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Meet the Maven Maker – Maria Thomas

We get so many amazing Maven Makes sent to us that we want to share even more indepth versions of your makes and story with our community. 

First up we’ve got Maria, a long-time friend of Mrs M and of course, the Maria Apron’s namesake. Maria Thomas is an exhibiting textile artist and lecturer and we bonded on the school run over our love of denim, a love of stitch and a loathing of cooking the tea.

Maria’s work focuses on rehousing everyday objects that have a specific association or meaning to her.  Notions of motherhood, shopping lists, food wrappers and graphic packaging – offering assistance to domestic chores – are carefully sourced, cut out and stitched before being absorbed into the fabric by patchwork and quilting techniques.  Shaping memories and experiences into her own visual language Maria’s work is a response to the events of her daily life.

Maria in her studio wearing her Apron

Do you find yourself reaching for the Maria Wrap a lot? 
Yes. I have two finished aprons that I use a lot, and several half done, waiting for their moment!  The first one I made in a dark-denim chambray fabric, this is my mucky one that I wear for my dye and print classes. The other, I have made in the MM large indigo polka dot fabric and I wear it to give talks or when I’m teaching a less messy workshop like hand embroidery. I love that it’s effortless to wear, its large pockets and there’s no straps to tie.

Maria Exhibiting at The Knitting & Stitching Show

How many have you made so far?

I’ve made around 15 aprons, some to wear and some as part of my textile art.

The Maria Apron was named after you! Why do you think that is?

Mrs M and I met on our local school run, gravitating towards each other through a joint love of fashion & textiles. We spent many a tea time musing over clothing design and avoiding the fish fingers.  So when she announced that the apron was going to be one of her pattern collection I couldn’t have been more enthusiastic and  offered to toile and test the pattern in its early stages, which I did with pleasure.

Any tips for a first-time Maria Apron maker?

Use a mid weight natural fabric like Chambray or  linen. Always wash your fabric first to avoid shrinkage and defiantly toile the pattern in your size first. An old duvet cover is perfect for this, if you haven’t got any calico.

‘Seven Sisters’

How have you personalised your Maven Pattern?

I have edged the straps and hem of my aprons in a self-made bias binding.  Sometimes I appliqué a spoon or denim pocket taken from a pair of jeans to them instead of the original pocket.  I’ve also used the apron pattern in various ways to create  ‘Seven Sisters’, a piece of work inspired by my grandmothers and their sisters, who all wore aprons at one time or another.

No Aprons here, just cheesy grins!

Many thanks to Maria for being our first Maven Maker, and for being a constant source of inspiration and joy!

You can follow Maria on instagram HERE

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#MAVENMAKERS | from Canada to Australia

I was lucky enough to be tagged into an Instagram post that featured our Maria Apron pattern recently.

And I’m grateful to be able to share these beautiful photos with you.

Amanda of My Fabric Heart made this apron for her dear friend Raechelle.  Amanda lives in Canada and Raechelle lives in Australia.

This is the power of fabric and thread quietly crossing continents to bring joy and friendship.

Thank you to Amanda and Raechelle for sharing your apron with me.

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Apron Kits!

I’m so pleased to announce our Apron kits are now available online!

Our Maria Apron kits were very popular at the shows this year and so we have resourced the fabrics and voila – here they are in time for Christmas!

These kits contain everything you need to make your own Maker’s apron and would be a beautiful gift for a lucky Maker friend or a lovely project for you!

We have two kits to choose from, each with enough fabric to make version A of The Maria Apron, along with the paper Maria Apron pattern, interfacing, thread, label & Maven tote bag.

THE APRON KIT – indigo moon

Indigo moon is a beautiful block printed cloth, printed by Artisans in India using traditional techniques and coloured with natural dyes. Because block printed fabrics are printed by hand they will never be perfectly printed in the same way as mass produced and digitally printed cloth is. They have irregularities in their print, making them unique and these should be valued as part of their beauty and charm. You can find the Indigo Moon Kit here.

THE APRON KIT – stripe

Our stripe kit has a lovely soft denim in a denim/ecru colourway with a 2.5cm stripe, giving you the opportunity to make a feature of those large, useful pockets by experimenting with the stripe direction. You can find the stripe kit here.








Included in each kit |

The Maria Apron Paper Pattern

Your chosen cloth – enough for VERSION A

Fusible Interfacing

2 reels of 100m Gutterman sew all thread

Maven label – faux leather & 100% paper

Maven Tote Bag


Click the link below to take you to the Apron Kit listings to view all the details

FABRIC BY THE METRE? Why yes, of course!

Already have the Maria Apron pattern but would like to make a spotty or stripey one?

We are happy to sell the fabric separately by the metre (or parts of a metre) – Indigo Moon is £12 per metre / Stripe is £16 per metre.

Message us via our contact page or send us an email to [email protected]

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The Strap & Facing Tutorial – the Maria Apron

Oh wow! This photo tutorial has turned into a monster tutorial on how to sew the straps and facing for The Maria Apron!

You will need to have followed the instructions included with the pattern so the side seams are closed and neatened, the pockets attached and the facing is made.

Contrast | I have cut the UNDER STRAPS and the FACING in a contrast fabric so it is easier to see in the photos and that’s a good option to consider if you are making an apron in a heavier denim.

