Apron Adventures

By Kate Riley October 29, 2009

One of my most favorite things about blogging is the friendships made online with other fantastically creative people.  One of my many blogger friends is Kim over at Newly Woodwards.  Kim doesn’t really have fingers.  No, in fact she has ten green thumbs.  Don’t believe me?  Check this out.  And this.  And she’s kind of famous in her hometown.  I truly envy her gardening skills.   But Kim doesn’t just garden, she cooks, she decorates, and she does it with style.  She’s my kind of gal.  So when Kim wrote up this post about her desire to sew a retro apron, I leapt at the chance to join her in her endeavor.  And today we’re both featuring our apron projects. 

Off to visit my friends at the Material Girl fabric store I went, to select my fabric.  Which designer should I choose?  Heather Bailey ?  Amy Butler?  How about both ?!  Today, I came up with my own version of a reversible apron – just for futzing around the kitchen.   No pattern at all – just a series of simple steps and straight stitches on my sewing machine.   

close up combo

Here’s a peek at the final apron, and my step by step.

cg apron combo

Simple Sew Reversible Apron with Pockets – No Pattern Necessary


  1. I yard each of two complimentary fabrics
  2. Matching thread
  3. Ruffle or trim detail (optional)


Step One:  Fold both yards of fabric in half and cut to make two pieces each 18” x 45”.  Take one of each size piece of each fabric and turn them so that the patterns are inside out.  Pin bottom of apron and sew straight stitch to form bottom of apron.  Flip right side out and press with iron for a crisp hemmed bottom. 

hem bottom

iron seam


Step Two:  For pocket, cut piece of remaining fabric from leftover 18” x 45” piece of fabric twice as large as you want your pocket to be.  Fold fabric in half, and align raw edges of fabric.  Fold under 1/2 inch along bottom of pocket, then pin raw edges to single side of fabric.  Do not sew to both pieces of fabric, just the one side. 

bottom of pocket

Pin sides of pocket to apron, then top stitch all around to form clean straight pocket.

pin sides of pocket

sew pocket to apron

If you want additional trim, top stitch ruffle or trim to pocket.  I chose old fashioned eyelet for a retro look. 

sew eyelet

  For an additional pocket on the other side, simply repeat the above steps. 

Step Three:  To complete sides of apron, double fold over the seam, then sew with straight stitch. 

double fold hem

Step Four:  For the top, you can do a double fold over again like with the sides.  I chose to give the front an additional waistband.  Cut a piece of fabric about 5 inches wide from the leftover scrap fabric.

cut waistband  

Fold the fabric under about 1/2 inch, and pin the raw edge to the top of your apron.  Sew waistband to single side of apron. 

pin waistband 

Double roll your hem over the top of the other side of apron, secure with pins, and stitch closed with sewing machine.

double fold top of apron

Step Five: To make ties, cut 45” long strips of fabric approximately 5 inches wide.  Flip inside out and stitch raw edges together.  Once sewn together, use safety pin fastened to end of fabric tie and insert into tie.  Using safety pin, work through fabric in order to bring fabric tie right side out.   

sew ties inside out 

Insert raw end of ties into waistband, then secure with sewing machine.  Finish off end of other side with a double fold seam. 

secure ties

sew tie 


That’s all folks.  A simple sew reversible apron by a self proclaimed non-sewer working without a pattern.  Not bad for my first attempt !

cg apron combo

close up combo

Floral fabric is Heather Bailey’s ‘Wallpaper Roses’ from her Pop Garden series, and the stripe fabric is Amy Butler’s ‘Daisy Chain’ series. 

I really couldn’t wait to break in the first version of my reversible apron.  Two aprons for the price of one !   Next month, I want to make more of these for hostess gifts for the holidays. 

centsational girl in kitchen

Please don’t forget to click on over to visit Kim at NewlyWoodwards to see her own holiday version of a simple sew apron.  I just love it  – and now I want one !

And if you want a list of Heather Bailey and Amy Butler fabrics currently in stock at Material Girl fabric store, I’ve got the goods right in my inbox.  Just drop me a line and it’s yours.


  1. Adorable. I’ve been needing to make an apron too. Have you seen the ones on Anthropologie.com? I love yours, great fabric choices!

  2. Love love LOVE the Heather Bailey fabric. Must have it. ANd, I’m totally impressed that it turned out presentable without a pattern. I once made a knitted dish rag without a fabric (how hard can it be?) and it turned out looking like a triangle. Oops. =)

    Thanks for going together on this project. Lots of fun! And, I’m currently packing my bags to visit. =)

  3. i love the fabric you picked. the colors are great. i wish i can sew this well. i am still learning… its hard to keep in a straight line.

  4. I love the colors and the patterns. It looks so great I’m going to have to try it. Thanks for the tutorial. I really need to start sewing more again.

  5. I love it! I’ve been wanting a retro apron for quite some time, but I haven’t found the time to mess with trying to make one myself. I’m thinking dark browns and burgundies…Maybe one of these years LOL. Yours looks great!

  6. Sooo cute! A sewing machine is on my Christmas list so maybe I will have a cute apron to sport around the kitchen!

  7. Kate,
    I love it! The fabrics are divine. My husband bought me a sewing macine about 4 years ago for Christmas, and I’m ashamed to say it’s still in the box! I am so intimidated. I’m thinking of taking sewing lessons. I guess that’s Step 1.

  8. “Sew” cute! (sorry, couldn’t resist) I was just thinking the other day that I’d love to make an apron for my sister-in-law for Christmas, but didn’t want to spend extra $$ on another class. This looks like something I might be able to attempt on my own. :) I might try a one-sided apron for my first try though. I’m not confident in my skills. ;) Yours is fabulous…going to go check out the holiday version.

  9. Oh my Kate. you did it again! Make a whole bunch and sell them. I would buy a bunch for Christmas gifts!!!! I love the fabric choices too.

  10. Such a fantastic idea. I have a slight obsession with aprons (probably because I cook/bake so much) Every time I read your posts I wish more and more that I had a sewing machine.

  11. I *heart* Kim! She’s one of the sweetest (& funny to boot) bloggers around.

    Your taste in pattern is impeccable–what a chic chef creation. Yet another reason to hate you that I’m adding to my long list: You look gorgeous even swathed in an apron. Harrumph. =]

  12. I love it! I love the fabrics you chose and really love that it’s reversible. Once my sewing machine is fixed I have been dreaming of sewing some aprons to become better at simple sewing. I definitely want to try your technique. This is too cute!

  13. I love your choice of fabric colors. Makes me think that summer is here. I have to agree with some of the other comments, too cute to mess up.

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