Japanese Style Smock Apron to Sew

This is where I started; with a picture I saw on Pinterest. A simple smock apron of linen. A catalog item no longer available.

Japanese Style smock apron

This is what I figured out on my own the first go around.

apron finished

But I really wanted an apron more like the one I had found on Pinterest. So I made it again in linen.

easy apron linen

Recently I got a comment, a question really, about the apron. While researching I came across this.

Apron CM

Someone else also wanted this apron and their version has shorter straps and a wider apron than mine. Umm, let’s try it their way. I cut out some more linen using their measurements. I assumed the measurements were for the finished straps and body so I added seam allowance and cut the strap pieces wide enough so they could be sewn into tubes and turned out. Here’s what I got.

Apron3 Smock style linen

Closer to the apron I wanted. I was able to cut this out of one yard of 57″ wide linen; a lighter weight than my second apron. The pockets are smaller than I would like but that was all the fabric I had to work with.

I now think that the seam allowance is included in the diagram since I have so much overlap in the back and so much length. What the seam allowance would be, I don’t know. In the photo it appears narrow at the hem and sides, about 1/2″, and extra wide across the top edge, 5″ or so.

Apron3 details

Sewing your own version of this apron is easy. A few straight seams and your done. For the “how to” please read the original posts Easy to Make, Back Cross Strap Apron and Easy to Make Linen Apron but cut to the measurements in the picture above. (You can google “cm to inches” for a handy converter if you don’t have a centimeter tape measure or ruler).

Apron3 strapD2

Apron3 pocket

I’m tempted to sew it again cutting the pieces with out adding seam allowance and finishing the edges like the original picture but, really, three aprons are enough for me.

15 Comments on Japanese Style Smock Apron to Sew

  1. Wynn
    January 25, 2016 at 8:07 am (2 years ago)

    This looks great! I’ve pinned the original pic too and thought, “I’d love to make that one day”! Interesting to see the measurements and that it’s better in a linen. The original pic looks deceptively simple but after seeing (from you) that it’s not so simple to copy exactly after all, I can also see what I like (& v.versa) about the style: the way the straps meet in a “V” shape at the back is attractive. Also the very wide front strap placement is unusual and stylish. But I also now see it works well on the model (and looks good on you) but that it might not work on bigger busted wơmen. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mary Earle-Sigler
      January 25, 2016 at 1:48 pm (2 years ago)

      I’m very glad you found my post helpful. It’s true how different some styles look on flatter chest than fuller chest. You wouldn’t think it would be such a difference. That said, I do love wearing my aprons when I’m cleaning or cooking. They help make my mind switch to “cleaning time”. I especially like the pockets. They hold all those little misplaced things I find – usually pens and rubber bands.

      • Wynn
        January 25, 2016 at 4:10 pm (2 years ago)

        Yes I agree, I really like wearing aprons while cleaning too and sometimes I also wear them while gardening! But I’ve found when I’m wearing them while sitting down and eating it’s worse than no apron because if the front gapes and one drops anything it falls between the apron and one’s clothes and can sit there till one stands up … thus leaving worse marks on one’s clothes than no apron. Despite that,I still like this apron …might need to ‘tweak’ it though! Or just use it for cleaning and looking trendy when cooking!

  2. Lecia
    February 11, 2016 at 7:41 pm (2 years ago)

    Thank you so much for all of you work! I, too, have hankered for that dark blue-gray linen apron on pinterest! You’ve made it so much easier for me, and I’m grateful! Yours looks great!

    • Mary Earle-Sigler
      February 11, 2016 at 8:34 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks so much. I kept seeing that picture on Pinterest too and could not find a pattern. I was determined to figure it out AND share it with everyone else who wanted it.

  3. Fiona
    February 27, 2016 at 9:38 am (2 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing this project! It was great to see the same apron in different fabrics, especially as the look of it changes so much from one to another.
    Last night, mainly using your photos, I created my own version of the Japanese apron and
    I´m delighted with how it turned out.

    • Mary Earle-Sigler
      February 27, 2016 at 10:50 am (2 years ago)

      I’m so glad you found the posts helpful. Different fabrics really do affect the outcome, and not just on aprons. This is a lesson I continue to learn (mostly through mistakes). I’m intrigued and actually thrilled that you created your own version. I love taking something basic and making it five different ways (like you can do with spaghetti sauce). Really great – thanks for sharing.

  4. Celina
    March 7, 2016 at 9:34 pm (2 years ago)

    Thank you so much for posting all your aprons. My copy turned out nicely, thanks to your instructions!

    • Mary Earle-Sigler
      March 8, 2016 at 5:05 pm (2 years ago)

      That’s great. I’m really happy to hear that. I like wearing this style apron better than my (very nice) Willam-Sonoma kitchen apron because it doesn’t have a strap pulling down on my neck. Sorry high-end kitchen store.

  5. Lori
    December 28, 2016 at 5:41 pm (1 year ago)

    Did you still Sew the straps on at an angle on this one? Also 6cm. Wide straps only translates to 2.5 inches. They look much thicker than that. How wide do you think they are?

    • Mary Earle-Sigler
      December 29, 2016 at 10:11 am (1 year ago)

      On the last apron I made (the browner apron) the straps in the back are lined up with the edge of the apron, straight up and down. The straps on my apron are 1 7/8 inches wide finished. Now, it’s been washed a dozen times so some shrinkage may have occurred but it wouldn’t have shrunk too much.

      Thanks for your interest in the apron. Hope these answers help clarify the making process.

  6. Marilyn
    April 22, 2017 at 12:05 am (10 months ago)

    Thanks for sharing the process! Youʻve saved me the time and frustration of trying to make it work. Iʻm obese and heavy chested so I think it will work great. Iʻm going to jump in, buy some linen, and follow your second attempt. Iʻll send photos at some point.

    • Mary Earle-Sigler
      April 23, 2017 at 1:19 pm (10 months ago)

      You’re welcome. I’m glad you found the post useful. It was definitely a process for me to figure the apron out but a fun one.

      Please send a picture of yours and any questions you have while you’re making it. Thanks again.

  7. Limner
    August 29, 2017 at 3:00 am (6 months ago)

    I bought lovely fabric for this apron but haven’t tried making it yet. Perhaps I should start with a less expensive fabric. Your versions are appealing too.

    Thanks for sharing your experience and including photos.

    • Mary Earle-Sigler
      August 31, 2017 at 2:37 pm (6 months ago)

      Since there is no fitting for the apron you could just jump on in with your nice fabric. Well, I would check the length before cutting. On the other hand, you could make it in something cheaper, work out any details, or just double check that you like it, and then, after you made the apron up in the nice fabric you’ll have two aprons. Works for me, I have three from all my different “testing”. I’m glad you like the post.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *