There’s something idyllic and romantic about wearing an apron. Sure, it’s functional (it seems like I’m constantly wiping my hands on mine whenever I’m cooking or baking), but it’s also beautiful. My personal belief is that you should have ample aprons—enough to always match your outfit (and your kitchen). Today, I’m making an apron that’ll get me one step closer to that goal: a classic, French countryside–inspired apron made from a heavy-duty fabric that’ll go with just about everything.
I’m basing the pattern off a current favorite apron of mine. It’s really great because it’s a full apron, but the skirt is long enough that you can fold under the top and just wear the skirt. Plus, the apron strings are super easy to adjust, which means I can easily put it on and pull it off (and, let’s be real, not ruin my hair in the process). There are tons of reasons to love this apron—so let’s get to it.
Step 1: Measure and Cut Fabric
I’m using a utility fabric called ticking—it’s made out of cotton or linen and it has a very distinctive striped look to it that’ll never go out of style. I always associate this pattern with kitchens—you’ll see it used for dishcloths, table runners, and aprons (of course).
I bought 1 1/3 yards (4’) of ticking. It’s a 45”-wide fabric, which is a standard width. I wanted all the stripes facing a certain way, which meant I needed to get a little additional fabric. If you don’t mind your stripes not facing the same way, you can probably get away with a little less. I bought mine from a local hobby store, but you can find plenty on Amazon, too!
Something worth considering when you’re picking out fabric (if you go with something other than ticking) is stains. Stripes hide stains well, and Scotchguard works wonders in terms of keeping the apron looking pretty. The only thing I’d stay away from personally is anything too dark—it seems like I always have flour all over me, and lighter colors help hide it.
Once you’ve selected your fabric, lay it out on your workspace. Using the diagram, measure, mark, and cut out the rectangular shapes that will become the apron front, the pocket, and the strings.
Step 2: Print and Cut Pattern Pieces
Next, print out the pattern pieces for the casing and cut them out. The casing will attach at the underarms of the apron and create a sleeve for the string to slide through. With both pieces facing up, place the piece with the dark blue edge under the piece with the pale blue edge—they should line up perfectly. Tape the pieces together.
Next, place the taped pattern on top of the fabric piece you cut for the casing, pin it down, and trim the excess with scissors.
This is the one piece of fabric that will be on the back side of your apron, so the direction of the stripes doesn’t matter.
Once that’s done, take the same pattern piece and place it on the top right corner of the apron front. This curve is the curve of the underarm area. Align the straight edges with the straight edges of the top and side of the apron front, trace the outermost curve, then cut. Flip over the pattern and repeat on the other side.
Download the cutting diagram:
Step 3: Create Apron String
In step 1, you cut three long strips. Together, these will make up the apron string. To do this, take two of the pieces and stack them together pattern-side up. Cut a diagonal line from one of the corners—when this is done, you should have cut out a triangle-shaped piece from each. Flip over the top piece so the pattern sides are now facing each other and align them so you have a straight line across the top. There should be a slight overhang on either side, creating a V shape where the pieces meet. Sew the pieces together here, from V to V. Repeat this step with the third strip of fabric so all three pieces are connected.
Step 4: Iron Apron String
Once you’ve sewn all three pieces together, iron down the seams. Trim off any edges that are poking out.
Next, fold over both of the short ends of the apron string 3/4". We used a sewing gauge for this step, which makes things easy. Iron flat. Next, fold over the long sides 3/8" and iron flat. Once each of the sides is folded and ironed flat, fold the entire strip in half lengthwise and iron once again. The point of all these folds is to create a finished edge.
Ironing eliminates the need for pinning, which I’m a huge fan of. If you do this without ironing first, you’re going to have pins everywhere and you’ll have to iron at the end anyway. This saves you a step and makes it easier!
When sewing, sew as close to the edge as possible. Start at one of the short ends, sew down the entire length, and finish at the other short end.
Step 5: Attach Casing
Next, we’re moving onto the underarms. To keep the apron string in place, we’re creating a casing—almost like a sleeve. This step is really simple—just lay the casing piece on top of one of the apron underarm holes with the right sides facing each other, pin it, and then sew with a 1/2" seam.
Cut small notches every 1” or so—this will help the casing lay flat when you eventually flip it over onto the backside of the apron. This is a common trick you’ll see in sewing patterns that makes all the difference.
Step 6: Iron Apron Front
Now that the casing is done, it’s time to tackle the apron front. Using a sewing gauge, fold over the raw edges 1/2", then fold over another 1/2". All of the raw edges will be hidden inside the fold this way, and you’ll have a nice 1/2" hem. Iron as you go.
Fold down and iron along the top of the apron (this includes the short ends of the casing), the sides of the apron (including the other short ends of the casing), and the bottom. If the folded corners are too bulky, you can cut notches at the corners—just be careful not to cut too much off!
Once you’ve folded and ironed all of the edges flat, make sure the apron is facing backside up and sew a seam 1/8" from the inside folded edge. For now, only sew the top and sides (including the short ends of the casing), and bottom of the apron—we’ll tackle the the rest of the casing in the next step.
Step 7: Sew Casing
You folded over and hemmed the two short ends of the casing in the last step. Now we’re folding over the raw edge along the length of the casing and sewing it down. Eventually, the apron strings will feed through this sleeve.
With the apron facing front-side down, fold over the raw edge of the casing 1/2" and iron it (this is a little tricky with the curve of the fabric). Next, fold the casing over on top of the apron—the casing should now be pattern side up and lay flat thanks to the notches you cut. You want the raw edges and the seam to be tucked away once you fold it—I’ve found it’s easy to do this by ironing down the fold, remembering to drag the iron down and away from the front of the apron. The seam should sit slightly inside the apron instead of right on the edge so that it can't be seen from the front at all.
Finally, we’re sewing the casing down to form the sleeve. Sew along the inside folded edge with a 1/8" seam. Sew a little farther in on the short ends of the casing where the apron string feeds through for some extra reinforcement.
Step 8: Add Apron Pocket
Now that the apron front is assembled, it’s time to add the pocket. Take your pocket piece and fold over the top edge 5/8", then again 5/8"—it’s a double hem, just like the apron front. Iron after each fold, then sew 1/8" from the inside fold.
Fold and iron the remaining sides, this time with a double hem that’s 1/2". Pin the pocket to the center of the apron front, 13 1/4" up from the bottom. I wanted my stripes to align, so mine is slightly off-center—but do whatever makes you happy! Once you’ve pinned the pocket into place, sew. Start at one of the top corners and sew as close to the edge as you can. Once you’ve reached the other top corner, go in 3/8" and sew another hem 3/8" from the edge. You’ll wind up with a double seam.
Note: Just like with the apron edges, you can reduce bulk by trimming the folded corners of the pocket.
Step 9: Add Apron String
Pin a safety pin to one end of the apron string, then thread it through the casing.
That’s it! For me, a good apron makes an everyday chore feel like more of an event, and it makes me feel more professional whether I’m cooking a meal or baking something. (Plus who doesn’t love wearing what’s essentially a giant tea towel with a pocket?!)
There’s also something sentimental about an apron—I have cherished memories of both of my parents wearing their special aprons for family functions, and I’m excited to make memories of my own with my own special apron.