This year, my husband’s Irish parents are coming to town for their first Thanksgiving ever (can you believe they’ve never tasted pumpkin pie?!). As the resident American in the family, I am nervous about everything from overcooked turkey to undercooked stuffing, so I’ve decided to focus on the one detail I know I can get right: the cooking attire!

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This lovely Linen Cross Back Apron is so elegant that it feels almost like a new dress, but functional cover-up it is! I designed it to be loose and easy, so that when I bend over to baste the bird or reach up to grab the pie pan, I know I’ll feel comfortable. It also has durable French seams, generous side pockets, and full coverage (no gravy splatters on the holiday duds!).

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Sewn up in three pretty colors of Purl Soho’s Handkerchief Linen, our Linen Cross Back Apron is sturdy, practical, and very beautiful. If nothing else, I know I’ll be dressed for a very successful mess! -Corinne

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Materials

  • 1 ¾ yards of Purl Soho’s Handkerchief Linen (56-60 inches wide). We used the colors Redwood, Persimmon, and Desert.
  • A 110-yard spool of Gutermann’s Cotton Sewing Thread to coordinate with the fabric. We used 4850 for Redwood, 4860 for Persimmon, and 1140 for Desert.

Size

One size fits many.

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Notes

Prewash, dry, and iron the fabric before starting.

For the sake of clarity our instructional photos use Robert Kaufman’s Botanics + Architextures in Tangerine Hatches, a fabric with a clear right and wrong side. When you are working with a fabric without a clear right or wrong side, choose either side as the right side for the first seam and follow this precedent for all subsequent steps.

Pattern

Cut

Use the cutting layout and measurements below to cut a total of 11 pattern pieces from the fabric.

Cutting Layout

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Measurements

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Prepare the Straps

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Fold one Strap in half lengthwise and press to create a crease. Open up the fold. Now, fold the two long, raw edges to meet the center crease and press. Fold the Strap in half lengthwise so that the raw edges are encased in the fold and press.

Sew along both long edges of the Strap with an edgestitch.

Repeat with the other Strap piece.

Prepare the Back

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Fold one long edge of one Back piece ½ inch toward the wrong side twice, press and pin. Sew along the folded edge with an edgestitch.

Repeat with the other Back piece.

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With the wrong side facing up and the long hemmed edge running along the right side, fold the top edge of the Back piece ½ inch toward the wrong side twice, press, and pin.

Tuck one short, raw edge of one Strap piece into the top hem of the Back, so that the long edge of the Strap runs along the long hemmed edge of the Back. Pin in place.

Sew along the top hem of the Back with an edgestitch, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam.

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Fold the Strap up at the seam and press. Sew the Strap to the top edge of the Back piece’s top hem. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

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Repeat with the other Back piece and Strap, with one exception: When you start, the long hem of the Back piece should run along the left side. When you are finished, the two pieces should be mirror images of each other.

Prepare the Side Pockets

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For each Side Pocket, you will need 3 Pocket Pieces: one each of Pocket A, Pocket B, and Pocket C.

The image above shows the shape of the Pocket pieces with their right sides facing up. The slope of Pocket B runs opposite the slopes of Pockets A and C.

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Sew a line of stay stitching ½ inch from the top sloped edge of Pocket A. This will help prevent the bias-cut edge from stretching out in subsequent seams.

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Fold the top edge of Pocket A ½ inch toward the wrong side twice, press and pin. Sew along the bottom folded edge with an edgestitch. Clip off any overhanging fabric so that the side edge runs straight.

Set Pocket A aside.

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With right sides together, stack Pockets B and C on top of each other, lining up their top sloped edges. Pin in place. Sew along the pinned edge with a ¼-inch seam allowance.

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Fold along the seam line so that the wrong sides of the two Pocket pieces are now facing each other, press, and pin. Sew along the top folded edge with a ½-inch seam allowance.

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Now, with wrong sides facing, stack Pocket B on top of Pocket A so that their bottom raw edges are aligned. Pin in place. Sew along the pinned edge with a ¼-inch seam allowance.

