Learn how to make an apron with this easy tutorial that includes a free printable pattern for adult and kids sizes. The practical attire we know as an apron has been around for centuries and is used to protect clothing. Knowing how to make an apron is an excellent way to learn how to sew or to create a gift for any occasion. The best thing about making aprons is that they can be used daily in your kitchen or for any messy DIY project.
- How to Make an Apron Tutorial
- Free Apron Pattern Download
- How to Make an Apron Instructions
- Decorating Your Free Apron Pattern
- More Free Apron Patterns
- How to Make an Apron - In Conclusion
How to Make an Apron Tutorial
Supplies Needed to Make a DIY Apron
- FABRIC - 1 yard (0.9m) for the main apron and ⅜ yard (0.35m) for the straps
- SEWING BASICS - Sewing machine, pins, thread
- CUTTING TOOLS - Scissors or a rotary knife and self-healing mat
- OPTIONAL - Cotton tape or ribbon if you don't want to make your own ties. 1 inch (2.5cm) width tape looks best.
What are the Best Fabrics for Aprons?
The best fabrics for making aprons have some substance, wash well, and are hard-wearing. The material should be absorbent and hang comfortably.
- Look for cotton, linens, ticking, cotton blends, denim, canvass, leather, and vinyl.
The fabric needs to be durable and suit the wearer's task they have to perform - water-resistant materials make a good choice for someone working with liquids. Keep in mind that your machine must be able to cope with the material you choose, and the needle size may have to change to suit a heavy-duty fabric.
How Much Fabric do You Need for an Apron?
A simple full apron can be cut from a yard of fabric. If you are adding embellishments like an extra-large pocket, you may need slightly more. The beauty of making aprons is that you can use up scraps of fabric for the ties and pockets. Pockets make fun opportunities for patchwork or contrasts.
Should an Apron be Lined?
Deciding to line an apron is purely a personal choice depending on the thickness of the fabric and the use of the apron. If you want a lined apron, cut out two apron fronts and baste them together wrong sides together around the edges. Follow the instructions below treating the lined front as one piece.
Free Apron Pattern Download
Click on the link below to download your free apron pattern in kids and adult sizing. The pattern PDF will open in a new window. Read how to print a PDF pattern if you are new to this process. Don't forget to measure the test square to ensure your printer scale is correct.
Sticky tape your grid together in 4 rows of 2 to get a full-sized pattern.
How to Make an Apron Instructions
Step 1 - Cutting Instructions.
Download and cut out your paper pattern. Lay your pattern piece on your fabric fold to cut out the full apron.
ADULT STRAPS: NECK AND WAIST TIES
- Cut 2 side straps - 30 x 3.5 inches (76x9cm)
- Cut 1 neck strap - 25 x 3.5 inches (63.5x 9cm). I found that a 23 inch (58.5cm) strap was comfortable for me but I've added a couple of inches so you can cut it to the size that is best for you.
KIDS STRAPS: NECK AND WAIST TIES
- Cut 2 side straps - 20 x 3 inches (51x7.5cm)
- Cut 1 neck strap - 18 x 3 inches (46x7.5cm). Try the strap on before sewing it to the apron and adjust to the perfect size for your kid.
A rectangle of 14x8 inches (35.5x20cm) makes a large pocket in the adult size. A pocket is optional but can be immensely helpful in the kitchen or for DIY projects. The added advantage of a pocket is that you have a double lining where you need it most. Pockets can be made from contrasting or matching fabric.
You can also choose to add one or two smaller pockets. For 2 medium pockets, cut two pieces of fabric 10x10 inches (25x25cm) and use the same method in the instructions below.
Step 2 - Hem the Armholes
Hem the apron around the curved line of the edges of the armholes with a double fold hem of ¼ inch (6mm).
Curved edges can be tricky because they are cut on the bias. The below method of hemming the curved hem edge helps to avoid a puckered hem.
- Start the curved hem with a line of stitching ¼ inch (6mm) away from the raw edge.
- Then use that stitch line as a guide to fold and press the edge on the wrong side. The stitches will act like a perforation.
- Stitch along this folded edge.
- Then fold a second time and stitch again on top of the previous stitching.
- Press the curved hem before continuing.
Step 5 - Hem the Sides
- Press the raw edges of the sides over by ¼ inch (6mm).
- Press the edges over again by ¼ inch (6mm).
- Stitch the side hems.
Step 3 - Hem the Bottom and Top of the Apron
Make a double-fold hem at the top and bottom of the apron.
- Press over the raw edge by ¼ inch (6mm).
- Press over the edge again by ¾ inch (2cm).
- Stitch across the hems.
Step 6 - Sew the Straps
- Fold the 3 straps in half lengthwise with right sides together.
- Stitch one end and along the length with a ½ inch (12mm) seam allowance. The other end will be left open.
- Clip the corners and turn the straps through to the right side using a turning tool or a blunt-ended stick like a chopstick. Push out the corners to get sharp points and press.
- Turn the raw edges at the open end inside by ½ inch (12mm).
- Optional - Topsitch the strap.
Step 7 - Attach the Straps
On the wrong side, attach the straps at the neck and waist.
- Make sure the strap is firmly secured by sewing in a square on the right side of the apron. Extra reinforcement can be added by sewing an X through the middle of the square.
- Before attaching the neck strap, ensure it is a comfortable length. Cut it shorter if necessary.
Step 8 - Pocket (Optional)
- Press over the edges a the sides and bottom of the pocket by ½ inch (12mm).
- Press the top over by ¼ inch (6mm), then ¾ inch (2cm) again. Stitch across the top hem.
- Pin the pocket in place and sew three sides of the pocket to the apron. Backstitch well at the ends. You may want to stitch a double seam to give extra reinforcement.
Decorating Your Free Apron Pattern
Now you have made a simple, straightforward apron. Mastering the plain apron is easy, but you may want to make a few additions to decorate the apron or add detail to the hem or the pocket.
- Ric Rac never fails to brighten up any garment, including aprons. Add a few rows to the bottom of the apron or the pocket, and your apron will look very cheerful.
- Appliqué something on the front to resonate with your favorite food or personality. Cupcakes are always popular with cooking themes. Cut out the necessary shapes and stitch the appliqué onto the apron with small running stitches. Iron some fusible interfacing to the back of the shapes to give them more body and prevent fraying. Cut out shapes or pictures of fruit and vegetables to appliqué too. Use pinking shears if you prefer a quick and easy way to neaten the shapes before you sew them.
- Embroider the owner's name to personalize the apron. You could cut out and appliqué the letters or use a chain stitch to outline letters for initials. Make up a caption like 'Top Chef' if you like.
- Pockets, like a heart or tulip design can add a spark of creativity.
- Ruffles can be added to the bottom or sewn on the pockets.
- Use a contrast fabric on the bottom or add some lace or anglaise.
- Choose from different styles for the straps. A cross-over style, for example, is very similar to the old country aprons.
More Free Apron Patterns
The apron has been reinvented into many different styles. Here are some of the other style options:
- TEA TOWEL APRON - The name gives the style away because all you need is a tea towel to make this lovely apron. Add some cotton tape or ribbon for the ties, and the project is quick and straightforward.
- THE HALF APRON - Another easy option is the half apron version and it has its own tutorial and ideas for great pocket options.
How to Make an Apron - In Conclusion
Aprons are so easy to make, take very little material, and therefore win hands down for great gifts. Learning how to make an apron is a straightforward sewing project suitable for beginners. They are also easy to sew if you want to sell aprons and easy to personalize if you like the idea of gifting an apron.