So, one of the big things that’s been happening to me lately is that I have gone from being a regular, every-day ‘wage’ person to a bona fide Sole Trader! Yes! I’ve quit my job of 22 years and finally set up on my own.
As I’m sure you can imagine, this has been fantastically liberating for me. It’s early days still, but in the last few weeks I have paid my bills by teaching tap dancing, making a pair of curtains, choreographing a couples first dance, selling badges on Etsy and covering for a hairdressing friend who has broken their leg! The beauty of being a sole trader is that you can make your money however you like! (So long as you make your money!) One of the most enjoyable things about working for yourself is that you have to stock your own ‘stationary’ cupboard. For me, mainly, that currently means Hairdressing-Equipment.
Something I’m in desperate need of is a hair-colouring-apron. Where I used to work, they were supplied, now, I’m happy to supply my own, but all the ones on the market are black and boring. I had this piece of fabric in my stash. Not the most fascinating colour, I’ll grant you, but at least it’s not black. And It’s definitely wipe-down, which is a major criteria for hairdressing aprons. I’ve no idea where I bought it from, or why I bought it. it’s some-kind-of-cotton with some-kind-of-pvc coating. Maybe I was trying to buy swimming shorts material, but it’s totally wrong for that… I’d forgotten I had it to be honest, and was a little spooked when it popped up at the perfect time.
To make the pattern for this apron, I suppose I have to say that I draped my first pattern! In so much as I cut a rectangle of pattern paper and pinned it to my mannequin, marked out the shape with a sharpie then drew it all out on the floor with a ruler… As draping goes, I think this was a pretty easy baptism! If you want to bypass that epiphany though, you can just follow the measurements below…. bear in mind, It’s a saucy apron, above the knee! Depending on where you get your splashes, you might want to lengthen it.
Cutting Out & Notions:
- 2 x Front
- 1 x Neck Band
- 1 x Waist Strap (super long to also make Right Waist Tab and ‘Brush Holder’
- 1 x Top Pocket
- 1 x Pleated pocket
- 4 x snaps
- 1 x clip
- Sew the neckband right sides together along the long edge.
- Finger press the seam open. Position the seam at centre back and sew the point. Turn through and edgestitch.
- Finger press the waist strap in half. Open out and fold the edges into the centre. Fold in half again and edgestitch both long edges. (Mine is 2.5cm wide = 10cm to start – adjust yours to fit your clips)
- Fold the seams of the top pocket and stitch down at approx 1 cm. Double stitch the top.
- Edgestitch the top pocket in place on the right front. Reinforce the corners.
- Fold and stitch the pleats of the pleated pocket. Fold the seams and stitch down. Double stitch the top.
- Edgestitch the pleated pocket in place on the left front. Reinforce the corners.
- Sew the two fronts together at the centre front seam. Finger press the seam open and topstitch down.
- Double fold the bottom, sides and top. Double topstitch these in place.
- Sew bias binding to the curves at the arm. Leave an overhang at each end to tuck under on the wrong side. (It’s easier to use a narrow bias binding on my fabric – otherwise double-turn the hem like the rest of them)
- Fold the bias binding to the wrong side and double stitch in place.
- Fold the raw edge of the neckband under and stitch it onto the top right corner.
- Attach snaps to the left end of the neckband as desired. I left a long bit so I can keep my clips there.
- Cut a piece of waistband and use it to attach the clasp on the right waist side.
- Attach the other side of the clasp to the remainder of the waistband.
- Attach a snap to the left waist side and a corresponding snap to the other end of the waistband.
- Use any left over strap to make a ‘brush holder’ on the lower right front.
And you’re done! Well, I’m done! Now that I’m hairdressing in my own clothes (rather than my own black clothes) I’m pleased to say that this covers all the splashy bits. The (unknown) composition of the fabric makes it totally wipe-down-able, so hopefully it’ll last a while. Again, I’ve no idea why I bought this fabric, but I’m so glad to have made the perfect thing out of it.
So now I can wear my favourite bias-cut shirt and peacock-pocket jeans without the worry of splashing hair colour all over me!
Until next time, Happy Sewing!
Notes to self;
- Keep the walking foot on with this type of fabric.
- Stitch length was a bit erratic, maybe go slower on these materials?
You probably had a hard time maintaining even topstitching with the “sticky” fabric you used. For sewing on vinyls and other potentially “sticky” fabrics, you might try a teflon foot in place of your regular foot. It will not stick to your fabric and your top stitching will be more even. Another alternative would be teflon tape that you cut and apply to your existing foot. I use a teflon foot on my Juki industrial machine when I sew light weight leathers, works very well.
Thanks for the tip. I tried a Teflon foot (only once!) & didn’t get on with it… it’s there in the box waiting for it’s day in the sun!
Such a briljant and handy apron. Well done.
Looks great, I really like the detail of the strap/neck. Really lifts the whole item 👍
Thank you 🙏 I’m really enjoying wearing it 👍
Congratulations on becoming self-employed! It sounds like the perfect career-move for you! 😀 and I love how your hairdressing and sewing professions come together in the apron.
