August 19, 2014

apron tutorial

Do you guys remember this fabric? It's the same Spoonflower fabric I used in the oven mitt tutorial. Somehow I ended up getting double the fabric that I originally needed (it's a long story that I won't bore you with). Upon learning about the excess fabric, Heather immediately requested I make her an apron to match her oven mitt. 

Aprons are one of my favorite things to sew. I've made quite a few different versions over the years, & this tutorial I'm sharing with you today is a culmination of all of my past efforts & successes. This is a great sewing project for those of you who have tried your hand at sewing & are looking for something a bit harder than a pillowcase or a set of curtains. Plus it's fantastic as a homemade gift. 

One of the reasons I like making aprons so much is because they're totally customizable. The fabric combinations obviously lend themselves to variety, but you can also change up the trim (use ruffles or lace instead of bias tape) & the pockets (can be made in any size or shape!). To jazz this apron up, I put a patch on one of the pockets. 

Also, as a side note - yes, that's me in the pictures even though this is Heather's new apron. She's just such a whizz with that camera of hers I figured I'd better let her handle the pictures. 

To make an apron, you'll need:

  • 1 yard of patterned fabric (I'm using the leftover fabric from my oven mitt tutorial)
  • 1 yard solid-colored fabric
  • 6 yards double-fold bias tape (important - keep 3 yards uncut)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine & notions (not pictured)
  • Iron & ironing board (not pictured)
  • Apron for reference (not pictured)

Instead of using a pattern, I used an existing apron as a reference. Place your reference apron on your patterned fabric, & pin in place. Cut out the shape of the reference apron, leaving 1/2" on all sides for the hemline. After your shape is cut, place the patterned fabric shape on your solid-colored fabric & cut a duplicate shape. Lay the solid-colored shape aside.

Now you'll cut the pocket. Cut a piece of fabric as long as your apron is wide, & twice as tall as your pockets are deep (for example - my apron is 27" wide, & I wanted pockets that were 8" deep. I cut my fabric 27x16"). Fold your fabric in half to form the pocket shape.

Pin bias tape along the raw edges of your pocket. This is the point where I added a patch to the pocket. Using a straight stitch, sew the bias tape onto your apron. The bias tape edge is the top of your pocket.

Pin your pocket in place on the patterned fabric shape. The placement will depend on the length of your arms. I put mine starting about 17" from the top. Sew along the sides & the bottom of the pocket.

You'll also want to mark your pocket dividers with pins. To create three pockets, sew a vertical line at the 1/3rd & 2/3rd mark of the pocket (for instance - my pocket is 27" wide, so my 1/3 & 2/3 marks were at 9 & 18"). 

With your patterned-fabric shape right side up, lay your solid-colored fabric on top & pin both pieces together. Using a straight stitch, sew both pieces together on all sides, but leave a gap at the bottom. When you've finished sewing, turn your apron right-side out through the gap.

Take your apron to the ironing board, & iron your seams flat. Don't skip this step, it is important!! 

Finish off the gap at the bottom by sewing it shut with a straight stitch, turning the hem inwards as you sew.

Pin strips of bias tape to the bottom & top of your apron. Cut your bottom strip about an inch longer than the width of your apron, & fold the ends inward so they lie flush with the side of the apron. This is not necessary for the top as you will be covering it in the next step. Sew with a straight stitch along both sections of bias tape.

Now to attach the neck strap & back ties. Use your uncut 3 yard piece of bias tape for this step. Fold the bias tape in half. This halfway point (or the point at 4 1/2') is what will sit at the nape of your neck when wearing the apron. Pin the bias tape 10" down from each side of the halfway point to the top of your apron. Pin the bias tape down the sides of the apron until they reach the (for lack of a better term) "armpit place," & let the rest of the bias tape hang free.

Now you are going to sew the entirety of the bias tape, starting at one end, & ending at the other. Where the bias tape hangs free (on the back ties & the neck strap), sew along the open end of the bias tape. Where the bias tape is pinned to the apron, sew through the bias tape & the apron, securing it in place. 

Whew! Done! 

This was so much fun to make. What's your favorite handmade gift to give?


P.s. Thanks for the shoutout, Spoonflower!

Related // Make matching oven mitts, or if you're new to sewing, learn about some basic tools.  


  1. Oh my god! You made a Tegan and Sara apron! It's Tegan and Sara, right? Wow, this is brilliant! I came here to look at a apron tutorial that looked good (I got one for Christmas last year, but I'd still love to make one for myself) and I did a double take when I noticed the faces on the apron.
    I have to admit, I haven't been listening to them much for two years now, but they used to be one of my favourite bands.

    Either way, your tutorial looks great and I'll try to do this awesome tutorial soon. (Also the oven mitten one, because hey, why not?).

    I'll go and raid your blog now. Thanks a lot for sharing! :D

    1. Ding ding ding! You're right - that's Tegan & Sara! They're my gf's favorite band. Hope the tutorial helps you make one of your own!

  2. I just picked up some fantastic fabric from a thrift shop that will be perfect for this! I still want a super frilly one for over my circle skirts, but this might be my new go to.

  3. when adding the bias tape to the front pocket piece, do you only add it to the front part of the pocket, or do you add it to both front part and the back part that is also attached to the apron itself?

    1. Hi Amy! Yes - the bias tape is sewn to the pocket only. Use bias tape that can fold over the front and back raw edge of the pocket. That will cover the raw edge and keep the pocket from fraying. My apologies, the wording is a little fuddled in that part of the tutorial. Happy sewing!

  4. Hi and thank you very much for sharing the how-to of this beautiful apron! 😎🌸