The folks over at Donkee House have some amazing, authentic coffee bags that can be the starting point for many creative projects including totes and pillows. As part of the unique Exchange Program at Totally Tutorials, I challenged myself to make an apron that anyone could sew. The design is unisex and would be a perfect gift for the coffee lover in your life. What a unique and purely organic apron this is!
The bags are 28″ x 40″. This particular bag has an interesting motif on both sides, so one bag can be used to make two aprons. The burlap coffee sacks/coffee bags have not been laundered. I chose to wash and dry the sack to soften it up a bit and then ironed it.
To make a truly organic statement, I selected this lovely Oasis Organic Cotton as the coordinating lining fabric. Not only does it pick up the beautiful burgundy color of the coffee beans in the motif, but it will be soft for the person wearing the apron.
Supplies to make one apron:
- one coffee bag, washed, dried and ironed.
- 1 1/4 yards fabric for lining, washed and dried
1. Begin by making three strips of fabric. Two of these will become the waist ties and the third will be the next strap. Lay out lining fabric with selvage edge folded together.
2. Cut three strips, each 4″ wide. Shorten one of those strips to 24″ (this will be for the neck strap.)
3. To finish the edge on the two long straps fold in 1/4″ on one short end and press. (The other end will be on the inside of the apron.)
4. Fold strips in half with long edges together and press.
5. Open out strip and fold one long edge to meet the middle and press. Repeat with the other edge so that both raw edges are now folded and meeting at the middle.
6. Fold in half again so raw edges are completely enclosed and press.
7. Top stitch close to folded edge.
8. Cut bag along edges.
9. Mark the center point of the motif. Even out the sides and bottom of bag. In this example, there was 5.25″ to the right of the motif. So I cut off the excess on the left side for an overall size of 23.5″ x 35″.
10. Mark 5.5″ to the left and right of the center point; mark 11.5″ down on the sides.
11. Draw a curve between the two points and cut out that top portion of the apron. (You could also trace an existing apron.)
12. Use the cut out piece as a pattern to make the same cut on the other side.
13. Place lining fabric underneath the bag and cut out.
14. Pin ties to right side of lining, raw edges together. The shorter strip is the neck piece and the longer strips are the waist ties. The ties should be placed one inch from the sides edges.
15. Place right sides together and pin so that the straps are encased on the inside.
16. Sew or serge using a small stitch length and a 1/2″ seam allowance around the perimeter of the apron. Leave a 6″ opening at the bottom. Trim curves and corners being careful not to trim too closely since the weave of the burlap is somewhat loose. Turn apron inside out and press; press the seams of the opening to the inside and pin.
17. Top stitch the entire apron using a fairly small stitch to secure the coffee bag to the lining and reinforce the weave of the burlap.
These are really cute and what a good idea! Will you be selling them in your shop?
I love this, I even have the coffee bags… Thanks for the great tutorial… I have a couple of guy birthdays coming up and they love to BBQ so this will be perfect!!!
French Picnic and PEAR think you are so creative!!
Ooh how cute is that! You should sell this idea to “the big” coffee chain. And your pictures are fantastic
This is so fun, Jane! I’ll be linking it tomorrow!
What a great idea! So original. I love those aprons. You are so creative and talented. I could totally see them for sale in some of the funky little boutiques around here.
Wow- great idea- and bonus if it still smells like coffee!
What a great gift the aprons would be!
Wonderful idea, very original!!!
What a wonderful idea! Awesome!
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GREAT idea! My fiancée and I met in Nicaragua 4 years ago on a trip learning about fair trade coffee. I still have a coffee bag or 2 from the trip that are sitting in the closet, folded and unused. This will be an amazing gift!
Great tutorial. Thanks! How did you was the bags before sewing (many people suggest not to and yours look just fine so I’d be curious to know). Also, did you was the finished aprons (and if so, how did they turn out)?
How did you wash them? Hand or machine? and hang dry or toss in dryer? They look fantastic! Cheers!
I like this very much. Where can I get the bag?
Thanks Beatrice! If you check Etsy for coffee sack bags I think you’ll find a large variety. You might also check local coffee roasters. We have some in Cleveland and they gave me the bags for free! I have also seen them at thrift shops!