Studio Fu: Sew Your Own Denim Apron | Jen Dixon | Skillshare

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Studio Fu: Sew Your Own Denim Apron

teacher avatar Jen Dixon, Abstract & figurative artist, educator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      First Cuts


    • 4.

      Cut the Waist Ties


    • 5.

      Iron & Sew the Bottom and Sides


    • 6.

      Adding the Strap & Ties


    • 7.

      Modifications: Add a Pocket


    • 8.

      Thank you. Let's dance.


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About This Class

For this class, I’ll assume you have basic sewing skills. I’m using a sewing machine in the videos, but you can hand sew your apron instead; it’ll just take a bit longer to finish your project.

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Welcome to Studio Fu: Sew Your Own Denim Apron.

Studio Fu is my take on Kung Fu, which literally means “time spent at skilful work.” Studio Fu classes are short, and will help you make the most of your time, tools, and techniques as an artist.

Today’s class is about taking old jeans and reworking them into a simple and effective studio apron. I’ve been making and using this style of apron in my own studio for years, and they’re also great for kids to wear too.

Check the Project area for what you'll need for class.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jen Dixon

Abstract & figurative artist, educator

Top Teacher

Whether you want to learn new skills or brush up on rusty ones, I would love to help. I have been a selling artist for around 35 years. In my own practice I use pen & ink, pastels, oils, acrylics, and watercolours regularly. My work hangs in private collections around the world.
I love what I do, and I teach what I love. We can do good things together here, so let's get started...

About me:
I'm an Ameri-Brit (dual citizen), living on the North Cornwall coast of the UK. I've been here nearly two decades, but have lived in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Berkshire (UK). I am studying Spanish daily with an aim for becoming bilingual. Hola, artistas.

My work covers everything from graffiti-influenced illustration & mixed media abstracts, to more traditional painti... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Jen Dixon, and this is Studio Fu; sew your own denim apron. Studio Fu is derived from the words Kung Fu, which literally means time spent at skillful work. Studio Fu classes are here to help you make the most of the time you spend in your art space and practice, short classes with easy to implement tips and tricks. In today's Studio Fu, we're making durable studio aprons. Pete, give me your jeans. Okay. Out of old denim jeans. You needn't be an expert at sewing for this, but you should have some basic sewing machine or hand sewing knowledge. I typically just use my sewing machines for straight stitches like when I need to shorten curtains and that basic ability is perfect. The aprons we make will be quick, easy, and durable. I'll show you some modifications you can make if you want to take things a little bit further. I'm not giving those back, am I? With all that said, let's get to the materials list. 2. Materials: for the basic project, you'll need a parable. Jeans, a sewing machine where you can hand so heavy duty needles for your machine. Suitable for denim, a strong thread and bobbin on ironing board and iron fabric, cutting scissors, a long straightedge and something to mark your fabric. 3. First Cuts: A pair of jeans can give you two aprons, one from each leg. Lay out your jeans on a flat surface and cut high up right across under the crotch. Use your straight edge and pencil or pen to give you a nice clean line. Sharp fabric scissors make this job so much easier. These were my mom's treasured sewing scissors. There are two kinds of seams on the legs, an outside leg seam and an in seem. The in seam needs to come out because it will become the next draft of the apron. Open up the leg and carefully cut as close to the bulky in seam as possible. Now finish cutting it free of the rest of the leg fabric. And there you have it. On next strap. The outside seam will now roughly be centered down what will be the front of your apron. 4. Cut the Waist Ties: The finished edge that remains which used to be near your ankle is now the top edge of your apron and will rest across your chest. It's a bit wide now but we'll cut long straps from the sides for tying around the waist and also leave plenty to fold under to sew. Lay your leg out flat and mark a long line, top to bottom with your straight edge allowing a few centimeters width for the strap you're going to cut off. This could be different for everyone because of the style and size of jeans. Repeat this mark for both sides and cut on your lines. In the diagram, that's the red lines. The parts you've now cut off will be what ties the apron around your waist. Even out the bottom edge by folding the apron in half and matching the center seam. You can see I've cut off some uneven fabric and now I'm just going to discard it. 5. Iron & Sew the Bottom and Sides: Fold up the bottom edge a couple of centimeters and press with your iron set to its hottest setting. I am impatient when I sow simple things so we won't be pinning the fabric when we're sowing. So if you take a little extra care ironing a nice flat edge, you'll be fine without pinning. I'm using red thread to help you see my stitches, it's a poly cotton thread and I have a heavy duty needle in my machine, it's suitable for denim. I'm using a simple mid length straight stitch. Always do a little reverse stitching to strengthen the ends of your seams. I'm using the guidelines of the plate on my sewing machine to keep my sewing straight, go slow over bulky bits to help prevent breaking your needle. Here's one of my old aprons laid over the one we're making, we're simply folding the sides over and sowing just like we did on the bottom edge. You only need to give yourself enough to sew, press both sides. If you're seeing is not centered down the front of your apron that's fine, the cut of the jeans style is probably to blame minus slightly off center just for that reason. Here I'm cutting off a bulky bit that I can tell would be uneven, this is very much a non-technical goal with the flow project. Here I snipped off the other side before sewing it, and that's it bottom insides are sown. 6. Adding the Strap & Ties: Our final step in the basic apron is to add the neck strap and waist ties. Place the neck strap around your neck and raise the apron front to your chest. Adjust it until it feels right and you can still get it over your head easily. Mark the position of the neck strap. I've also marked where I like the strap placement on the top edge of the apron. This is thick stuff, so sew slowly and make a few passes for durability. I like to rotate on the needle to sew a line at an angle from my straps. Repeat for the other side. Now it's time to add the waist straps. Put on the apron and decide what feels best for you and mark the position on one side. Take off the apron, lay it flat, folding half long ways, and repeat the position marks. I leave the finished ends of the ties out and fold over and sew the raw ends onto the apron itself. Just like with the neck strap a few passes of stitches will do. Repeat for the other side. Now you're done with your basic apron. Here's my new apron and one of my old ones, which has served me very well for years. I also have several aprons for student use in my studio, so simple and handy. Don't forget you've got a whole another leg that you can make a second apron. 7. Modifications: Add a Pocket: Adding the pocket is easy-peasy. You'll need the top part of the jeans and a seam reaper. Remove the pocket a few stitches at a time. I'm using a utility knife to carefully cut through the reinforced stitches at the top of the pocket. You may need to work at ripping from both sides. Once you get a bunch of stitches out, you might be able to tear the pocket loose. This is highly satisfying. Remove the leftover thread. Use a couple of safety pins to tack the pocket into place. Sew along the lines from the previous stitching. I think the sewing sounds really cute when I speed up the footage. That's all there is to it. You can also use other things for the waist ties like ribbon or cotton webbing. It's really up to you. If you make innovative modifications, be sure to tell us about them in the project section. I can't wait to see your aprons. 8. Thank you. Let's dance.: