Shop Etsy

How-To: Stitch an Apron

Dec 31, 2008

by missbatch handmade and vintage goods

Nothing beats a cool, retro style apron to make you feel like the hostess with the most-est. So whether you’re holding a New Year’s brunch, or a tea for two, tie on a party-proof print and be ready to toast!

Aprons are deceptively simple to make, requiring just a small amount of fabric and the most basic sewing skills. Why not give this sweet number a shot?

Today author Nathalie Mornu of instructional handbook A Is for Apron is here to share the “Kaleidoscope” apron by designer Angelina Williamson, who says, “I used pin-tucks to confer the formality of an obi or a corset. It was exciting to discover their value as both a structural and a textural element.”

Download the free pattern and complete instructions here or follow along below.

Kaleidoscope Apron

Apron kit (fabric sheers, scissors, threads, pins, sewing needles, tape measure, sewing machine, iron and ironing board, water-soluble fabric pen, and transfer pencil)
Pattern (see download)
¾ yard (68.6 cm) of fabric for the front
¾ yard (68.6 cm) of coordinating fabric for the waistband, hem, and ties
¼ yard (22.9 cm) of batiste for the waistband lining
4 buttons (with holes, not shanks), 7⁄8-inch (2.2 cm) in diameter

Spaghetti-strap turner
Seam gauge




What You Do:

Step 1: Enlarge and cut out the pattern pieces from the project download. Cut the front out of the main fabric and the remaining pattern pieces out of the coordinating fabric. Cut the waistband out of
the batiste.

Step 2: Overlock, serge, or zigzag all the raw edges of the front and hem pieces to prevent them from fraying.

Step 3: With right sides together, pin the hem to the front, starting from the center and working toward the edges to ensure the edges match up correctly. Stitch.

Step 4: Press the seam toward the hem, and then topstitch the seam down on the right side of the fabric.

Step 5: Turn to the wrong side. Press and stitch down the sides.

Step 6: Turn back to the right side, press the hem, and stitch it down.

Step 7: Turn the four tie pieces over, wrong side up, and press one end of each, so the right side is turned over to the wrong side.

Step 8: Pin two ties together, right sides together, and stitch the sides using a ¼-inch (6 mm) seam allowance. Repeat to create the other tie.

Step 9: Turn the ties right side out using the spaghetti-strap turner, and press them. Topstitch three sides, leaving the raw edge unstitched.

Step 10: With the right sides together, pin the waistband to the waistband lining. Stitch the sides, using a ¼-inch (6 mm) seam allowance. Turn the waistband right side out and press.

Step 11: Turn in the ends of the waistband ½ inch (1.3 cm) and press. Insert the raw end of each apron strap into the ends of the waistband. Pin them in place, and topstitch the entire waistband.


Step 12: Use a temporary-ink fabric pen to mark the center of the waistband at the top and the bottom. On one side of the center, use the seam gauge to make 15 small marks at the top and the bottom edges of the waistband at 1¼-inch (3.2 cm) intervals, starting from the center and working your way out. Repeat on the other side of the center mark.

Step 13: Fold the waistband at the center, wrong sides together. Stitch a seam ¼ inch (6 mm) in from the centerfold. Work from the center out toward one end (figure 1), and then turn the waistband around, and repeat to finish the other end. Refer to the marks you made to fold each tuck at the right spot. Stitch ¼ inch (6 mm) in from the fold each time.

Step 14: Using a temporary-ink fabric pen, mark the center of the waistband by measuring its longest vertical length and dividing that number in half. Pin the front of the apron to the point you’ve marked. Then pin the rest of the front to the waistband, keeping it centered along the waistband (figure 2).

Step 15: Use an uneven slipstitch to sew the apron front to the waistband.

Step 16: Sandwich the end of each apron tie between two buttons, and stitch the buttons to each other. Put it on and go out for ice cream. You’ll look as cool as you feel.



