It’s true that an apron doesn’t need to be fashionable to be functional, but we sure love when it can be both! And since an apron doesn’t require buttons or zippers or even fancy hems, it’s a lazy girl’s favorite sewing project. (I should know. I’ve probably gifted a dozen of these!)
This particular apron is easy all around: easy to make, easy on the eyes, and easy on the budget! It requires little more than a yard of fabric and an hour of your time. And with Valentine’s Day just a month away, you have time to make one for yourself (gotta look fabulous while cooking up a special dinner), as well as your besties.
-1 yard of fabric for apron piece
-1 strip of fabric or ribbon 2.5 inches wide by 2 yards long for tie
-thread to match
-iron and starch
A. Sewing the Main Apron Piece
The first few steps feel like sewing a basic pillowcase. You’ll stitch with the right sides facing each other (the wrong sides facing out), then flip it all right side out. You’ll end up with a rectangle-shaped reversible piece of fabric.
Step 1: Lay out your fabric as shown below, wrong side facing you.
Step 2: Fold in the top end 1/4 inch. Iron. Do the same to the bottom.
Step 3: Now take the top and bottom ends and match them together with right sides facing each other.
Step 4: Sew the sides but not the top opening just yet. The piece should look like a pillow case (inside out) with an open top.
Step 5: Turn the fabric right-side out and iron it. Stitch closed the open end. Additionally, top stitch around the rest of it for a nice finish. You should now have a perfect rectangle!
B. Sewing the Ties
This is simply one long piece of fabric or ribbon that the whole apron gets scrunched around. 2 yards is a good basic length, but make it longer or shorter depending on the length you need to tie a nice bow in the back. The key is making the fabric or ribbon strong and stiff by using a common technique for creating straps and ties. Even though the width is 2.5 inches, it’ll end up being about 1/2 inch width.
Step 1: Match the top and bottom sides together and iron. Open back up. Using the fold as your guide, have the top and bottom meet in the middle.
Step 2: Now fold it in half. You’ll have a nice sturdy piece! Simply stitch along the edge, and it’s ready to go! (You can fold in the ends if you want a nice finish, but I just sew close to the edges–I’m lazy–and it’s usually fine.)
C. Putting It Together
All that’s left is creating an open band for the tie to go through. We do this the easy way by folding the main fabric over an inch, ironing well, then placing the tie inside before we sew. A few pins, a straight stitch, and we’re nearly finished!
Step 1: Working with the main piece of fabric again, take the end that was stitched closed and fold it over 1 inch. Make sure you fold it toward the wrong side. (Both sides may look pretty much the same, but check your stitching and topstitch, as well as the direction of your printed fabric. One side will be better.) Starch and iron well.
Step 2: Open it back up and lay the tie inside, snug against the fold line.
Step 3: Fold over and secure with pins.
Step 4: Stitch along the bottom being careful not to stitch the main piece of fabric to the tie! The fabric has to be able to move so we can scrunch it.
Step 5: Scrunch and gather! Make the apron the size you want it to be. Be sure and get the ties to be the same length!
Step 6: Once it’s a good fit, pin the edges to the ties. Sew along the open edges where the ties come out.
Step 7: Scrunch and gather how you want it! It should be tight enough so you don’t need to stitch over it all, but you certainly could if necessary.
That is it! You can dress this up more by adding fabric flowers or pom-poms or decorative ribbon along the edge. Whether you’re gifting or keeping this, we know you’ll make someone very happy.