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How to Sew a Foraging Apron

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A foraging apron has pockets for supplies and the harvest you collect. It comfortably carries everything while keeping your hands free.

A foraging apron tied around a woman's waist with text overlay.

Tuck your foraging kit supplies into the apron pockets, when foraging in the wild or tending your own garden. When you make it yourself, the pockets can be customized for any task.

Made of only rectangles cut from a painter’s drop cloth, the apron is easy to assemble. Beginners can easily tackle this project by following the step-by-step instructions and photos below.

Gathering Apron

Upcycling a canvas drop cloth is cheaper than purchasing fabric. You may even have one leftover from another project. Paint splotches will give it character, and this apron is bound to get dirty anyway.

The canvas is also breathable which helps keep everything stay fresh. Upper pockets can hold jars for keeping delicate treasures like berries or flowers to avoid squishing them.

There is also room for a knife, your phone, a small notebook or field guide – everything you need for a successful foraging trip.

If you are learning to sew, you might want to check out these clever things to help you sew a straight line. Now let’s get started!

Supplies

  • Canvas Drop Cloth
  • 1″ Elastic
  • Thread
  • Measuring Tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Clips
  • Straight Pins
  • Rotary Cutter (Optional)
  • Cutting Mat (Optional)
  • Sewing Machine
Drop cloth, measuring tape, scissors, sewing clips, pins, rotary cutter, 1" elastic sitting on cutting mat.

Nearly two aprons can be cut from one canvas drop cloth. The fabric is easy to cut with either scissors or a rotary cutter.

Sewing clips are recommended, but can be substituted for straight pins.

Non-roll elastic is also preferred, so it doesn’t twist over time while using the apron. Regular elastic can also be used.

Gathering Apron Tutorial

Before cutting into your canvas drop cloth, take note of which edges are hemmed and which are selvage edges (not hemmed).

Time spent on this project can be reduced by cutting the pocket pieces with their tops along the selvage edge. This eliminates the need to fold, iron and hem it yourself.

Corner of a drop cloth showing one edge hemmed and the other a selvage

Cut 6 pieces to the following dimensions:

  • Main: (2) 17″ x 24″
  • Top Pocket: 10″ x 32″
  • Bottom Pocket: 8″ x 32″
  • Strap: (2) 4″ x length of drop cloth

You can also go ahead and cut two lengths of elastic to 22″ each.

Pieces of a drop cloth cut to size for foraging apron

Let’s begin by forming the straps. Essentially, we are making double fold bias tape with the two long strips of drop cloth.

Lay one strip perpendicular to the other to form a 90 degree angle. There are no right or wrong sides.

Diagonal line and pins marked to sew straps together

Pin the strips in place. Then draw a diagonal line from the top left corner to the bottom right as shown.

Sewing machine sewing diagonal line to connect strap lengths

Sew along the diagonal line you drew.

Drop cloth lengths sewn at diagonal with corner cut off

Remove the straight pins, and trim any excess fabric remaining to the right of seam.

Seam of two lengths of drop cloth sewn together on a diagonal

Now open up the seam and press. You should have one continuous strip of drop cloth with a diagonal seam in the center.

Fold the strip in half lengthwise and press.

Top and bottom of strap folded to center and pressed

Then open the strip and fold each side to the center. Press.

Fold it in half in lengthwise once more and press.

Drop cloth fabric made into double fold bias tape for apron strap

Your strap is completed. Set it aside for now.

Top and bottom pocket pieces with top edges flipped over 1.5" and pressed

Next, fold the selvage edges of the top and bottom pocket pieces down 1.5″ and press.

Sewing machine sewing pocket top down 1.5"

Sew the at the bottom of the folds to form a casing in each pocket.

Top and bottom pocket pieces with casings sewn in top

Then pin a safety pin to the end of a 22″ length of elastic, and feed it through the casing.

Safety pin pinned to elastic to insert in pocket casing

Use straight pins to secure the elastic at either end of the casing. Repeat for the other pocket.

Pocket with elastic pulled through casing and pinned with a straight pin

Now take one of the main pieces (17″ x 24″), and lay the top pocket on it with the right side facing down. With the elastic at the bottom (upside down) pin the raw edge of the pocket 8″ from the top of the main piece.

Top pocket pinned to apron based with pleats

Align the edges from left to right. Then pinch 1/2″ pleats or gathers wherever the pocket fabric is not touching the main fabric piece. Pin the pleats in place.

Sewing machine sewing pocket turn down with right sides together

Sew across the raw edge of the pocket with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Sewing machine top stitching top pocket at pocket base

Then flip the pocket over your sewn line, so it is right side up.

Top pocket flipped up and top stitched along bottom

Top stitch along the base of the pocket.

Sewing machine stitching vertically to form apron pockets

At this point, think about how you will use the pockets and how many you’d like. Do you want a pocket to hold a jar? A pencil? Your phone? Only vegetables? How many pockets will you need?

