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WoodShop Apron Tutorial

Author: <Diego Rodriguez> Email: <Armaun Zargari> Email:

Date: Last modified <02/03/21>
Keywords: <woodshop, do it yourself, apron, tools, sewing>

The photo above depicts a (black) workshop apron with white iron-on/heat-transfer vinyl printed on the torso. One may use the apron to prevent their clothes from getting dirty with wood dust and other debris as well as storage for tools in the (four) pockets. Once complete, this workshop apron can be used to store tools and other equipment. Time for completion: Approximately 120 minutes.

Motivation and Audience

The purpose of this tutorial is to put lab members sewing and vinyl cutting skills to use in the creation of their own workshop apron. The apron created in this tutorial is sized in a way that allows for universal use for almost all body types. This tutorial assumes that the reader has the experience or interest in the following:

SVG File Creation
Vinyl Cutting

Introduction of the Sewing machine is the tutorial one may use in order to learn how to sew.

* Getting started with the sewing machine e.g. video
* Threading the machine and bobbins e.g. video and video
* Back-stitching e.g. YouTube Video

The remainder of the tutorial is presented as follows:

Parts List
Sizing and Cutting
Sewing and Stitching
Vinyl Cutting and Application
Final Words

Parts Lists

To complete this tutorial, you will need the items listed below:

  1. 1.25 yard of durable fabric (black and gray duck cloth were used in this tutorial)
  2. Sewing Machine In DASL - Vinyl Cutter In DASL
  3. Picking/Weeding Tools (for removal of vinyl) In DASL - Pins In DASL
  4. Steam Iron In DASL - Marking Pencils (for sketching blueprint of the apron) In DASL
  5. Scissors In DASL - Box Cutter IN DASL
  6. Iron-On/Heat-Transfer Vinyl (white Cricut Everyday Iron-On was used in this tutorial) In DASL - Vinyl Cutting Mat In DASL
  7. Vinyl Cutting Software (Sure Cuts A Lot 2 was used in this tutorial) In DASL - Sewing Thread (Same Color as your fabric) In DASL
  8. Large Piece of Cardboard (helpful but not mandatory) In DASL - Meter Stick/Ruler In DASL

Sizing and cutting

*The component pieces of the apron are sized to allow for appropriate dimensions and enough room even after folding the sides for sewing*

Step 1: Size and cut template for the body

As shown above, for repeatability, accuracy, and testing purposes a cardboard template was sized a cut (this is not required, but highly suggested) using a box cutter. The base of the template was measured out to be 25 inches, the sides 18 inches, and the top (neck portion) 10.5 inches. The arcs were obtained from tracing over a previously made apron, but may also be determined experimentally from “eye-balling.” The goal of the arcs is to allow the apron to easily and comfortably wrap under one’s arms and around their body. When sizing the arcs, ensure to leave enough room to fold the edges over for sewing.

Step 2: Cutting body out of fabric

Lay the template on top of the fabric of choice as shown above. Trace the outside of the template onto the fabric using the fabric marking pencils. Remove the template and begin cutting the outline. One must apply a slight tension when cutting the fabric to ensure clean and easy cuts.

Step 3: Size and cut waist and neck straps

For this construction two waist straps and one neck strap are required. Each waist strap was dimensioned to be 30 inches long and two meter stick lengths wide (approximately 2.5 inches) while the neck strap was measured to be 28 inches long and two meter stick lengths wide as well. As shown above, the fabric marking pencil was again used to outline the straps directly onto the fabric. Once sized you may proceed with cutting the fabric utilizing the “tension application” technique previously used.

Step 4: Size and cut pocket template

Similar to the technique shown in Step 1, one may now size and cut a rectangular pocket template as shown above. The template was measured to be 23.5 x 9 inches and was traced onto cardboard. It was then cut from the cardboard with the box cutter.

Step 5: Cutting pocket out of fabric

Place the template on top of the fabric of choice as depicted above. Trace the outside of the template onto the fabric using the fabric marking pencils. Remove the template and begin cutting the outline. Remember to apply tension when cutting the fabric.

Sewing and stitching

Note that for this tutorial white thread was used to allow easy visibility of the stich lines to the reader. It is recommended that you use the same color thread as the color of your thread for a cleaner finish. Lastly, reverse stitch for all the stitches shown in this tutorial.

Step 1: Stitch the edges of the apron

Part 1 (Folding and Stitching the bottom edge)

The photo above shows the bottom edge of the apron being folded to the back of the apron. The fold was approximately half an inch, any length would work, but keep in mind that the longer the fold the smaller that the final dimensions of the apron would be. This step is to stop the edges from fraying and makes the final finish look much more cleaner. The material is folded in increments along the length of the border checking if it is the half an inch length and placing a pin to hold it as we go. Next stitch the bottom edge removing the previously placed pins. Reverse stitch both the start and finish of the edge. Stitch as close to the edge of the folded as possible.

Part 2 (Folding and stitching the side edges)

The photo above shows the side edges being folded over to the back of the apron, the same process that we used on the bottom edge, folding over an inch and stitching those two edges.

