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Do Aprons Need Pockets?


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#1 maggiethecat

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 07:21 PM

I'm going through a personal crap patch and today I thought I'd go to two of my happy places -- sewing aprons and Martha Stewart, my big sister. Back in 1995, in the Good Things section of her mag, Martha had a great idea about making an apron from two tea towels, or dish towels as they're better known in the USA. I headed out to TJ Maxx and blew twenty bucks on tea towels, or what you gringos and Martha call dish towels.

Great project.

Half an hour, maybe. I see room for improvement in small ways. But this design would be easier and more elegant without forming the pockets.

So tell, me, apron afficionadaos -- do you ever use an apron pocket -- unless, of course, you're a waiter. Waiters need pockets

Margaret McArthur

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#2 snowangel

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 08:07 PM

I've never had an apron with a pocket, but I'd sure like to see more of your apron (even a better description of the method) using tea towels. I just inherited like a bazillion of them...

Edited to add: One thing about pockets is you have to remember to empty them before you pitch the item in the washer.
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#3 Holly Moore

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 08:23 PM

There was a time in fast food restaurants when aprons not only did not have pockets, aprons were required uniforms for those working the counter because they covered up the front pockets in the employee's trousers making it harder to "pocket" some money.
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#4 Pontormo

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 09:10 PM

Aprons need pockets when you have a bad cold and there are no other convenient places to put your Kleenex. However, a waistband will do.

The most useful pocket I ever had was on an apron from Ulster Weavers, Suppliers of Kitchen Textiles By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen. Favorite for a while. Wore and washed the thing so much that the central seam required mending. Cut a patch from the fabric behind one of the pockets to make a patch. Can't say I ever used the pockets, but one conceals the frayed hole.

Pockets add visual interest, I suppose, but unless you're doing the whole rickrack (talk about dredging up vocabulary!), ruffles and braid thing, why bother? There is something to be said for simple, clean lines.
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#5 KarenDW

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 01:35 AM

Yes to pockets if you like to "document" your recipes. Where else will you keep your paper & pen. Also Yes if you have "technology"... cell phone, palm pilot, iPod, etc.
No to pockets if you are a bit lax in the laundry department.
Personally, I love pockets.
Karen Dar Woon

#6 Kerry Beal

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 04:57 AM

Never found I needed or used a pocket in an apron. More important I find is to have a tie that is long enough to bring back around to the front so I can hang a tea towel/dish towel from it when I'm working with chocolate and need easy access to a hand wiper.

I suppose you could hang the towel from the right kind of pocket, but it would have to be at just the right height and in just the right place.

#7 annecros

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 06:54 AM

I won't buy pants or skirts without pockets. Pockets are vital. I need them, for something...

#8 Dave the Cook

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 08:06 AM

Two pockets: one for a thermometer; one for a Sharpie (if there's not one right at hand, whatever unlucky item I'm putting in the freezer won't get named and dated).

More than pockets, though, I need an apron that will put itself on me, lest I ruin yet another shirt in my haste to make dinner. Does Martha have a pattern for that?

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#9 shellfishfiend

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 09:35 AM

The only things I buy that must have pockets are coats/jackets. I am horrible at remembering to check pockets prior to doing the wash.

I might like a loop to run a dishtowel thru, but I don't need pockets.
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#10 sparrowgrass

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 10:17 AM

Maggie, send me one with pockets and one without. I will report back. :biggrin:

I use an apron from time to time, and have never felt a need for a pocket. I am in the kitchen--the pens and paper and thermometers are in the mason jar on the counter when I need them.

I do like the idea of a loop for a clean towel to hang on.
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#11 judiu

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 11:50 AM

Maggie, EVERYTHING needs pockets! Where else are you going to stash the cigarettes, lighter, matches for the candles, spare spoon for tasting, etc., etc.! Gotta have 'em, babe! :laugh:
Sorry to hear about your "down" days. I hope this at least gave you a chuckle!

ETA: What I need is an apron big enough to fit me, and cover various large protruberances.... They tend to gather spills, as i"m sure other amply upholstered cooks have noticed :laugh:

Edited by judiu, 05 August 2007 - 11:53 AM.