Thank you 🙏 exciting times! 😬🤞🤗👍
I applaud your crazy off-the-cuff drafting skills – as usual it seems. (I was worried for a sec at the beginning, but you pulled off a stupendous apron!)
And Andrew, about your stash ahem… I don’t think that you’ve been sewing long enough to forget what’s in your stash!?! Perhaps it was left behind by the previous owners of your new flat? But it actually looks great, so no excuses!!!
🤣 haha! I’ve just got a really bad memory – or (more likely) it was a bleary eyed late night online purchase 🤣
I wish you health, wealth and happiness in your pursuits. You have everything going for you. Talent, charm and smarts. You can’t fail.
Thank you for those wonderful words 🙏 if I ever doubt myself, I’ll read that again! 🙏👍🤞🤗
EKKK! How brave are you?! Exciting and terrifying at the same time… :O
Maybe you should be making and selling those aprons too… the cost of beauticians tunics is through the roof so i’m pretty sure you would make a fortune with these
I would wish you luck but I’m pretty certain you don’t need it at all 😉
Heehee, brave or stupid!! Well, I’m loving it so far!
Yes, I’ve been showing my apron off to all my hairdressing friends (I’m getting a few interested questions, so watch this space!)
Yes, hopefully I won’t need it, but, thank you! I’ll take all the luck I can get!
“Sole Trader” has got to be a Britishism. The phrase is completely unfamiliar to me 🙂 [scurries off to Google…] A-ha! It’s what I call a Sole Proprietor, which is often equivalent to self-employed.
Good going! Sounds brave, probably feels like the next right step for you.
Oddly, fabric like this is often called “oilcloth” in the US, although it’s really not and hasn’t been oilcloth for decades, at least. (https://sewguide.com/waterproof-water-resistant-fabric/#5_oilcloth is a good description.)
Good looking apron, excellent venture, and go baby go!
Haha, yes, it’s the same as self employed etc! It’s a big step, but, yes, feels absolutely right 🤞
I think the fabric was described as a coated cotton or linen… it’s very much like oilcloth, but not as heavy 👍
That is brilliant! That fabric is perfect! Very masculine looking. Maybe more male hair dressers would prefer your style apron to what they use now? and you could take orders and make a few?? Congratulations on your new endeavors!
You’ve seen right through me! I’m already getting enquiries from my hairdressing friends! 😂👍🙏
Hi Andrew, The very best of luck for the future as setting up a business is no easy task. The good thing you do have several strings to your bow which can help a lot. Can I ask you do you use a male form as I am wondering if it is worth the cost to purchase. Look forward to your sewing exploits as usual my very best wishes for your new ventures .
Thank you Bill; so far so good 👍🤞 and exciting times ahead!
Yes, I have a fixed size male mannequin (cheap from oxfam and *almost* the same size as me!) I only really use it to hang things on as it’s not my size.
All the best
It’s fantastic Andrew, a great fabric choice for a tinting apron and love the design, perhaps you could release your own pattern?! Congrats on becoming your own boss, I wish you every success in the world X
Thank you so much Josie 🤗 I love it so much I’m wearing it everywhere!
Maybe there should be a bit of pattern design in my future! – I might need to get a bit more tech-minded first 😬?!
I applaud you and wish you all the best luck 🖤 everything is going to be alright
Thank you so much 🙏👍🤞
Well this is exciting news! I’m sure you will have plenty of work opportunities and will have to decide what commissions to take or turn down. Your apron is perfect for sewists with the pockets and the strap for wonder clips. I am in the no pins zone having a cat in the studio. Actually all of your accessories like mac case and wallets are wonderful. Look forward to following more of these projects.
Thank you so much 🙏 I’m really excited to see where the future leads 👍🤞🙏🤩
Best wishes, fellow Sole Trader! The variety of work is one of the best parts, and there’s a certain freedom in just trusting that your financial needs will be met. I hope it brings you much satisfaction.
I do like the apron; the safari suit-style pleated pocket brought a smile to my face!
Haha, thank you! I love safari style pockets & have been trying to put one somewhere for ages! 😅
Yes, exciting times! I can’t wait to see where it takes me 👍🤞🙏
Fabulous news that you’re freeing yourself from the ball and chain of employment 👌🏻 (And there’s me being a wuss by just cutting down to four days… baby steps 🤣)
I love the apron – and at least it’s unique! My first Saturday job was in a hairdressers… and I stuck at it for several years. It was what I wanted to do when I ‘grew up’… and it was while working there as a teenager that I first dyed my hair purple 💜
Anyhoo, best of luck for all your money-making adventures! 🤑
Thank you! It’s a massive step, but; so far so good 👍🤞
Well, how exciting is this! Not the apron, obviously, although that is perfectly lovely, but the fact that you’ve struck out on your own. Marvellous and good luck. I do like the apron, and your draping worked out brilliantly. Well done all round!
Thank you so much! It’s a really exciting time! 👍🙏🤩