I have two plain aprons in cute prints that my husband bought for me at a church bazaar in rural Virginia. I use them quite a bit, and I decided to take the pattern from them and make some new ones. Making an apron was one of the first projects we made in my first junior high sewing class. The basic form can be varied in zillions of creative ways to make cute and useful aprons. You can change the shape of the pockets, band and hem, add trims, and use a variety of needlework techniques to decorate them.
Here’s my first notes on the measurements of the Virginia church apron. The band is cut 16 1/4 x 5 1/4. There are 5/8″ seams allowed all around. Of course, you can make the band longer to fit your own width. The finished band measures 2″ wide since it is folded in half like the waistband of a skirt, and the tucked ends of the ties are inserted into the end of the band before the ends are sewn shut. The ties are narrow hemmed all around except for the ends that will be tucked into the band. The pocket is turned under 1/4 inch at the top, then folded down 1″ and stitched to make the top hem. The edges of the pocket are turned under 5/8″ on the sides and bottom. The sides of the apron body are turned under with narrow hems (1/4″ fold, then another 1/4″ fold) and the bottom has a 2″ hem (turn under 1/4″, then turn under 2″ and stitch down).
The Singer Company produced an excellent little book in 1959 called Sewing Is Fun by Edith Paul (which is available at http://www.alibris.com for practically nothing) that has a well-illustrated chapter on sewing a simple apron. My cute little copy was purchased through the school book program when I was about 9 years old and is an abridgement, but is full of cute projects. The illustration of the apron above is from this book.
Sometimes after you have made lots of complicated projects with cuffs and plackets and other finicky sewing techniques, it is fun to make a quick project with mostly straight seams that is attractive and very useful.