Marnie corset apron

I’ve had a lovely time this week making a couple of Marnie corset aprons, which is the first pattern from Pattern Union patterns.


I have been watching the evolution of this pattern with interest as it has a lot of appeal for me. I really dislike having aprons hanging off my neck, especially in the summer, and this apron, of course holds itself up! DSC01306

You can just tell in the photo above that it’s quite shaped over the bust and that’s because it has boning under that bias binding. Now, in case this puts you off, because now you’ve got to go and find boning, just relax and pay a visit to your local hardware store and buy some cable ties. That’s what I used in this apron as one of the designer’s suggestions, and I found mine in the garage, so bonus as someone else paid for them! I just cut the knobby bit off, slid the tie into the space and trimmed it to length. I then laid the bust over my ham and shaped it with steam from the iron. Worked a treat!

Mark did take a couple of the ties into the garage and made them body shaped with a heat gun, which worked brilliantly too, but truly too much faffing around.

The pattern is beautifully crafted as Sarah, the designer behind Pattern Union, is a professional pattern maker. It is designed so that there are no raw edges anywhere and can be completely made on a vintage straight stitch machine if that’s your thing. The front panel is attached to the sides wrong sides together and then covered in bias binding. This means that the inside of the apron is clean and neat. The little double row of stitching you can see halfway down my seams is where the boning stops.


The pattern is layered so that you only need to print the size/s you need. This is my number one favourite thing and I notice that quite a few designers are doing it now, and it makes so much sense. The pattern also comes with two optional pages to print, and these form the front and back of the pattern envelope. This is a really nice feature and it means that I can see at a glance how much fabric and bias binding I need. It also looks really nice in the pattern stash.

It is a fairly easy sew, but I love the way the pocket is attached, which is really clever.  You can see on the pattern that there is only one pocket, but I did two as I had the fabric doubled over and it was easier to cut two than one.

The bias binding came from a combination of my friend Leonie’s mother’s stash and my mother’s stash. They are identical in colour and 100% cotton, which I love. There is a lot of bias binding in this make and I really got quite good at using it.

The back is just finished with a simple bow


I used some fabric out of my scrap bin. It was quite a big piece of scrap, but this apron would be lovely colour blocked or with contrasting pockets. DSC01312

This pattern is 50% off for the whole of September, which makes it a bit of a bargain, and would make a wonderful gift for a friend or family member. I have a few planned.

An interesting aside – did you know that the word “apron” used to be “napron” and actually originated from the words for tablecloth and map?  Apparently when people said “a napron”, it was heard as “an apron” and so the word was rebracketed. There is a fascinating discussion of this and similar words on this website.


24 thoughts on “Marnie corset apron

  1. How interesting! In French the word “napperon” is a placemat. It’s a diminutive of the word “nappe” which is a tablecloth. I love that your apron is derived from our napperon! Plus, the fabric you’ve chosen is very appropriate with these Paris iconic monuments. What an original pattern Sarah has produced! It reminds me of a maid apron, often seen in white cotton over a black dress, like in Downton Abbey.

    1. I know, I think that language is so fascinating, and yes, the French fabric was purely coincidental. I agree about it looking like a French maid’s apron. I think they pinned their aprons on to the dresses though.

  2. Lovely bit of trivia there about the origins of the word apron! And who knew cable ties can be used as boning using the steam iron!! So clever!! I love a bit of engineering-meets-sewing craftiness! It looks incredibly cute on you! And the bow at the back is just 👌🏻
    Despite stash diving the fabric and bias binding look a perfect choice for this apron. Perfect perfection xxxx 😘

    1. That you Miriam, I know that the regular boning you buy in the shops has quite sharp edges and is hard to cut, whereas cable ties are just so easy.

  3. Very different. I like yours but am unlikely to make one – I’m afraid I’m one of those people who just get grubby 😉

  4. That‘s a lovely idea of an apron. Thank you for the etymologic explanation. I have bought the pattern immediately. The ties as boning are genius. I only wonder how this will be washed? Don‘t the ties brake or cut the fabric?

    1. I don’t think the ties can break – they are quite strong plastic and they don’t seem to cut the fabric. I had to wash mine as my iron spat on it and it seemed to handle it pretty well.

    1. I agree! The pattern does talk a little bit about the different types but it is a neat way to encase boning if you ever wanted to add it to something

  5. How original! i’m really not an apron (a napron) wearer usually, but i find myself tempted trying this one. Using cable ties as boning is a great tip, I’m usually avoiding patterns that need boning, because I don’t feel like getting out and buying boning, so thank you! 🙂 your version is lovely by the way, the fabric choice is just perfect 🙂

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