Many thanks to Lark Books for sharing this project with us! 

For more hostess fun, try these searches:

Vintage Aprons | Vintage Tea Sets | Entertaining and Decor Gift Guid

Linen and Patchwork Pot holder GIFT set
Linen and Patchwork Pot holder GIFT set
Mini Wall Hanging Clock - Tea Pot
Mini Wall Hanging Clock - Tea Pot
Petal Pop - Green
Petal Pop - Green


  • fernfiddlehead

    fernfiddlehead said 12 years ago

    wow o wow. Great. Love it!

  • thepairabirds

    thepairabirds said 12 years ago

    I'm pretty sewing machine dumb. So, while the instructions seem easy, I'll just buy mine pre-made from Etsy sellers ;) As a side note, it would have been cool to have some aprons in the related items section.

  • JustJaynes

    JustJaynes said 12 years ago

    Great article! I love aprons.

  • KreatedbyKelly

    KreatedbyKelly said 12 years ago

    I love aprons!! I sell a whole slew of them at festivals!!

  • myzoetrope

    myzoetrope said 12 years ago

    Ohh, this is a great project!

  • BluCille

    BluCille said 12 years ago

    I love the felt cakes!

  • BabbidgePatch

    BabbidgePatch said 12 years ago

    Oh I love aprons! My grandmother had many and I have a couple of hers with dainty lace edges and pockets! Great article and directions!

  • finchwork

    finchwork said 12 years ago

    What a cute project - one of my dear etsy friends - whistlingsparrow makes lovely aprons.

  • TeenAngster

    TeenAngster said 12 years ago

    So cute! I'm tempted to try this one!

  • girlsavage

    girlsavage said 12 years ago

    Such a cute project and I just got a new sewing machine for Christmas to try it with!!!

  • TheSavageCabbage

    TheSavageCabbage said 12 years ago

    I think a found my project for the weekend!

  • leafprintstudio

    leafprintstudio said 12 years ago

    Lovely! Should I make one or buy one from the huge selection on Etsy? So many choices!

  • TheSavageCabbage

    TheSavageCabbage said 12 years ago

    ooops, I meant, I think I found my project for the weekend.

  • 2gorditas

    2gorditas said 12 years ago

    I want one! Hmmmm...something to do this month!

  • LuLusPhotography

    LuLusPhotography said 12 years ago

    Yey :) Another project to do!

  • JustFeltHungry

    JustFeltHungry said 12 years ago

    Fab apron! Thanks!

  • retrothreadz

    retrothreadz said 12 years ago

    yay for vintage style aprons , just like momma use to wear I love them

  • PDXfabricdeli

    PDXfabricdeli said 12 years ago

    The snack plates......adorable. Perfect for my kitchen. Vintage style apron are the bomb!!!

  • kingofmythrone

    kingofmythrone said 12 years ago

    I have a sewing machine, but i don't know how to sew. Maybe I will have that be my New Years resolution. Learn to sew for 2009. This pattern looks doable...I think.

  • CloverNoire

    CloverNoire said 12 years ago

    Very lovely! Think I'm going to have to try this one on my new machine.

  • shopgoodgrace

    shopgoodgrace said 12 years ago

    oh my! Thank you for sharing! Great article, beautiful apron (with fantastic instructions), and fabulous Etsy finds!! :)

  • faeriesfolly

    faeriesfolly said 12 years ago

    The buttons on the ends of the ties is my favorite part. XD Too cute.

  • AnthologiE

    AnthologiE said 12 years ago

    Not only can you look great as the hostess, but what a great hostess GIFT if you're not it!

  • handmade

    handmade said 12 years ago

    love this! thanks =)

  • pinkshowercurtain

    pinkshowercurtain said 12 years ago

    great picks! i'm going to attempt an apron. i love the etsy tutorials. they always inspire me to make something. yay! :)

  • PiperBags

    PiperBags said 12 years ago

    I wear one every time I cook. Have a large collection, will add this one to it this weekend. Thank you!

