When one of my dearest friends left California to start a job in Arizona, I knew that I had to make her an apron as a housewarming present. Joanne (with whom I collaborated on the DIY sweaty bands project) loves cupcakes and the color purple, so they were the inspiration for the fabric used in this reversible apron pattern by Lotta Jansdotter (not free, but it's from a lovely book filled with some great non-clothing sewing patterns).
This apron has a wonderful A-line shape when worn, even though the actual shape curves in lots of places. It also has an unexpected pleat detail at the shoulder straps. Anyway, I'll be shipping the apron to Joanne today, and I hope she likes it. I'm a little sad to see it go, myself. I'd make one for me but I've already got too many aprons as it is.
The pattern suggests some simple appliqués, but I opted instead to make two pockets on each side -- they're more useful, and Joanne loves pockets as much as I do. I made them a little deep so that they can carry cooking utensils if necessary. To make the pockets, I used the nifty technique I learned when making the Oliver + S art smock, which produces clean- and professional-looking pockets, IMO.
Measuring and cutting took the most time for this project, and the pockets added some time as well. If you want to just whip this out quickly, you could probably do so by cutting out the appliqué/pocket step and maybe the pleating as well. The pleat didn't seem to add a lot to the finished product but was probably the most finicky step. (You'd need to edit the pattern a bit in this case; just narrow the shoulder to match the width of the ties, which is a little over an inch.)
Also, I would suggest putting the markings on the right side of the fabric to facilitate the process (I put the markings on the wrong side and had to flip back and forth quite a bit), as well as pressing all 1/2" seams open. Doing the latter made it much easier to iron the apron flat at the edges after turning it right-side out (the two sides were sewn together with right sides facing so as to create finished edges once the apron was turned right-side out).
Have a knitting needle or something dull but pointy ready at hand. I used it the sharpen the corners for the straps and the pockets, and the edges of the apron body.
Final verdict? I didn't learn anything particularly new during this project, although I revisited pleats again. The weakest part of the pattern is probably the pleats at the shoulder straps; more detail in both the instructions and the markings on the pattern would have been helpful. As it is, I'm not sure I did it correctly, but it looks fine anyway. Overall it was an enjoyable experience. It's a great pattern with a great-looking finished product, which makes it much like an Oliver + S pattern.