When we recieved our first issue (free sample) of Mary Jane's Farm magazine I had to make the free apron pattern that it included. This apron is a curved darted apron with a large flounce around the bottom that tapers at the sides. The waist band is sculpted and the pattern includes two pocket options: a regular curved square and a full waist-to-flounce pocket. In the magazine it suggest using vintage table clothes and working with the details to create decoration. A lovely idea if you have old stained table cloths that can be salvaged for the project. I was able to pick up some delicate feminine specialty cottons from our local Joann Fabrics that I thought fit the pattern quite well.
The first step in this pattern was the hardest, it was to enlarge the pattern in the magazine by 400% ( it comes on a 1/4" grid). If you attempt to make this pattern save yourself a lot of trouble and have it enlarged at a copy shop. I had some 1" gridded pellon that I used to carefully copy the pattern. It came out perfect - two hours later. So I was rolling my eyes at the comment in the magazine "I used freezer paper and drew a 1" grid and just re-drew the 1/4" squares on the pattern. It went fast and I enjoyed it!" Another commenter said it only cost her $0.87 at Office Depot, so you won't save a lot by doing it at home.
The instructions were pretty straight forward, but not as detailed as most patterns. As an experienced sewer I was able follow it and make adjustments as needed, a beginner would probably need some help. Two places where I made adjustments to the pattern were adding a triangle to the pockets and joining the ties to the waist band with no top stitching (using the method that most commercial apron patterns give). Another adjustment I would make is finishing the edges where the flounce meets the body either by serging or French seam.
Over all I thought the pattern was simple and left a lot of room for creativity. I was delighted with the finished product and would consider making again. The flounce adds such a feminine touch and makes it a lot of fun to wear. I think it a great garden and outdoor apron, though you may want a more sturdy fabric than what I choose. Just be careful not to get a hand wash or dry clean only fabric. If you are interested it obtaining this pattern it is the current issue of Mary Jane's Farm (vol. 7 no.4 May-July). You can also purchase the printed pattern from Mary Jane's Farm for $8 (you still have to enlarge it yourself). I believe it may also be in her special stitchery issue Artists in Aprons which includes five apron patterns and only cost $10.99.
Also check out her free "Make-Do" apron pattern.