What a world to be part of when the garden produces such abundance that one can scarcely attempt to carry it all by hand. Many of us like the romance of heading out to the garden with a harvest basket and a heart full of hopes. However, for those of us prepared and practical about the situation, few things accommodate a harvest so efficiently as a harvest apron.
In addition, to be a great place to put half a dozen yellow squashes, a quart’s jar worth of pickling cucumbers, and enough tomatoes for a plateful of thick, juicy slices, harvest aprons double as tool belts. They are great for tucking a pair of scissors in, hiding a little ball of twine for tying up those tomato plants, and a cloth for wiping soil-encrusted fingers.
Wear a harvest apron out to the garden once, and it’s hard to not make it the status quo. With that in mind, here’s how to put one together.
The Full-On Homespun Harvest Apron
It’s easy to make a harvest apron from repurposed materials. Cloth from old bedsheets, pillowcases or table clothes will do serve well for the bulk of the project. A couple of 30-by-30-inch pieces of cloth will be sufficient for most people. There will also need to be pieces, about 8 inches wide, that can wrap around the waist and tie. For stitching these sections of cloth together, it’s easy to find some old thread or a sewing kit at the local thrift store or via eBay. And, keep an eye out for an old button somewhere.
With the materials gathered, stitch the two squares of cloth together on three sides. Next, sew the strip of cloth along the remaining, top side of the square to act as the apron belt. Then, leaving about a one-inch seam at the bottom of the apron, cut and sew a small buttonhole at the center and install a button at the center (below your navel) to hook the bottom of the apron onto when it’s time to harvest. This creates a handy pocket for carrying fresh produce in for dinner.
A second, button-free option would be to put a drawstring at the bottom of the apron, with the pull centered. When flipped upward, this will create a gathered pocket for gathering fruit and veg in the garden. Add a loop just below the waistband so the drawstrings can be tied on so both hands are free for harvesting.
The Easy-Does-It Repurposing Method
Source: Mama on the Homestead/YouTube
For those of us not so into sewing, the good news is that a dandy harvest apron can be fashioned out of an old chef’s apron, such as the one that’s been hanging unused next to the barbecue pit for the last three years. Or, again, it’s easy enough to find a used kitchen apron in a thrift shop or on Facebook Marketplace. The type that loop around the neck and tie around the waist will add strength.
With the apron in hand, it’s just a matter of performing the final steps of the hand-sewn version above. Cut and sew buttonhole centered about one inch from the bottom hem of the apron, and install a corresponding button for that hole to affix to. The unbuttoned apron will perform admirably for keeping clothes clean whilst gardening, and when buttoned, the apron will have a handy pocket for stowing away sizable harvests.
A second, no-sew option would be to use two lengths of twine. These should be tied around the two bottom corners of the apron, leaving a short, roughly foot-long piece of twine dangling. Then, at their corresponding hips, these bits of twine can be tied to the string used to tie the apron around the waist to create a perfect pocket for putting produce.
Source: Roo Apron/YouTube
Once the harvest apron basics are in place, it might be fun to add those personal touches that make it perfect for you. That might mean sewing a pocket to hold pruning shears or a pair of gardening gloves. It could be a little loop to hold a trowel. We all have our own habits and needs in the garden, and a good harvest apron will account for a lot of them.
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