Thursday, March 05, 2009

As if you needed another apron tutorial [TUTORIAL]

Look, I know there's a bajillion how-to-make-an-apron-from-a-towel tutorials out there, so I realize I'm not bringing anything new to the table, but I hope you'll still appreciate that I was finally moved to make one of these things and it's only because my mom is a supah sassy broad.


Historically, I've done a very good job ignoring tutorials of this variety (not that I haven't made an apron or two in my day) because I've never been inspired by any towel to the point where I wanted to wear it around my house.

Call me crazy, but a brown coffee stained dishtowel just does not say, "Fun Home Attire" like, say, an oversized Tshirt from a local event might.

So, the towels have stayed in the kitchen basket, waiting for me to use them for mopping up a kitchen explosion or perhaps tears from when I'm wrestling with some onions. I assume they also get used for drying dishes per their god given name, but that's not my department.

Until last Hanukkah, that is, when my mom removed her censor completely and stopped trying to restrain her inner sassypants. Not that she's not a saucy lady all of the time, but she does a really good job of hiding it behind her "I'm the nicest gal alive" facade.

Needless to say, I didn't inherit this fine and useful trait.

Anyway, in and amongst some very thoughtful and lovely gifts (she knows me real well, this mom of mine), she stowed a spicy kitchen towel bearing a caption that everyone at the Hanukkah party thought was *oh just hilarious and perfect* for me.

Oh tee hee. Isn't that adorable that my whole family thinks I'm a bitch.

I guess the secret's out.

And when I got this thing home and came to terms with the fact that it's not just my blogging friends that know what a snarky bitch I am, but in fact my whole extended family, I decided that I should really own it.

And what better way to own a personal flaw than to wear it on your person? And then maybe wipe some of The Best Sauce Ever. Yep. accidentally across the front while explaining to your neighbors that your mom is actually quite nice but she drinks and then buys silly things that are totally *just kidding* and therefore here I am wearing a towel proclaiming my poor attitude.

Ah yes, our family is very refined.

What I'm trying to say is that this towel moved me to making an apron and now I will show you how I did it because it was really easy and I have used this apron a lot since I made it if only so that I can wear a bad word and a crazy lady's face while I make dinner and drink.

It's what you might call a Life of Balance and Priorities, my friends. Be advised.

And don't worry, this tutorial won't take NEARLY as long as it did for you to read the post so far. Sorry about that.

Finny's Naughty Towel to Apron Tutorial
Print this thing

Kitchen towel
1/2" twill tape or ribbon in whatever color
Thread in whatever color
Fabric marker
Fray check

For the record, your towel needn't include swears.

To make:

Hold the towel up vertically (as though you were going to wear it like an apron, right?) and mark one horizontal neck strap line where you'd want one of the neck strap holes to be.

Then mark one vertical line on the side of the towel where you'd want the waist tie hole to be.

Fold your apron in half vertically, matching long edges, and mark the other horizontal neck strap line on the opposite side of the towel.

Along the long side of the towel, mark the other vertical waist tie line so that it matches up with the line you drew previously.

This is so that your neck strap and waist tie holes are equidistant from the edges, centered and all that jazz.

Can't have you all off-kilter and looking crooked in your apron made from a towel, that'd be ridiculous and also confirm everyone's suspicions that all you're doing in that towel is making gin cocktails.

I might have had a G&T *while* I made this. You'll never know.

Now, per the lines you just marked, set down at the machine and sew yourself four buttonholes, one for each line you marked.

I swear it gets easier every time. Really.

For the record, I only fucked up one of my buttonholes this time which is an all-time record for me. Also, no one was bleeding or crying when I was done, which is noteworthy.

With your buttonholes all sewn and happy, take out that twill tape and weave it through the neck strap holes at the top of your apron, starting at the back of one side, weaving through the front and back through the front of the other hole. This will create a little neck strap, which I'm sure you already surmised because you're smart like that.

I broke that necklace. Sad.

Swing that bitch over your head and pin the top corners of the towel back over the straps so that the straps are now contained in a nice little terry channel. At the base of this channel should be your two waist tie holes, so fold the towel corners accordingly.

You can also draw a sewing line to follow, if you're simple like I am.

Sew this channel and backstitch at both ends. This is because you'll be yarding on it when you're putting it on and fitting it, so you don't want any seams ripping free. That shit pisses me off.

Don't ever look at the back of my aprons, mom. Bad things. Bad things.

Once you've sewn the channels, feel free to cut off any extraneous towel. No one will know you took scissors to a fine and thoughtful gift unless you blog about it when you know full well that your mom reads your blog.

Hi mom. Sorry.

Now that you're all sewn and cut, weave your twill tape through the waist hole, through the side channel and up and around the neck holes, just like you'd imagine, and if you need a little help coaxing that tape through there, put a safety pin through one end because that's always helpful.

I always use a safety pin. Remember, SIMPLE.

You can trim the tape to fit and add some fray check at the ends if you're fancy.

Then, put it on and go make a cocktail. You'll need one when you try to explain why your mom "who seems so nice" gave this to you and how you're not really a bitch you just play one on the Internets.

Mmhhmm. Yes. That sounds believable. I'll go with that.


  1. Very clever Ms. Finny! I love those Anne Taintor products. I have a flip book of them on my desk and I figure someday someone will lodge an offense over them. Love the new snarky apron!

  2. Very cute. Story and apron.

  3. Now THIS is a fun apron -- thanks for the easy tutorial.

  4. A sassy apron tutorial! Good job tying one apron, of course!

  5. OMG! That is really funny. I wish my mom was all saucy and filled with inner sassypants!!!! I love that description....I'm a sucker for pretty much any word that has the word "pants" attached to it!

    Cute apron!

  6. My mother gave me an apron once for Christmas. Me. An apron. Do I know where the kitchen is? It was, I kid you not, yellow and white gingham with a giant chicken on it. Because of course I want to wear a large bird on my chest and figure out what the hot thing and the cold thing in the kitchen do. I swear, in spite of the fact that she's my mother, this woman has never actually met me.

  7. Thimble - IF ONLY! That'd be a funny story about how you got busted for your naughty flipbook. SNARKALICIOUS!

    Lera - ;) My mom's one saucy broad, that's for sure.

    Junie - Happy to! You *must* have some saucy aprons around your place. Junie, come on...;)

    EllyAnne - Well, well, well - thank you Apron Master! People, apron celebrity in our midst...this apron does indeed help me Tie One On. Silliness.

    Sharon - She is a saucy one for sure. Sure, she hides it underneath her uber niceness, but I know the fun truth.


    "Find out what the hot thing and the cold thing in the kitchen do."

    You slay me!

    Meanwhile, that apron sounds hysterical. I'd think you'd wear it just for the ridiculousness of it all. You should wear it to Christmas.

  8. Love the apron! I love Anne Taintor, too. Your post was very fun to read.

  9. fantastic apron! love it.

  10. OH you think thats funny.... My Mom got me the 1 that says

    " Being a crabby bitch is part of my charm"

  11. I had to comment about an earlier post because I NEEDED YOU TO SEE THIS. That kale and white bean pasta dish was AWESOME. I just got done eating it and now I am resting on my bed digesting. Ahhhhhhhhhh....................

  12. Finny... I totally owe you interview answers and pics of the the cowl... I haven't forgotten....

  13. Sis, that is really quite hilarious and oddly inspiring. I have been needing a new apron and so now I will have to raid my towel drawer, which is actually OVERFLOWING with all the lovely towels you and Mandy give me at hanukkah, so this will be good for everyone. It all comes full circle now doesn't it. :) Thanks for posting an apron that seems too quick to not make.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.