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Japanese crossover aprons with some help from Simplicity 8816

A few steam-burned fingers and 4 hours later, two linen Japanese-style crossover aprons for Christmas gifts. I had made View A from the apron pattern Simplicity 8816 for my mom; the overall fit was good so I used that as the template for drafting a freehand crossover apron in terms of apron length and width and strap length. An internet search on crossover apron pattern brought up some images that I eyed while sketching a pattern.

Instead of using bias tape to finish the edges, I made a narrow hem. The key to getting everything to lay flat and have a relatively even width was lots of steam ironing after every step. The steam made the linen behave at the cost of a few tender fingers. The strap width as drawn is 5 inches, but with the narrow hem, the finished strap width was a perfect fit and didn't extend over my shoulders.

Where the back portion meets the front, I finished with a French seam for a cleaner finish and to reduce the chances of linen fraying and topstitched the resulting seam down. The gray apron is a heavier linen and so sits a little bit better on the body. Any future aprons will probably be best served using a similar weight; the white linen apron is probably too light. I had thought about making one using denim, but the shoulder seam would be too thick for my sewing machine to handle.

All in all, a fairly quick make; having only one piece to work with and sewing a narrow hem resulted in a very satisfying make.


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