May 27, 2008

A is for Apron: Josephine

Filed under: A is for Apron, sewing — Tags: , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 10:12 am

I recently got my hands on a new apron book:  A is for Apron.  It’s full of fun and lovely aprons, many pictured with fabrics that I actually have in my stash!  I’m so inspired by the book that I thought I’d do a brief review.

A is for Apron showcases 25 “fresh & flirty designs” for aprons, and includes the patterns and instructions for each.  The patterns are listed in the back of the book and must be enlarged to be used directly.  But the book does give some measurements on the pattern pieces, so I was able to figure out the dimensions for the apron I decided to make as a tester:  Josephine.

This is one of the more complicated aprons in the book.  It’s a reversible full apron and the skills a sewist uses include buttonholes, casings, ruffles, bias cutting and topstitching.  It took me about 4 hours to make it, but some of that time was spent trying to figure out parts of the instructions.

Along the way, several small steps were left out.  For example, the neck strap is cut as two pieces (more on that in a minute) but the instructions neglect to tell the sewist to sew them together to make one long piece.    Later, when attaching the neck strap to the bodice, the book is not clear which side (right side vs wrong side of the bodice) to attach the strap to.  Little things that are obvious to an experienced sewist, maybe not so much to a beginner.

Regarding the suggested cutting layout:  in an effort to be ultra frugal with the fabric, the instruction direct one to cut some things in smaller pieces (such as the neck straps and the long waist ties).  I’d much rather use a wee bit more yardage and not have seams in the middle of my ties.

Overall, its a great book, I’d give it 4 stars.  I’m already planning to make at least two more aprons from it and I’m sure it will continue to inspire me every time I open it.

Here is my Josephine:


I choose two bright bold prints…both with pinks, purples & greens.  My first challenge was that the butterfly print is very directional and so I couldn’t cut it on the bias as the pattern called for.  It didn’t seem to make a difference.  The other big challenge was figuring out the settings on my ruffler foot so I didn’t have to hand gather that ruffle at the bottom.  I ended up with a few inches extra ruffle, so that was good (rather than too little!).

Here’s a close up of the bodice, the top gathers with a tie.  Also, a close up of the fabrics I used.



I’ll be listing this apron at Retro Femme, hopefully by tomorrow, for Friday’s stocking.  It’s also our Father’s Day stocking, and I’ll be trying another pattern from the A is for Apron book to make a Dad’s BBQ apron.  I have 3 customs bags and one custom apron to finish.  Plus my 3 yo keeps asking for a “green dwess with fwowers”.  So I should have lots of fun things to post this week!!



  1. Super cute apron! Love the colors you picked out!

    Comment by calegar — May 27, 2008 @ 4:43 pm

  2. I love this apron. I like that it is reversible. When I first glanced at your post I thought it was two aprons and that I would have a hard time deciding which I liked more. Then I found out it was one apron, and I was blown away. Beautiful!

    Comment by lisakingsley — June 8, 2008 @ 10:38 am

  3. I found your review online and it’s funny – I was looking for reviews because I just bought this book and I decided to try Josephine first, and I also noticed that there are small steps missing. I’m wondering if, since the aprons are from different designers, it’s just the instructions given by the designer…? Perhaps the other aprons will not have the same problem…

    Comment by maconnell — June 16, 2008 @ 12:13 pm

  4. i was one of the designers in the book 🙂 i saw the comment about the steps missing from the instructions. although this apron was not mine, i found many errors/ommissions in the instructions for my aprons. i submitted very detailed instructions (and i am sure the others did as well) but they were edited. unfortunately, they did not share those edits with me. sooo, if any of you need the more complete version for any of my aprons, please let me know. you can reach me at

    Comment by joan hand stroh — June 19, 2008 @ 8:09 pm

  5. your apron turned out great!!

    Comment by joan hand stroh — June 19, 2008 @ 8:11 pm

  6. […] directions in the book for this apron were much better than the Josephine apron.  No skipped steps, but some were a little fussy for an experienced sewist…taking two steps […]

    Pingback by A is for Apron: Waldorf « BlueflowerTreasures — July 7, 2008 @ 6:35 pm

  7. Thank you for this review, I couldn’t figure out the neck straps so was searching for any editorial corrections to the book, without luck, and found your very helpful review. I bet I have read the directions five different times and still cannot find any reference regarding 1 yard of muslin, what is that suppose to be used for? I am impressed that it only took you four hours and love the fabrics you chose. Thanks again!

    Comment by Tanya — September 8, 2008 @ 8:47 am

  8. I don’t understand what to do with this neck strap. If I sew them into one long piece, the neck strap would be over 40 inches long which seems way to long for me.

    I hope my apron turns out as cute as yours!

    Comment by Rebecca — October 21, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

  9. This is so lovely! This is one of my favorites in the book, but I’ve been a bit intimidated to try it. I love the fabrics you chose!

    Comment by Sarah — November 2, 2009 @ 12:39 pm

  10. Your apron turned out great! I’m in the middle of sewing this apron too! I had to take a break because I am not in the mood for gathering 110″ of ruffle right now. Ack!
    I too am having trouble with the neck. In fact, I’m going to have to redo it because I screwed up the drawstrings, big time.
    I’ll keep plugging away at it! Thanks for your review!

    Comment by Leslie K. — September 10, 2010 @ 11:00 am

  11. I know this thread is older, but for anyone using a early print of this book, there are errata posted on the publisher’s site. Ex: cut ONE 3×21 strip for the neck strap! There are still a few things left unclear, though.

    Comment by Jennie K. — December 2, 2010 @ 11:44 am

  12. Thanks for this review. I thought maybe I was crazy or inept. I’ve sewn a lot of clothing and the directions for this apron were close to awful. Besides the cutting issues & neck strap issue, I was initially confused when they kept referring to the drawstring as the “ties”. Now instead of being frustrated by it I am excited to finish this apron! I also made slight changes to the colors, using one color for the ruffle, bodice casing, waistband & ties and using the 2 main fabrics for the main pieces and the neckstrap (cutting one neckstrap piece about 31″ long).

    Comment by Kels — August 12, 2011 @ 9:47 am

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