Part 3 (Folding and stitching the top edge)

Repeat the same process that we have used on the previous edges to stitch the top edge.

Part 4 (Folding and Stitching the arcs)

For the arcs the step is almost identical to the edges. The only difference is that this edge is only folded backward a quarter inch and then stitch. Again any length of the fold works fine.

Step 2: Adding the apron pockets

Part 1 (Stitching pocket rectangle)

Stitch one of the long edges of the pocket the same way we previously have. Fold half and inch down and stitch. Then fold the bottom edge and place pins but do not stitch this edge. Crease the edges over to ensure the fold in the material is created then remove the pins.

Part 2 (Folding and stitching the pocket rectangle on the apron)

As shown in the picture above, put the pocket square on its front side with the fold made in the previous part facing the apron. place the bottom folded edge of the pocket 2 inches from the bottom of the apron placing pins along the way to hold it in place. It does not have to be two inches; this is all personal preference, this can be placed anywhere that looks best to the reader. Fold the sides of the packet square to the back side and make the fold meet the stitch lines that were made when stitching the side edges of the apron and place pins to hold it in place. After all the pins have been placed along the three edges stitch the edges first then stitch the bottom of the square.

Part 3 (Creating the pockets)

As shown in the picture above shows a meter stick placed at the edge of the side of the pocket square. Markings were made 7 inches apart for the first line then another 7 for the second and then 6 inches for the third (Make a mark at 7 inch, 14 inch, and 20 inch line). Extend this line vertically to the top and bottom edge of the pocket square and stitch along that line. Making sure to reverse stitch and the bottom and top edge of the pocket square.

Step 3: Adding waist straps to the apron

Part 1 (Making the waist strap)

Gather the waist straps that were previously cut. As shown in the picture above fold the square in half so the edges meet. Pins are not required for this step but can definitely help the stitching process be easier. Stitch the entirety of the edge. After it is stitched pick one side to be your “front” side fold the top and bottom edge of the strap over to the back side half an inch then stitch.

Part 2 (Applying the waist strap on to the apron)

As shown in the picture above line up the corners of the waist strap to the corners of the previously sewn pocket square. Place pins to ensure it stays in place and stitch both of the vertical edges of the strap to the apron body. Stitch the entirety of the edge strap then reverse stitch all the way back and back down again to ensure that the straps are strong.

Step 4: Adding the neck strap

Part 1 (Making the neck strap)

Just like we did for the neck straps, fold the neck strap in half and stitch it together. This step does not require that the bottom and top edge folded over and stitched like the last step.

Part 2 (Applying the neck strap on to the apron)

Line up the outside edge of the strap to the edge of the apron, The longer the length of the strap from the top edge of the apron the shorter the apron will fit and vise versa. Place pins to test out the desired length that fits best for you. Stitch the two vertical edges to the apron. Stitch the entirety of the edge of the neck strap then reverse stitch all the way and stitch back down again to ensure a strong stitch.

Vinyl Cutting and Application

Step 1: Importing and Sizing

As shown above import and select the SVG file that you would like to send to the vinyl cutter. Once imported, because we are using iron-on vinyl paper you must “mirror” or “flip” the image by clicking on the icon shown below. Once flipped, you may size the text/image you are cutting and select the location in which you would like to position the paper on the cutting mat. As seen below, the vinyl paper must be placed 1 inch from the top and 1 inch from the side of the cutting mat and the dimensions of the cut itself were 5.5 x 3 inches.

Step 2: Cutting

Cut a 6 x 4 piece out your vinyl paper. You may next place your vinyl paper on the correct orientation you selected in Sure Cuts A Lot ( 1 inch by 1 inch offset) ensuring the shiny side of the vinyl paper is face down on the cutting mat. Press out any air bubbles and proceed to load the cutting mat into the vinyl cutter and begin the cutting process by sending the SVG file to the vinyl cutter. As shown by the “Cut With Cricut” icon.

Step 3: “Weeding” excess vinyl

Once the vinyl cutter has completed the cut, you may “unload” the mat. Next you are ready to remove the vinyl from the mat and start weeding out the excess vinyl to reveal your design. Use a ballpoint pin (as shown above) to pick a small piece of the vinyl and proceed to remove any excess around your lettering/design.

Step 4: Applying the vinyl

As shown above you may place the vinyl in your desired location to prepare the adhering process. Plug in the “at-home” iron you are using and set to a temperature/setting right under the max. Once heated, place a spare piece of fabric on top of the vinyl and press the iron to the fabric. Hold the iron to the fabric for about 15 seconds (covering your design) and allow the vinyl to attach. You may then remove the fabric, turn off the iron, and let the vinyl cool for 30 seconds to complete the application. Finally, remove the plastic of the vinyl and you are done!

Final Words

It is easy to purchase a premade and commercially sold workshop apron. However, one might often overpay or purchase an apron that may be too extreme for their needs. The apron shown in this tutorial can be made for a small fraction of the price as well as provide a practical amount of pockets (for most cases) for tool and equipment placement when working in a “shop” setting.

woodshop_apron.txt · Last modified: 2021/03/30 23:57 by drodriguez