A Japanese Style Apron Tutorial

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Japanese utility wear is a current trend right?!

Because if it isn't I'm about to start the trend myself(even if I do say so myself!!!)

I have been on the hunt for a tutorial on one of these aprons for a while now. If you follow me on Pintrest you'll see I've pinned a few pictures for inspiration over the past few months but couldn't find a tutorial for what I thought would be an easy make. 

  Both imagines found some where on Pintrest.                                       

Maybe I couldn't find a tutorial because it turns out they're so darn tootin easy to make. You probably won't need this tutorial but you've got it if you want it.. 

So this is the picture from Pintrest I used for my inspiration....

There was some suggestion of measurements with this picture but I just measured myself and made it off those measurements instead.

First of all I'm a size UK12 (34" Chest) use these measurements if you wish but it is super simple to measure yourself so I'd just do that if I were you.

Oh and fabric choices. This was the hardest part, probably because I didn't know what I wanted (just a tip; it is always best to know what you're looking for before you go fabric shopping.)I ended up with a really basic polyester/viscose in charcoal grey and at £3.99 per metre from the Fancy Silk Store in Birmingham, I was most impressed! I wanted something linen(esq) but it's so expressive so this was a perfect substitute.  
On with the tutorial... I cut my fabric 120cm by 100cm. The 120cm was the length that would wrap around my chest and the 100cm the width. 
Lazy for not cutting off the selvedges, tut!
I started off by hemming what would be the top of the apron. I folded it over by 1/2" and pressed. I then folded it over again, so that wrong sides were together, by 5". This will be the facing of the apron. You could maybe put on some interface at this point 
to make it stiffer but I didn't have any and now I have the finished product I really don't think it is necessary

I then double stitched (is that what I mean?!) along the hem. I think the parallel stitching just adds a bit of detail and denim is always stitched like this. It just looks a little more professional don't ya think?? 

Next up, you have to hem the sides. I didn't hem the bottom of the apron at this point. Like most (all) projects you leave this bit till the end so that you can sew it to the desired length.

Now on to the straps. I cut two pieces of fabric, on the fold that measure 6 cm by 55 cm. (When opened up they would measure 12cm). 

Hopefully these pictures will help with my 
description of how to cut the straps.

 And to add a little detail to the straps I just cut them into points. 

 I then made sure that my straps where folded in half lengthways with right sides together and stitched along the long sides and around the pointy ends of each strap (leave the short straight end open). When you do this bit make sure your stitching along the pointy ends is perfect, or else when you turn your straps the right side out they will look wonky and that just won't do. 

Enter wonkyness that needed to be corrected. 
Turn your straps right way out, a chopstick is my niffty tool for this, and press each strap.

Next I pinned the straps to the top of the large piece of fabric...
 I did this by marking the half way point across the top of the fabric and then estimating where the straps would need to go. I then wrapped the apron around me  as I would expect it to fit and with a bit of jiggery pokery moved the straps to where they should go. Then I stitched along one long side of the straps, around the pointy bit and then up along the other long side. 

Next up, I attached the end of the straps to the back of the apron. 

Ok, I know I'm not going to describe this next step very well so hopeful the picture above will help. You have to take one strap and pin the end to the opposite side of the back of the apron and then take the other strap and pin that end to the opposite side of the back of the apron. The straps will cross over each other, as the picture above shows. 

Now to stitch them in place. I decided to stitch right around the top of the apron, I felt it would look more finished. If you decide to do this then may I suggest you stop when you get to the tabs at the front of the apron. Just don't stitch across the front of the tabs, I think it looks nice and tidy the way I did it...

Next up, hemming the bottom of the apron...

I cut my apron at the bottom so that it would be 85cm long. I hemmed it by folding and pressing it up by 1/2" and then 1/2" again. I then double stitched, as I did on the facing, along the bottom of the apron.

So the main part of the apron is complete... you could leave it there but I decided to add a little (actually turned out pretty big!!) patch pocket. 

And we're done....

