Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pattern Drafting 101: Drafting a Basic Bib Apron

The best way to have an apron or article of clothing that best fits you and your body type is to create the pattern yourself.

In this tutorial I will walk you through drafting the pattern for a basic bib apron. My guinea pig is my 8 year old son, Ian. Click to enlarge the pictures!

Begin by gathering your tools. Get your measuring tape, a scrap of paper to jot down measurements, and your pencil. If you are creating this apron for yourself you will probably not need any help measuring.

You'll need 4 main measurements for a basic bib apron:
A- top edge of the bib apron- measure across your collar bone for a width that is comfortable on you.
B- waistline- measure from hip bone to hip bone (or a little past, if you like, so it wraps around more).
C- measure the distance between A and B.
D- how long do you want your apron? Measure from your collar bone (A) to your knees (or just above or just below).

Transfer these measurements to your paper:

Draw measurement A at the top edge of your paper, leaving a couple inches above. Find the center point on measurement A and mark it. Draw a long straight line all the way down- this is the center line of your apron.

On your center line, mark measurements C and D, draw a horizontal line at each of these marks.

Divide your B (waistline) measurement in half to find the center point. Mark this measurement on both of the long horizontal lines you previously made.

Draw a vertical line connecting your waistline and the bottom edge. You can leave the apron like this but I like to add a bit of flair at the bottom edge. For a little flair, add an inch to the bottom line. For a lot of flair, add 2 inches to the bottom line. I went with 1.5 inches. Redraw the edge of the apron from the waistline to the bottom edge for the new angle/flair edge.

For the top of the apron, draw a line from the edge of the measurement A to B. Using a French curve or a bowl/plate curve the line in a little.

Add your seam allowance. I've added 1/4 an inch.

Fold your pattern in half down the center line and cut out your pattern on the seam allowance line.

If you've notice, I have only drafted one half of the apron. This is because when you fold your apron pattern in half to cut it you will get a symmetrical apron.

Unfold and admire your work!

On your pattern, write what it is and your cutting information. Also write what you have allowed for seam allowance.

For the ties, I know I want them to be 1 inch wide and I double it for the back. For the length I take my measuring tape (or a piece of string) and measure how long I want the neck ties. Do the same for the waist ties. If you want them to wrap around to tie in front make them longer. Once you have this figured out draft what you want and add 1/4 inch for seam allowance all around.

I don't generally draft a pattern for the ties because I use my rotary cutter and straight ruler to cut them. If you prefer to do this then all you need to know is the correct measurements. Write this on the body of your apron pattern.

On your pattern mark where your ties will go, leave a 1/4 inch seam allowance from the edge.

And this concludes how to draft a basic bib apron! In my next post I will walk you through sewing everything together. Stay tuned!


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