  • flyingrhymes

    flyingrhymes said 12 years ago

    Thank you for sharing! I'll have to try it out for the shop - and make one for me!

  • ClickityClack

    ClickityClack said 12 years ago

    I confess, I don't wear aprons. I just stick a towel in my jeans waistband or pocket when I am slopping around the kitchen. Aprons are a interesting part of our history and I love them even if I don't wear them. When my mother was teaching 4-H sewing, it was our first project. We did a "rip and sew" apron. You took a yard of fabric, ripped 2 strips off the length for the waistband and ties then gathered the yard of fabric to the waistband, added ties and hemmed the bottom edge and sides. The "powers that be" in 4-H had a fit.........Mom was supposed to have us all buy a pattern for the simple apron! Oh, and some of us used fabric from the feedstore. Chicken feed (and other feed too) used to come in colorful fabrics that could be used to make clothing. That would have been in the 50's. LOL

  • zakkaArt

    zakkaArt said 12 years ago

    aprons- my love!

  • ArtWhims

    ArtWhims said 12 years ago

    That is an awesome apron! I love the pattern... If only sewing was one of my better talents :D

  • raegunfabric

    raegunfabric said 12 years ago

    oh I love it, that book has been on my amazon wish list for a long time

  • kiddyup

    kiddyup said 12 years ago

    Super Cute!!

  • voleurdebijoux

    voleurdebijoux said 12 years ago

    fabulously too chic! :)

  • ButtonToGo

    ButtonToGo said 12 years ago

    Great design. I love the waistband treatment and the angles. Thank you for sharing.

  • PenguinettaAfghans

    PenguinettaAfghans said 12 years ago

    Wow. Really brings memories.

  • hearte

    hearte said 12 years ago

    yes! thank you for sharing this! i've always wanted to make a cute little apron for myself.

  • ConstantGalore

    ConstantGalore said 12 years ago

    i adore aprons and i adore these teacups!

  • stitchnvixen

    stitchnvixen said 12 years ago

    um, dumb question, but how do you enlarge a pattern 400%?

  • qift

    qift said 12 years ago

    excellent work! thanks for sharing

  • timesandchimes

    timesandchimes said 12 years ago

    Neat shops represented here!

  • shelby1998

    shelby1998 said 12 years ago

    super cute, i just might give it a go - thanks!

  • ArtSeeds

    ArtSeeds said 12 years ago

    I have the book and have made an apron from it. Good directions with beautiful and inspiring photos. A great read!

  • christinececelia

    christinececelia said 12 years ago

    LOVE IT! thanks!

  • waxandwool

    waxandwool said 12 years ago

    Lovely tea time collection, that brooch especially - off to heart it NOW!

  • southerngirls

    southerngirls said 12 years ago

    I love your aprons. Go to southerngirls and see my apron creations. They are fun for the Diva in you. new EtsyNameSpace.Mini(6722260, 'shop','gallery',4,3).renderIframe();

  • georgiamarbles

    georgiamarbles said 12 years ago

    great apron! Please visit my shop and see mine!! i have a great selection of valentine ones!!

  • sewhappyjane

    sewhappyjane said 12 years ago

    very cute! I love all the tea pot/tea related items as well.

  • PetticoatLaneDesigns

    PetticoatLaneDesigns said 12 years ago

    how do you enlarge it 400% ????

  • maryanne0308

    maryanne0308 said 12 years ago

    I bought the Lark book and learned too late that there are mistakes in the book, including the templates for this apron. Go to and look in the "ask our experts" section to find the errata for this book.

  • feirahippie

    feirahippie said 11 years ago

    I love this apron! The pleats on the waistband are so unexpected and retro. The fabric is really pretty too!

  • My Homepage said 6 years ago

    ... [Trackback] [...] There you will find 86199 more Infos: [...]

Sign in to add your own