Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Toddler Apron Tutorial

I've been making these aprons forever.  My kids use them ALL the time - in fact, if you've visited this blog more than a couple times, you've probably seen my kids wearing a variety of these things.  I've made so many that I hardly even have to think about it anymore while I'm doing it.  So it was a bit of a challenge to put a tutorial together as I made one - but I think it was worth it!  At least, I hope it was!  This is a great, quick project - and it's perfect for gift giving.  I hope you enjoy it!  (And if you blog about it or Pin it, be sure to link back to here! Thanks!)

Here we go...

Toddler Apron Sewing Tutorial

(by Theresa @


NOTE: I am sorry.  This pattern is no longer available.  

two coordinating fabrics, 1/2 yard of each
10 inches of coordinating ric-rac
set of 3/4 inch D rings
coordinating thread
scissors, straight pins
steam iron
self-healing cutting mat and ruler, rotary cutter (helpful, but optional)

NOTE: Seams are sewn at 1/4 inch except where noted.

Prewash and iron fabrics

Print out pdf pattern.  Tape bottom of paper to the top of another 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet.  Cut along pattern lines.

Fold fabric for the front of the apron in half lengthwise. Place the side of the pattern labeled "FOLD" on the fold and pin in place.

This is the fabric I used for the back.  Please don't get confused by this.  It's the only pic I got of the pinned pattern.

Cut out around the pattern.  Do the same for the fabric your are using for the back of the apron.

From the "back" fabric, cut a  9 x 12 inch rectangle that will become the pocket.

Also from the "back fabric, cut these pieces:
3 rectangles 2 1/2 in. x 17 in. each
1 rectangle 2 1/2 in. x 5 in.

here's everything cut out

Make the pocket.  Fold the 9 x 12 rectangle in half, right sides together, so that it's 9 x 6.  Press the fold.  Sew around the three open edges, leaving 3 in. open at one end.  Clip the corners.

Turn the pocket right side out.  Press the seams flat and press the opening in 1/4 inch, so that the side of the pocket is straight.  Pin the opening so that you have a visual reminder of where it is.

the opening pressed in with 1/4 in. seam
Pin the ric-rac across the folded top of the pocket.  Attach with a top stitch, being careful to tuck the excess under each of the ends so that it's caught by the stitches underneath.

top - the ric-rac pinned on / middle - sewn on, front view / bottom - sewn on, back view

Make the neck and waist ties.  On each of the 4 rectangle pieces, press down the top and bottom 1/4 inch each - I just eyeball the 1/4 inch.  

Then fold them in half, and press.

On each of the three long pieces, open them back up and press one end like this...  

Fold it back up and press again, so that each long piece has one finished end.

Sew all of the rectangle pieces closed.  Sew along the open edges as close to the edge as possible - I'm usually at about 1/8 inch.
Press all of them again to neaten them up.

Put together the neck piece with the D rings.  
Slide the D rings onto the shortest piece, approx 1 1/2 inches from the end.  Fold the end in once and then twice as shown. Press and sew a strong line, backstitching at either end.

Attach the pocket to the front of the apron.  Center the pocket one inch down from where the "arm" curvature ends - I used the ruler to measure both the inch down from the curve and to find the middle of the apron and pocket. Pin in place and sew the non-ric-rac sides to the apron, at 1/8 of an inch, backstitching at the beginning and end for strength.

Assemble the apron!  Yeah, it goes that fast!
Place the front of the apron face up on the table.  Begin placing the neck straps and waist straps as shown.  The parts that will eventually be visible when the apron is done, will be laying across the front of the apron.  If you've never sewn something that you'll turn rightside out, this could be confusing.  Just use the photos as a guide.  It's a good idea to pin the straps in the center as well as on the sides to hold them in place while you're sewing.  The waist ties may be so long that they need to be folded and then pinned out of the way.  The bottom photo shows this, it's just a different apron so the material is different. Don't be thrown off!

waist straps folded and pinned in center to keep them out of the way while sewing
 Next, lay the back of the apron on top of the front piece right sides together.  Pin around the edges and top, but not the bottom.

sorry, not a great photo
Using the above picture as a guide, you will start sewing (using a 1/2 inch seam) in the bottom left corner.  Sew up the side, around the "arm" area, across the top and down the other arm area and side.  Backstitch at the beginning and end.  