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#12 Eden

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 12:49 PM

ETA: What I need is an apron big enough to fit me, and cover various large protruberances.... They tend to gather spills, as i"m sure other amply upholstered cooks have noticed :laugh:

Yes! as a well endowed cook I really want an apron that gives reasonable coverage up top...
Also I prefer aprons that wrap around generously, because somehow whenever I bake I end up with flour on my backside :blink:

Pockets are a must.
When I cook at home they are for thermometers tasting spoons, and the pair of earrings I left in the kitchen yesterday for god knows what reason.
When I do big cooking events they are for my kitchen schedule, masking tape, more thermometers, bandaids, pot holders, pens and so forth.

And yes, loops for side towels would be nice too.
Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

#13 Smithy

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 01:49 PM

I've never even thought about pockets in an apron! Yet, looking at that Donna Reed link, I remember I used to see pockets on neighbors' aprons. (In our house, the aprons were strictly below-the-waist affairs, and I don't recall any pockets in them, though they did have rickrack.) Rickrack-trimmed aprons: now that takes me back. My aprons have more coverage but no towel loops or pockets. Pens etc. go in the Mason jar on the counter; towels lie on the counter or loop through the oven handle.

Add me to the list of those who want to see your design, Maggie. And if it makes you feel any better, please accept my admiration for the phrase "personal crap patch". I plan to stuff it into my stock of fine phrases (right along with Fifi's "one-butt kitchen") and make it my own. Sorry you had reason to invent the term.

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#14 maggiethecat

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 01:50 PM

Here's the link to the tea towel apron project.

Tea Towel Apron

I'm with you Kerry, about wrap-around apron ties. One of my other apron projects (a copy of a cook's apron I got at an army surplus place) has super-long ties, no pocket, and I love it. No need for a towel loop, either. A vintage pattern I own (rickrack and pockets, yes) has a button sewn on at the waist and instructions for putting a buttonhole on a side towel.

I don't own a cell phone, but I can see that a pocket would be helpful if I did.

Eden, another of my retro apron patterns brags that each one can be made from a yard of fabric. Skimpy skimpy skimpy.

Dave: Just do it. Really. Or buy Martha's Homekeeping Handbook, which will provide many Good Ways to remove stains and grease.

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#15 Priscilla

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 02:13 PM

That is a wonderful, typically Martha apron idea. Maggie, as you know, sewing, like rock & roll, can save a person's life.

I don't know if pockets are necessary for an apron, but what an ingenious way to get 'em in there if one wants them. I guess I might use a pocket if I had one to carry around a timer, esp. now that I finally and completely destroyed my clip-on one, but my new timer is a giant Lego minifig head and would need too big a pocket.

One could sew the towels together with the overage from the vertical top lapping over the lower horizontal one rather than under, particularly if there is a border there to exploit. I'm all about exploiting borders. Kind of a pinafore effect... could even be ruched a little if one liked that sort of thing. Run the coordinating twill tape right across and extending into ties, and Bob's yer uncle.

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#16 maggiethecat

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 02:20 PM

One could sew the towels together with the overage from the vertical top lapping over the lower horizontal one rather than under


Brilliant, Miss P! (And though this apron requires very little in the way of sewing skills, it would make the project even easier.) I've got lots of new tea towels to play with -- some with borders -- and the MarkII will definitely have longer waist ties, grosgrain ribbon rather than twill tape, and no pockets.

Hmmm, no. I just laid MarkII out on the sofa , and Priscilla's suggestion will make those pockets easier.

Margaret McArthur

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#17 Toliver

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 09:52 AM

Better to have pockets and not use them than to need pockets and not have them.

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#18 Preserver

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 10:06 AM

i would vote yes and no for pockets on your apron. if it's the full apron i would say no to pockets on the lower region of the apron, but yes to smaller pockets higher up by the chest for therm's and sharpies. i find that pockets on the lower region hamper my movements and i would crush my therms and what have not on the edge of the table. i hang my hand towel on the tie that comes around from the back.