Makin’ An Apron

A Tutorial

Using a tea towel to make an apron

This is a really quick way to whip up a cute little apron in no time. Using the tea towel means there’s no work to creating the apron front, because all the edges are already hemmed!

What you’ll need:

A 20″ x 28″ tea towel

1/3 -1/2 yard of a coordinating cotton fabric

How to do it:

From your coordinating fabric, cut the following:

Two strips 3″ wide by 40″ long (or WOF, then cut off the selvage ends)

One strip 4″ wide by 18″ long

Working with one 3″ strip, fold the strip in half lengthwise, right sides together. Pin all along the length.

Place your ruler at a 45-degree angle close to one end and mark a diagonal line.

Starting at the edge without the marked line, and backstitching at the beginning, stitch a 1/4″ seam all down the raw edges to make a tube. When you come to the drawn line, turn and stitch on the line over to the folded edge, backstitching at the end.

Trim the end 1/4″ from the stitching.

Using a bodkin . . .

. . . turn the tube right side out. I used my Purple Thang . . .

. . . to poke the pointy end out nicely. Press the strip flat.

Repeat for the other strip. These are your tie strings. Set them aside for now.

Next, press your tea towel and cut the hem off of one long side. Cut off as little as possible, just enough to remove the hemmed edge.

Hand sew a long running stitch across the raw edge, about 3/8″ from the raw edge. This will be your pull string for making gathers.

Mark the center point with a pin.

We’re now ready to work on the waistband. Press under 1/2″ along one long side of the 4″ x 18″ strip.

Mark the center point of the opposite long edge with a pin.

Match this raw edge of the waistband strip up with the apron front, right sides together, matching the center points that you marked with pins. Pin the center points together.

Overlap the end of the waistband strip off the edge of the tea towel 1/2″ and pin in place.

Overlap the other end 1/2″ and pin in place.

Use your hand-sewn pull string to gather the top edge of the tea towel to fit the waistband strip. Pin in place.

Work with each half separately.

Stitch, using a 1/2″ seam, and backstitching at both ends.

Remove the pins and the gathering string, and gently press the waistband up and away from the apron front.

Now you’re ready to use the tie strings you made. Place a tie string (with the seam toward the bottom) on the waistband strip, matching up the raw edges.

Fold the waistband strip down on top of it, matching the folded edges of the waistband strip to each other, with the tie string trapped inside. Pin in place.

Stitch across the end of the waistband, backstitching at both ends, close to the edge of the apron (1/2″ seam). Trim the corner at an angle.

Repeat for the other tie string on the other end of the waistband.

Turn the waistband right side out and over to the back, letting the folded edge cover the seam. Pin in place along the seam.

Now, you can either topstitch this on the sewing machine or hand stitch it down. I prefer doing it by hand, because I do a better job that way. 

At this point, you’re basically done, but you could, like I did, choose to add some decoration to the front of your apron, such as an applique motif, a pocket, or some personalization.

Tie it up in ribbon with some wooden spoons and your favorite recipe tucked in, and you’ve got the perfect quick hostess gift!

Published in: on August 14, 2010 at 8:15 am  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Cute, cute, cute!

  2. Oh, I love this! I’m off to find a tea towel & fabric now. I’ve got to make one today. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial.

  3. What a great tutorial! Thanks so much!

  4. very cute! Thanks for the tutorial!

  5. I am doing one of these for each one of my sisters, my daughter, and my daughter-in-law for Christmas! THANK YOU! 🙂

  6. […] finished an apron. Even wrote the tutorial for […]

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