Interfacing | The facings are BLOCK FUSED as described in the pattern. I haven’t put any interfacing in any of the straps for the aprons I’ve made to date, and the pattern doesn’t suggest it, but if you are using a lightweight fabric you can BLOCK FUSE the understraps so they have a little more body and are a little more robust.

Abbreviations |

SA | seam allowance         RS | right side      RSU | right side (of fabric/garment) up      RST | right sides together          CB | centre back

Make the straps | 

You will have cut one pair of TOP STRAPS (has a single notch) and a pair of UNDER STRAPS (has a double notch). The under strap is slightly narrower than the top strap so that the seams roll to the underneath and not show on the front and give a professional finish!For each strap: Place one under strap and one top strap with RST and stitch together along the longest seam with a 6mm SA. (it doesn’t really matter if you stitch the other seam first, but do try to be consistent!)
Press the seam flat and then press SA towards the under strap.

Understitch on the under strap, close to the seam line and through all the seam allowances.With RST close the other seam and press flat.Turn the strap through to RS.

Press the seam so that it rolls towards the under strap. I haven’t topstitched this apron as I’m going to do some hand stitching on it later, but if you wish to topstitch your straps now’s the time!

Attach the facing |

With RST pin the facing to the apron body at the armholes only and stitch the seam closed with a 6mm SA.

Press the SA towards the facing and understitch. Gently press the armhole without stretching.

Place the straps |

This bit can be a smidge confusing, so first of all, we will just roughly pin the straps in the correct place and make sure they are not twisted. After, we will go back and pin them in exactly the right place to sew them.

*a little side note | in the booklet instructions I have illustrated the apron RSU, below I’ve photographed it WSU – it doesn’t really matter which way you do it, it’s just to get those straps placed and laying correctly (it would make sense for you to follow one set of diagrams though!). The key point is to ensure they are not twisted and when they are finally being stitched in place the straps and apron are RST.

Lay your apron body on a flat surface and place the straps as in the photo above. Make sure you use the double notches (marked in pink) to get the correct strap to the correct back.Use one pin to hold each strap in place.

Take the strap on the right and pin to the opposing front position.

Repeat for the 2nd strap. At this point, you can check the straps are not twisted and are crossing over at the back.

Sewing the straps |

The important thing to realise when placing the straps ready for sewing is that you have to think about where the final stitchline will be.

I’ve marked in the SA with chalk as it helps to get the strap in exactly the right place – everything needs to meet at those intersecting SA/STITCHLINE points. Because the straps are on an angle it can be tricky to get your head around making everything line up, but all you have to do is to work to the FINISHED STITCHLINE when placing the straps – if you don’t get that point snuggled right up against the facing that’s when you can get a step or a lump.

Back straps |

 Place the straps to the apron with RST (check your notches are still at the same end).Place the strap right next to the facing – make sure it is at the 6mm stitchline point that you are concentrating your effort on (SEE THE RED ARROW ABOVE!). Pin to hold.

The other end of the strap needs to be placed on the point where the 1.5 cm SA/CB line (marked in white) intersects with the 6mm SA / STITCHLINE on the UNDERSTRAP (the red line). (See the RED ARROW again!)

Tip | Unless you have been super accurate with cutting and sewing so far your notches may not exactly match up – that’s OK. Their main purpose was to get the strap placed the right way around, so if they are a little bit out don’t worry – concentrate on placing the end of your strap to the CB line. (If they are a lot out- go back and check against your pattern as you may have stretched the top edge or taken the wrong SA somewhere.)

Pin or machine baste in the SA to hold.

Wrap the facing around the end of the strap, so the SA and stitching will be to the wrong side of the finished apron.Pin the facing to the body.

Front straps |


Take one of the front straps you had temporarily pinned previously, unpin and take the strap around to the front of the apron, so they will be RST.

Place the front straps and apron body RST, slide the strap underneath the facing and keep the facing out of the way! Nestle the front strap right up to the facing at the 6mm SA/stitchline point and pin or machine baste strap in position.Wrap the facing tightly around the strap. Pin, keeping the SA and stitching on the same side as the facing so it will be to the inside of the finished garment. Repeat for the other front strap.

And pin across the front facing.

Stitch & trim the facings |Use a 6mm SA and stitch across the front facing. Trim at each corner to reduce bulk.

Use a 6mm SA and stitch across the top of the back facings. Close the CB seam with a 1.5cm SA. Trim corners to reduce bulk.

Tip | if you are using a heavier fabric and the corners are really thick, you can gently bash them with a hammer to soften. It’s a good idea to sandwich your garment between a layer or two of spare fabric for a bit of protection first!

Now you just need to turn through to the right side and press.

The facings and understrap should not be visible from the front.

Finish the facing! |

While you’re here I may as well show you a picture of the final facing stage!

Once you have pressed your facing, pin through the SA at the underarm so the body side seam is directly on top of the facing side seam. ‘Stitch in the ditch’ of the seam to stop your facing poking out while it’s being worn. I’ve used a contrasting thread but in a matching colour it will completely sink into the groove of the seam and disappear.

Now you should be ready to hem your apron – we have a handy tutorial here!