Once you have that figured out, mark where you would like to form the pockets. In the example shown, the top row has two pockets meant to hold jars, one in the center for snips and a field guide, and a skinny slot meant for a pen or pencil.

Top pocket with vertical stitches to form pockets

Sew from the base of the pocket through the elastic, ensuring you back stitch at the beginning and end for security.

Pleats made at bottom of apron pocket and pinned in place with straight pins

Next pin the bottom pocket piece to the main piece, right side up.

Once again form pleats or gathers until the length of the pocket is flush against the main piece and pin.

Sewing machine sewing pocket in center of bottom of apron

Sew from the bottom of the apron to the top of the elastic for form as many pockets as you’d like.

Elastic inside pocket casings are pinned to the edge of main apron

Then pull the elastic to meet the edge of the main fabric piece and pin them together.

Place the remaining piece (17″ x 24″) on top of the pockets, and align all edges.

Front and back of apron with right sides together and clipped around perimeter with sewing clips

Use sewing clips or straight pins to hold the layers together at the bottom and sides of the apron.

Sewing machine sewing around perimeter of apron with right sides together

Sew the sides and bottom (not the top!) with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Inside out with corner cut off

Trim the corners to remove excess bulk.

Foraging apron turned right side out with top open and unfiinished

Then turn the apron right side out.

Top of apron inserted in open end of strap and clipped in place with sewing clips

Finally, it is time to add the strap. Find the center of the strap by folding it in half.

Then insert the top, open end of the apron into the center opening of the strap, aligning the center of the strap with the center of the apron. Clip or pin it in place.

Sewing machine stitching top of strap to top of apron

Top stitch along the top, bottom and sides of the strap, continuing all the way down the length of the strap.

Completed foraging apron with large elastic pockets upcycled from a drop cloth

Your foraging apron is ready to gather nature’s abundance.

After bringing home your harvest, you might want to make some hanging mesh produce bags to store it in too.

Yield: 1 Apron

Foraging Apron

Woman standing with foraging apron tied around waist, hand in apron pocket.

Follow this tutorial to make a foraging apron for harvesting berries, mushrooms, vegetables and more.

Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $12.00

Materials

Tools

  • Measuring Tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Clips
  • Straight Pins
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Cutting Mat
  • Sewing Machine

Instructions

  1. Cut drop cloth pieces: Main - (2) 17" x 24"; Top Pocket - 10" x 32"; Bottom Pocket - 8" x 32"; Strap - (2) 4" x length of drop cloth
  2. Cut elastic: (2) 22"
  3. Lay strap 1 perpendicular to strap 2 and pin.
  4. Draw line from corner to corner.
  5. Sew across line.
  6. Cut excess fabric to right of seam.
  7. Open and press.
  8. Fold in half lengthwise. Press.
  9. Fold top and bottom to meet center line. Press.
  10. Fold in half lengthwise again. Press.
  11. Set strap aside.
  12. Turn tops of pocket pieces down 1.5". Press.
  13. Sew with 1/4" seam allowance.
  14. Insert elastic through pocket casings.
  15. Pin ends of elastic at each edge.
  16. Place top pocket on main piece 8" from top, wrong side down and upside down.
  17. Align right and left edges.
  18. Pinch and pin pleats until the pocket lays flat.
  19. Sew with 1/4" seam allowance.
  20. Flip pocket right side up.
  21. Top stitch at base.
  22. Mark and sew vertical lines to form pockets.
  23. Place bottom pocket at bottom edge of main piece, right side up.
  24. Align edges and from pleats again. Pin.
  25. Pull elastic to each edge and pin.
  26. Place remaining main piece on top of the pockets with edges aligned.
  27. Pin or clip bottom and sides.
  28. Sew sides and bottom.
  29. Turn right side out.
  30. Insert top of apron into the middle of the strap.
  31. Clip or pin in place with center of apron meeting the center of the strap.
  32. Sew around perimeter of the strap.

    Notes

    The pockets can be adjusted to fit any materials or supplies you choose. Feel free to move them around or add more.

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    Arlene

    Monday 25th of January 2021

    Thank you for posting this pattern and tutorial. I didn’t have canvas cloth, but still was able to fashion a lovely, most useful apron based on this pattern!

    Kathie Lapcevic

    Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

    I am so very glad to hear it!

    Patricia

    Sunday 12th of April 2020

    Love this apron idea. I used to have a similar apron I used when picking up. I would transfer items from one room to another. Can't wait to make this one!

    Sharon Sager

    Monday 6th of April 2020

    I'd like to try this foraging apron project. What size is the drop cloth? (There are several sizes online and at stores, hopefully not too thick. Also, will need to use larger quilting needle, yes? ) When you noted that the drop cloth is almost enough for 2 aprons, how short in material is it so that 2 may be made? Thank you! Best wishes, Sharon

    beginnersewingprojects

    Monday 6th of April 2020

    Hi Sharon! I used a 5'x 5' drop cloth. The next size up, which I think is 6' x 9' will easily make two aprons. My needle was a size 12. Hope that helps! '

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