When pottering in the garden and doing my jobs, I never seemed to have anywhere to hold my stuff. I love listening to podcasts or music and switching off from the real world, but my phone was forever falling out of my pocket and taking my earphones with it! So I decided to make myself a handy half apron just for gardening.

Here’s how I made mine, and you can adjust and customise it: add extra pockets, make the pockets deeper or longer, and tweak them to suit you and whatever you need while outdoors.

What you need

  • Cotton or poly-cotton fabric
  • Iron
  • Measuring tape and ruler
  • Fabric marker or tailor’s chalk
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Method

    For the apron, there are three parts: the body, the pockets and the straps.

    Here are the dimensions I used for mine, but use your measuring tape to gauge how wide and long you would like it:

  • Body (A): 20 in (50 cm) wide x 15 in (38 cm) long.
  • Pocket (B): 16 in (40 cm) wide x 9 in (23 cm) long.
  • Straps (C): 4 in (10 cm) wide x 30 in (76 cm) long. Cut 2 pieces
  • 1 Iron your material before cutting. Using your fabric marker and ruler, draw your measurements for the three pieces onto the fabric, then use your fabric scissors to cut the pieces out.

    2 Begin by making the straps. Fold the right sides (patterned sides) of your strap in half and iron. Straight stitch the side of the strap but leave one of the openings open.

    3 Pull the fabric right side out – a safety pin might help with this part – and iron. Topstitch down both sides of the straps to get a tidy finish.

    4 Now on to the body. Use your iron to fold the raw edge of the fabric back ½ an inch, then fold again to create a hem. Use lots of pins to secure in place if you are a sewing newbie.

    5 Before sewing the hem, tuck your apron straps into the body. Measure how far up you would like your apron strings to be and pin them in place. Double-check that they are equal on both sides.

    6 Tuck the straps into the hem, and then fold it back on itself and secure it with a pin.

    7 Take the body to the machine and topstitch all the way around. When sewing over the straps, you can do a backstitch to give them extra reinforcement.

    \ Catherine Carton

    8 For the pocket, begin by hemming the top of the material. Use your iron to fold the raw edge over, then over again and topstitch on your machine.

    9 Use your iron to fold over the raw edge on the remaining three sides of the pocket. Find the middle of your body and pin the pocket into place. Before stitching around the three sides, check that the pocket is even and in the best position for you.

    10 Topstitch the three sides of the pocket onto the body. To divide up your larger pocket into smaller ones and add sections, do a line of stitching. Measure across and decide how wide you would like the pocket, then do a line of topstitching from the bottom to the top of the pocket. May your seed packets never fly away and your bits and bobs remain in order with your lovely new apron!

    Extract from Dainty Dress Diaries - 50 Beautiful Home-Crafting Activities to Awaken Your Creativity by Catherine Carton, published by The O’Brien Press. RRP €19.99.