Pattern for 1940’s Wrap Around Apron.


I don’t know what it is but recently I have had a penchant for Norah Batty style wrap-around 1940s aprons. I strangely want to galavant around my kitchen looking like a dinner lady from my childhood and fling batter up the walls and make big trays of food that would probably have people running in the opposite direction shrieking “Oh no, not more cabbage…”. I think it is some sort of mid-life crisis that has deviated in completely the opposite direction.


I’ve been spending quite some time looking on the internet to see if anyone sells BIG SIZES in this apron style for my budget which is £15 or less. Even if I was wealthy, out of principle I wouldn’t pay more. I’ve been unable to find one big enough and cheap enough…

BUT I’ve found a pattern online which goes up to a 46″ bust which maybe, just maybe, after a week or two of copious amounts of 1940s vegetable stews, I might be able to squeeze into.


The temptation has been too great. Even though I can’t sew I will teach myself. Richard bought me a book on sewing for my birthday…one of those books with lots of pictures and step by step instructions ideal for beginners like me AND I did buy myself a sewing machine several months ago and recently bought a table for it off GUMTREE for £10. I have no excuse to get stuck right in…

So I’ve bought the paper pattern for £6.99 and the next day off I have once the pattern arrives from eBay, I’ll make a start.

Here is the link to the pattern on eBay if you are interested!


PS Thanks who all who joined in the discussion on wrap around aprons on Facebook the other day!

Looking for a vintage style Norah Batty type wrap around pinny in a size 22/24. Been looking online for one that is £15…

Posted by 1940sExperiment on Saturday, 16 January 2016


PPS: On an apron theme, I woke up at 3am last night and watched these two videos about making a simple apron from a tea towel and thought they were FAB!

13 thoughts on “Pattern for 1940’s Wrap Around Apron.

  1. Wish I was closer. I would love to teach you how to sew. To adjust the pattern to fit your chest size you can add to the pattern at the side seams and front seams. Probably want to leave the neck and shoulder seams as is, because no one’s neck and shoulders grow a quarter-of-an-inch as their chest size goes up. Have Richard measure you across the back between your shoulder blades you might get to add a little to the center back seam. Looks like princess seams so that means you can do some adjusting to prevent gaposis at the armhole. If not just put a dart in the armhole to tighten it up.

    Good Luck!

  2. Congrats on the sewing machine and the pattern. It helps to start our with something small. Have you thought of doing a half apron, tie-in-back, first. Pillows,too, are quick and help get you used to your machine. I sew a lot and sew from vintage patterns. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask 🙂 Best of luck with the wrap-around apron!

    ~ Tam Francis ~

  3. Hi Carolyn,
    If you need any help, let me know. My Wife is a seamstress (Well actually, a time served Tailor). She made me my Henry VIII, Adam Ant, and Georgian costumes. I am certain she will be able to give you some clues. We also have a large array of material bequeathed from my mum from the 60’s 70’s, as well as umpteen 50’s 60’s and 70’s patterns (some opened, most not)

  4. I love Nora too and I’ve been thinking about making an apron, but I had denim in mind for dealing with hot stuff. Then again Nora’s looks so comfortable. hmmm

    On Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 2:28 PM, The 1940s Experiment wrote:

    > Carolyn posted: ” I don’t know what it is but recently I have had a > penchant for Norah Batty style wrap-around 1940s aprons. I strangely want > to galavant around my kitchen looking like a dinner lady from my childhood > and fling batter up the walls and make big trays of ” >

  5. Hey, I wanted to add a comment about the measurements that Jenny gave for that tea towel apron. Those measurements will only work for someone who is not as well endowed as you and I. You want to make sure the apron top covers all of your bosom plus a inch or two on each side or the apron will shuffle over and cover just one. I had to make an apron for work so I could get one that fit my chest.

    • That’s what I was thinking! I imagined my boozies flopping out either side! I see even giant tea towels are literally 20 inches across on the short end that’s all! By the time you fold in the sides to create the bit for the strings you’ve got a whole lot of generously endowed womanhood making an appearance! xxx

  6. My granny, mum & aunties all wore this style of pinny over there normal clothes (with an ordinary style waist & bib apron over the top in a heavier material like canvas for laundry day) &, as all the women in our family are ‘busty’, it was a necessity to have a roomy pattern.

    The pattern they used was a newspaper one that granny made, then, when it was tatty she would make a new newspaper one then eventually progressed to brown parcel paper. They all made their own pinnies as none of them could afford to buy one. We were all inclined to go to jumble sales and buy outsized clothing, pick them apart, re-cut and assemble most of our clothing that way. I have a couple of snaps tken of myself wearing a coat, pixie hat & little handbag my mum made that way. It was denim blue wool & was a cut down from a ladies swing coat that had been bought at a jumble sale, black & white snaps but I dearly loved that little blue wool outfit.

    I had one auntie (Mary, the eldest sister) who ripped down knitted items, clean up the wool & re-knitted for her kids and we three siblings. She could make it all up in her head and didn’t need a pattern at all.

    When we moved house & I started a new primary school at aged 9 it was time to learn to sew (for girls only in the sexist 1960’s) it was a joke to me as I had been sewing before I could reach the pedals, my brother pumped the foot dedal for me when I helped mum earna few bob altering clothing for neighbours. The teacher asked us to follow a drawn line on paper (without thread) to help us sew a straight line. She was amazed when I even managed to start the machine revolving to start the needle never mind the straight line ! I admitted that her machine was a replica of what I used at home & that I had been sewing since about the age of 5. A very smug moment for me at that age, I was the class hero for a day.

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