Turn the apron rightside out through the bottom.  Remove all pins, pull out the corners and press the seams.  At the bottom, press the front and back in 1/2 in each, as shown.

Now you will top stitch around the entire apron, starting across the bottom to close it up and going around the entire thing.  I stitch in about 1/4 inch in.  Be sure you don't accidentally sew any of the straps to the apron.  Keep them pulled out to the right as they pass by the needle.

Press the whole thing again, and YOU'RE DONE!!

Make a couple more, put em on your kiddos and then head to the kitchen to make cookies or pumpkin pie with your cuties!

Please let me know if anything is unclear or if you have any questions about the pattern or instructions.  And of course, let me know how it turns out when you try it!  Again, I'm happy for anyone to use the pattern and tutorial, but it sure would be nice if you'd link back to me here!  

Happy sewing!  

ps - I'm working on a tutorial for an easy baby quilt - but writing the tutorial doesn't seem to be as easy as sewing the quilt itself... check back soon to see if I get it all sorted out!


  1. All this AND a girls trip to NYC!!! You continue to amaze and delight me with your recipes, projects but most of all your stories!! Love ya lots!!

  2. Hi Theresa, Your aprons are so cute! I don't have your email address, so would you please send me an email and we can "chat" about your question. The first part is srcarden and it's at gmail, so I'm sure you can put it together. And I somehow feel like I've protected my privacy. LOL!

  3. I just finished! I added ruffles to the bottom, and it looks superb. Any chance you have this tutorial in pdf or word form?

    1. Lauren, I'm so glad you got to try this project and liked it!! Ruffles sound cute, I'm going to try it! I'll see what I can do about getting the instructions in pdf. Since you've given it some thought, would you recommend keeping the photos, or just the text in a pdf file??
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! -Theresa

    2. I would LOVE the photos.

  4. Thanks Theresa! I want to give these a try....the tutorial looks great. Now to get to the store for the fabric.....hmmmm....

  5. Thank you so much for this! It turned out adorable and my daughter loves it! Do you happen to have a tutorial/measurements for an adult size?

  6. I just finished making an apron for my daughter's preschool friend for her birthday! It was so easy, and I used fabric scraps of what I already had around the house. So easy and fun! Thanks for a great tutorial!!

  7. A friend just asked me to make her daughter an apron. I always check out multiple tutorials before starting to find one I like or understand the best. This one is by far the best! Thank you!

  8. Thank you so much! Just finished making my first apron from your pattern. It was so easy and it's sooo cute <3

  9. If you ever do a pattern for older/bigger children (like 10-12 years) or have instructions on how to modify this pattern for an older child, I would love to have that. Thanks so much

    1. Hi there! It's fairly simple to adapt. For a bigger kiddo, i'd add maybe an inch or two to the side at the top, drop the curve another inch or two, and add 2-3 inches to the width and length at the bottom. Also, lengthen the neck straps and ties as well. You can always create a paper pattern with the changes first and hold that up to your "model" to see if it's right!
      Hope that helps.

  10. I like this I'm sure I'm going to learn alot

  11. Perhaps I have overlooked it, however where may I down load the darling pattern? I am ready to sew!! Thanks in advance!

    1. It's the link that you can click on, listed first under "materials" near the top of the post :)

  12. Love this so much! I just completed 2, 1 for my granddaughter and one for her cousin. They were so simple. I am sure I will be making more. Thank you so much for the pattern :)

  13. I'm going to make this for my grandson who is turning 2 on a birthday present for doing our crafts and baking. I have it cut out pinned and I have pressed all the pieces. I am ready to start sewing. I don't have any ric-rac. I might try folding a piece of the front material and sewing it like the ric-rac. This is such a simple, but very cute apron. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. He is going to love it. :D

  14. wow, thankyou so much, adorable pattern, cant wait to try the beautiful pattern, thankyou again xoxo

  15. Theresa - I received a sewing machine for Christmas and was looking for a simple first project. I had NO previous experience and your directions and picture were so clear and helpful that my daughter's apron turned out perfectly! I couldn't be more pleased. You have given me so much confidence that I had to reach out and thank you. God bless you!!

  16. Hi.- With vinyl fabric it becomes the same ?

  17. Thank you so much for this pattern! I made one for my grandson and plan on making for my grandaughters too. I really appreciate your easy to follow directions.


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