Since the pandemic started, everyone in my family has – for better or worse – been spending more time than usual experimenting in the kitchen. This is why I decided to make this quick, easy, and fun cooking apron for my last piece in the last-minute Mother's Day gifts series!
Looking for other last-minute gift ideas? Check out my tutorials for this easy sleep mask and comfy lounge pants!
1 yard cotton fabric - I used this yellow Keepsake Calico Cotton from Fabric.com
Matching thread and bobbin
Step 1: cutting the fabric
There are 4 parts to this apron: the top square, bottom square, straps, and waistband. To start with the squares, trace and cut the following dimensions from your fabric according to size, leaving 1/4-1/2" seam allowance as you cut:
Extra Small: 10"x10"
Extra Large: 15"x15"
Extra Small: 16"x16"
Extra Large: 21"x21"
Waistband: - cut two layers at a time for the waistband so that you can have a double-sided band.
Extra Small: 2"x24"
Extra Large: 2"x29"
If you do not see your size above, continue subtracting 1" from each dimension for smaller sizes and 1.5" for each dimension for larger sizes.
Straps: 2"x45" - cut two layers at a time for each strap so that you can have double-sided straps.
Step 2: sewing the squares
On both the top and bottom squares, fold three of the four edges over twice on the "wrong" side of the fabric, 1/2" each, to hide the raw edges. Iron the edges down to crease them, and sew them down with a straight stitch.
Now for the straps and waistband. On each strip, sew the two layers of fabric together with the "right" sides of the fabric facing each other by sewing along the edges of three of the four sides of the strips, leaving one of the short ends unsewn.
Turn the straps and waistband right-side-out and iron to crease. To get sharp corners, cut off the corners of the strips before turning right-side-out. When ironing, fold in the side that is left unsewn so that you can not see the raw edges and pin closed but do not sew yet.
Pin the unsewn sides of either strap to the two corners of the top square, on the side opposite the unsewn edge of the square. Make sure the ends of the straps are only visible from the "wrong" side of the top square, and sew a straight stitch to secure the straps to the top square, along the stitch you already made to sew down the raw edges of the square.
Step 3: putting it all together
Pin one edge of the waistband to edge of the bottom square that you did not sew up (AKA the side where you can still see the raw edge fo the fabric). Pin the waistband to the "right" side of the fabric on the square, centering it so that there is the same amount of waistband "tail" left on either side of the square. Use a straight stitch to sew where you pinned.
Next, pin the unsewn edge of the top square to the other side of the waistband, again pinning the band to the "right" side of the fabric and centering the square horizontally on the band. Use a straight stitch to sew along where you pinned.
Iron out the junction points between the waistband and the squares so that the edges of the waistband sit flat on the "wrong" side of the apron. On the right side of the fabric, sew straight seams over both of those junctions to leave a clean crease. This is called topstitching.
Open up the apron and lay it face down so that the "wrong" side is facing up.
Lay one of the straps over one of the tails of the waistband, placing it right along the edge of the bottom square (see image below). Fold over what's left of the tail and pin down on the "wrong" side of the apron to create a loop for the strap to move freely. Sew down the junction you just pinned. Repeat on the opposite side with the opposite strap.
Criss-cross the straps, thread them through the waistband loops, and tie a knot or bow below the loops so that your final product looks like this:
Step 4: optional additions
You can absolutely be done here! This is a fully functional apron as it is at this point. However, you have many options for cute additions to this apron, like a ruffle hem, pocket on the top square, or pocket on the bottom square. Below is a tutorial for a pocket on the bottom square, but feel free to get creative with your finishing touches!
Cut an 8"x10" rectangle from your fabric.
Fold down, iron, and pin all four edges of the rectangle over 1/2" twice so that the raw edges are hidden, like we did with the top and bottom squares of the apron. However, this time, only sew down one of the 10" sides, leaving the other three sides pinned in place.
Center the rectangle on the bottom square of your apron with the sewn side at the top. Keeping the other three sides folded down, pin and sew those three sides to the apron, creating the base and sides of the pocket.
Next, to make two pockets out of one, sew a straight line down the middle of the pocket.