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Fold along the seam line so that the right sides of Pockets A and B are facing each other and press. Pin Pockets A and B together along the folded edge. Sew along the pinned edge with a ½-inch seam allowance.

This is now the Side Pocket.

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Lay the Side Pocket out flat so that the rights sides of Pockets A and C are facing up. Pin all layers of the Side Pocket together along the side edges. Sew along the pinned edges with a 1/8-inch seam allowance.

Repeat with the remaining Pocket pieces.

Attach the Side Pocket to the Back

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With their wrong sides together, stack one Side Pocket on top of one Back. Align the shorter side edge of the Side Pocket with the long raw edge of the Back piece.

Also align the bottom edges of the two pieces. When you do, you will notice that the Back is slightly taller than the Side Pocket. The top edge of the Side Pocket piece should hit the top edge of the Back about ¾ inch in from the raw edges (see above).

Pin the two pieces together along the aligned side edge. Sew along the pinned edge.

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Fold along the seam line so that the right sides of the Side Pocket and Back are now facing. Press and pin. Sew along the pinned edge with a ½-inch seam allowance, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam.

Press the seam toward the Back and sew it down 1/4 inch from the seamline. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

This is now the Side.

Repeat with the other Side Pocket and Back. The two Side pieces should be mirror images of each other.

Attach the Sides to the Body

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With their wrong sides together, stack one Side piece on top of the Body, so that the raw side edge of the Side aligns with one long edge of the Body. Also align the bottom edges of the two pieces. Pin in place along the long side edge.

Sew along the pinned edge with a ¼-inch seam allowance.

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Fold along the seam line so that the right sides are now facing. Press and pin along the fold. Sew along the fold with a ½-inch seam allowance, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam.

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Make a small, ¼-inch clip into the seam allowance, following the slope of the Side piece so that the unsewn side edge of the Body can lie flat.

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Press the seam allowance toward the Body. When you reach the unsewn side edge of the Body, press that raw edge toward the wrong side, following the seam line.

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Tuck the raw edge of this seam allowance ¼ inch under the fold, following the line of the seam allowance below. Press.

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Repeat with the other Side piece on the other side of the Body.

Fold the Top Hem

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Fold the top edge of the Body ½ inch toward the wrong side and press. Now fold the top edge 2 inches toward the wrong side and press.

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Open up the side ½-inch folds of the Body. Next, open the 2-inch fold along the top edge and refold it toward the right side along its crease. Keep the ¼-inch folds along the side edges and the ½-inch fold along the top in place.

Pin the last fold you made in place along the side edges.

Sew the fold down along the side edges with a ½-inch seam allowance (you can use the hem creases as a guide). Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

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Fold the top hem back toward the wrong side and press. Poke the corners out neatly.

Attach the Straps

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Bring the unsewn ends of the Straps to the front of the Apron. The Straps should cross in the back, but be careful that they do not get twisted.

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For the most accurate fit, try the Apron on and play with the length of the Straps. Once you like the fit, place a pin through the Straps, right where they hit the top edge of the Apron. The pin only marks the Strap; it does not attach the Strap to the Apron.

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Trim the raw edge of the marked Strap 2 ½ inches from the pin.

Cut the other Strap so that it is equal in length to the first.

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Tuck the raw edge of one Strap ½ inch into the top hem of the Apron. If you are pulling the Strap from the left side of the Apron, tuck it into the right corner of the hem (as shown here), or vice versa. Make sure that the Strap is not twisted. Pin in place.

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Repeat with the other Strap.

Pin along the folds of the top hem. Sew along the pinned edge, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam.

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Fold the Straps up along the seam line and press. Pin in place.

Sew along the entire top edge of the Apron with an edgestitch. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

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Sew along the side edges of the Body so that the seam runs ¼ inch in from the edge. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seams.

Hem

Fold the bottom edge of the Apron ¼ inch toward the wrong side and press. Now fold the bottom edge 1 inch toward the wrong side, press and pin. Sew the hem down with an edgestitch, Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

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