I'm so happy with this super simple make, really happy. I'm sure people will look at me in the street and think "Why is that crazy lady wearing her apron out and about?" and I'm not sure I really care all that much! Handmade Japanese Utility Wear is the next big thing, you heard it here first ;-)

Hope my first tutorial makes sense!


Amy x


  1. I love this! I also pinned those aprons and actually have a paper pattern printed out somewhere, thanks for the reminder, need to dig it out! xx

  2. Very nice tutorial, I' m going to give it a try. Thank you for sharing .

  3. Great tutorial will have to give it a try!

  4. Love Love Love your tutorial! A Big Thank You from Texas!

  5. Thank you for your pics and instructions. Great idea re. Pocket! Just putting the final touches to one. May add poppers to one end of shoulder straps as they're a bit short (used fabric left over from shortening the apron).

  6. just what I've been looking for, thank you so much x

  7. Yes! Thank you SO much! This is exactly what I have been looking for!

  8. Absolutely perfect tutorial. Been looking for one for a while. Thanks sewwww much!

  9. Thanks for sharing all this. I too have pinned quite a few but haven't had a pattern to make one... I will take the plunge!

  10. Hi, Thank you so much for this tutorial. It has been several years now that I wanted to make one of these aprons. Your tutorial has been very helpful and I know that I can do this now. Going to the fabric store tonight after work.

  11. How much fabric do you need for the apron?

  12. Great blog entry. You've inspired me to go ahead and make one!!

  13. This is on my to do list, your tutorial might just have moved it up the list as that really does sound like a quick project. (and I love a quick project!)

  14. Hi Amy, one bit of confusion for me...the 120 cm the measurement that goes around your body...yes?

    I have 2 pieces of linen that are the perfect size. I will attempt to make time tomorrow. Thank you so much!


  15. thank you forma sharing¡excelent tutorial¡

  16. Hi Amy, thanks for your tutorial :) I would love to have seen a photo of you showing the back of the apron as I want one that has full coverage at the back rather than a gap as some aprons have. I'm not a slim person, so I'm thinking this would affect how it wraps around my body. Perhaps I need to grab some fabric and try wrapping it around me to see how it drapes. I'm not good at visualising things in my head!

  17. Great wanted to make one of these for an age ..thank you lady Cx

  18. What a great idea! Much better as a gift than something frilly. And also it looks like you are ready for anything. X

  19. Fab tutorial...thanks for sharing.

  20. Fab tutorial...thanks for sharing.

  21. I love it!!!!! You did an awesome job and it looks great on you :))

  22. Hej- Hi! Thank you very much for this very nice tutorial! My apron is ready now and I have enjoyed every minute of this creative new year's afternoon! Wish you a fantastic new year! Kind regards from Helena in Sweden ��

    1. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for your lovely comment, it means a lot.

  23. I'm so glad I found this , I don't want to wear as an apron but as a 'smock' ( I'm a Girl of the '70's) , however I'm a fatty , can you tell me if it will cross at the back enough to cover my Bum ? Thanks for the tutorial.

  24. Are there any photos of the back? I made a similar apron but ended up needing to attach fasteners to the back due to lack of coverage.

  25. Spot on with this article, I really think this website needs more attention. I'll probably be back to read more, thanks for the info.
    Groomers Aprons

  26. Lovely! Post a picture of the back please.

  27. Fabulous thank you. Have this on my list of things to do but was a little lazy in working it out..but now you have I'm off to Birmingham Markets or Fancy Silk Store to grab some fabric..think I fancy ticking x

  28. really good tutorial, thanks for posting xx

  29. Just what I needed for my workshop apron. (I'm a NZ tech teacher) Thank you very much.

  30. So super helpful! Appreciate it!

  31. Hi Amy I too couldn't find a pattern. thanks to you I can now make one. It looked simple but I needed someone to show me how to make the pattern. I am appreciate it.

  32. I'm new to sewing, I mean like really new. I've just bought my first sewing machine & I've decided to make this my first project! Wish me luck.

  33. Hi, Sorry for the late arrival but is the body of the apron just one big rectangle? Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us!!

  34. So helpful, I've also been pinning these aprons and assumed it would be much more complicated. Can't wait to make one. Thanks!!!