One of the sewing projects I’ve had on my “to make” list has been a sewing an apron for myself. I wear an apron daily when I’m cooking and usually keep on while I eat too because let’s be real, life is messy these days. I wear it to protect my clothing because I’m often wearing something I’ve made and after putting so much time and energy into creating a garment, I want to protect it from splatters and stains.
This past weekend I finally carved out a little time to sew myself an apron. After cutting the fabric for mine I decided to also make June a matching apron too. If you’re new to sewing, aprons are a great project to start with because you don’t need to know any fancy skills to complete the project. And they sew up rather quickly—I made both aprons while June was napping. Win, win!
While I didn’t follow a tutorial, I did use an apron I’ve had for years as a reference point for both the pattern shape and construction. I figured since the apron was very worn (and well loved), no sense in reinventing the wheel. Below you will find the pattern I created and the general steps for assembling it. If you’re making an apron for yourself or your child, you might need to tweak the length of the neck strap and/or side ties to get the best fit but I hope this serves as a helpful guide as you sew.
1 yard of heavy weight woven fabric at least 44″ wide, such as a cotton canvas or heavy linen cotton (I’m using linen cotton from Nerida Hansen, the amazing print is by Myriam Van Neste and is now avaiable in her Spoonflower shop)
Double fold bias tape, 1/2″wide for toddler apron and 1″ wide for adult apron
OR 1″ wide cotton twill tape
Iron and ironing board
Fold the curved sides in 1/4″ to the wrong side and press. Fold again and stitch, about 1/8″ from the folded edge. Repeat with the top hem. Next, repeat with the bottom hem and lastly repeat with the left and right sides.
Stitch across the entire length of the double-fold bias tape. Use thread the same color as the bias tape and you can use a straight stitch or a decorative stitch to do this. I used a scalloped stitched. Skip this sewing step if you are using twill tape.
Cut the stitched bias tape in the following sizes:
Toddler apron: (1) 4″ for the left neck strap, (1) 20″ for the adjustable strap, (2) 25″ pieces for the side tides
Adult apron: (1) 5″ for the left neck strap, (1) 30″ for the adjustable strap, (2) 30-36″ pieces for the side tides
Optional: apply Fray Check to the raw edges of the bias tape to prevent fraying and finish the edges. Always test the Fray Check on your fabric or bias tape first to see if it stains.
Attach the adjustable neck straps to the apron. I looped the short 4″- 5″ piece of bias tape through one of the metal slider buckles and placed it against the top left edge of the apron with the unfinished edges about 1″ below the top seam. I used a box stitch to sew it in place.
Then I threaded the longer piece of bias tape through the other end of the same slider buckle and then through the second metal slider buckle as shown in the photo above. After threading both neck straps through the buckles adjust the length and then sew the short end of the buckle on the right side in place. Once done, use a box stitch to attach the raw edge of the bias tape to the top right side of the apron.
Attach the side ties. Use a box stitch to attach the side ties to either side of the apron. Try on the apron to test the fit and trim the straps to the desired length. Finish the raw edges with Fray Check or by folding the end in 1/4″ twice and sewing in place.
Add an optional pocket to the front of the apron. Cut a piece of fabric 6″ x 8″. Press the top edge down 1/4″ and edge stitch along the top edge. Fold the bottom, left, and right sides in 1/4″ and press. Place the pocket in the desired position and edge stitch along the left, bottom and right sides. You can use a bartack stitch on the top left and sides to reinforce the seams if you like (I only did this on my apron since my pocket will get more use).
I like to use Wondertape to hold the pocket in place instead of pinning for this step. The tape will dissolve after the first washing and won’t gum up your needle and makes it easy to determine the placement. You can also use straight pins to hold the pocket in place as you sew.