I learned this fabulous apron design at a church event many years ago and, while I’ve long since lost the pattern, it’s so easy I don’t need one. Last year I made 8 of these in December as Christmas gifts, which shows how easy it is to make one in just a day! I’ve maximized the use of yardage so there is little waste. You can choose to get a yard of the same fabric or 3/4 yard of one and 1/4 of another. In the apron I’ve made above I decided black straps would make a great accent with this fabric.
I don’t claim to be an expert sewer in any way, but I hope these directions can guide you through without too much difficulty. Click on any of the images to make them bigger.
You will need:
3/4 yard of non-directional fabric for the body and ruffle (see note above)
1/4 yard of fabric for the straps
Accent rick rack, lace, or binding (optional)
Thread (coordinating or contrasting—I used red to contrast)
Basic sewing supplies
1. Lay out your 3/4 yard fabric, still folded, on your cutting board (or whatever you’re using). With a fabric safe pencil draw out the body of the apron on the fold. The top should be between 5 and 6 inches depending on your size. The widest part about 13 inches.
Use the area of fabric at the curve of the body of the apron to cut out a pocket. Square pockets are the easiest of course, but I decided I wanted to try a curved pocket. You can do whatever you think will look best.
Set the pieces you just cut aside and get out your 1/4 fabric (if you’re using 1 full yard of same fabric you’ll just need to map out where you’ll make these cuts ahead of time). Cut 2 straps and your neck piece. How long you want the straps is up to you. I like to make long straps (these are 23 inches) so I can wrap them around and tie them in the front in a big bow. My neck strap is 11 inches. You’ll need to measure yourself to see how long you want these straps to be.
3. Take the 3 straps you’ve just cut, fold them in half (right side of fabric together), and iron them (1). With 1/4″ seam allowance, sew the bottom closed and the side, leaving the top open (2). Turn them right side out and iron them flat then edge stitch (3).
4. Take your pockets and fold the edges under and iron them (1) then stitch around the edges. If you have an accent lace or trim, add that to the pocket now (2).
5. Place the pockets on the apron, pin them, and sew them on. Be careful not to sew the top of the pocket closed… I’ve done it before!
6. Now for the most difficult part of this easy apron: the ruffles. You have 4 pieces of ruffle fabric. Take the two strips and place them perpendicular to one another, right sides together, and sew diagonally from one corner to the other (1). Remove the excess (2). You now have one long strip. Iron the seam (3).
7. Take the two ruffle strips and place them right side together, sewing at one end. Iron the seams open and stitch them.
8. Taper off the ends of the ruffles with scissors as in the image below.
9. Fold the bottom of the ruffle then fold it again 1/4 inch and iron (4 on the diagram in step 6). Stitch the hem.
10. On the biggest stitch you have with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, sew one side of the ruffle up to the center and then the other, leaving ample extra thread on both sides (below).
11. Start tugging at one of the threads and building up the ruffles and evenly spreading them until you have one big ruffle.
12. Take the ruffle and pin the center to the center of your apron. You’ll need to pin the ruffle all the way around the apron, creating more ruffles or loosening them as you go until the entire thing is pinned. Sew it on being careful to always stay under the loose stitch.
13. Do the double fold and iron on the edges of the apron body and on the top (1) and stitch. Place the straps on the apron and do a box stitch to attach (2, 3).
14. Trim all that extra thread and apply Fray Check (optional) and you’re done!