket edge as there will be a lot of stress at this point and I wanted it to be secure.
I then stitched another vertical line between to edge and the first sewn line (where I had placed my pins). I have more space for the outer pocket while keeping the inner pocket large enough for a seed packet. In total I made three vertical stitches.
You can see that I also rounded the bottom edge. This, again, is more for style than function. You can keep the edges square if you like and just change the binding process a bit.
I then cut strips of 3 inch wide fabric for binding. Once the strips are sew into one long strip you can iron them in half and then fold the edges into the center and iron again. It is a bit of a tedious process so you can use store bought binding. I had enough of this fabric and it is sturdier than most store bough bindings and wider as well.
Once the binding is ready you can slip all the layers of the apron into the binding and pin it ready for sewing. The curve is a bit tricky. There will be bumps but just try to make them as smooth as possible. This is a garden apron after all, not a ballgown.
Two folds at each corner did the trick for me. Now sew completely around the edge. Take it slow as there are a lot of pins and also the fabric at this point is 7+ layers in some spots. Less powerful machines may have trouble with this if your fabric choice is too thick such as with a canvas.
I again did a double stitch around the outside both for style and strength. Making everything secure is more important in my opinion than making it pretty but try not to make it ugly.
More binding is used at the top of the apron which continues along to be the ties. Adjust length to your needs and do the same process as sewing the binding on the rest of the apron. At the ends of the ties turn the fabric in about a half inch and put a couple good stitches there to hold it together and then continue straight on down the length.
And Voila! An apron perfect for use in the garden. My pliers and trowel fit in the deeper and wider pockets in the side back while seed packets and gloves nestle nicely in the smaller lower pockets.
All told the apron took roughly two hours to cut and sew. It can be customized for length and width. If durability is not your biggest concern then you could make a really fun one out of printed cotton or random scraps.
And don't forget the kids. A simpler version with only four pockets can hold plastic rakes and pretty pebbles.
I hope this apron inspires you not only to sew something but also get out and garden.
*UPDATE- My husband loves this apron. He actually uses it for woodworking and other home improvement projects. Because of the many pockets he can separate out screws and nails, small tools and other items. And the durable hemp fabric has really help up.