As generations of kids learned in home economics class, an apron makes a great starter project for those new to sewing. However, with all the great apron patterns on the Internet, there are designs that are perfect for seamstresses of any experience level.
Free Instructions for a Simple Half Apron
If you want to make a fun half apron, you don't even need a pattern. These easy instructions will walk you through the process. Half-aprons are classic and cute, and they make great gifts for hostesses, brides, and moms.
Things You'll Need
- One yard of pretty, 54-inch wide cotton fabric
- One and a half yards of lace trim
- Sewing machine and thread
- Scissors, pins, fabric pencil, and measuring tape
What to Do
- Spread the fabric out, and orient it so the long side is facing you. Measure 26 inches up from edge on each side, and cut the fabric lengthwise. You will end up with a rectangle that is 26 inches by 54 inches.
- Cut another long rectangle that is 54 inches by seven inches.
- Fold the long rectangle in half lengthwise, and use your fabric pencil to make a mark on the raw edge that is 18 inches from the end. Repeat with the other end.
- Use your sewing machine to sew the raw edges of the fabric together from the end to the mark you made, sewing about half an inch from the edge. Repeat on both sides, and then sew the open ends closed. The only open area will now be an 18-inch section in the middle. This will be the sash for your apron. Turn it right side out, and press it with the iron.
- Hem three sides of the larger rectangle, leaving one long side unfinished.
- Adjust your sewing machine to make larger stitches, and sew along the raw edge of the rectangle. Pull one of the threads to gather it, and adjust it to a length of 18 inches.
- Insert the gathered portion in the open section of the sash, and pin to secure it. Use your sewing machine to sew it into place. Then top stitch around the rest of the sash, about a quarter of an inch from the edge.
- Sew the lace to the bottom edge of the apron.
More Free Patterns for Sewing Aprons
If you're looking for a more involved apron project, the Internet is a great resource. You'll find free patterns in several different styles.
Patterns for Retro-Style Aprons
You can make a frilly apron that calls to mind the girly romance of a 1950s housewife. To create this look, choose a fabric that has a vintage feel. Paisley prints, gingham, and retro-style flowers are all perfect for this type of apron.
You can find retro-style patterns at the following sites:
- This Easy Retro Apron for Better Homes and Gardens is perfect for beginners.
- TipNut has a free pattern for a petal apron inspired by a 1959 magazine article.
- This Edwardian Apron Pattern is based on a real pattern from between 1910 and 1912.
- This Frilly Half Apron is perfect for the experienced seamstress.
Patterns for Modern Aprons
Frilly and fancy styles aren't for everyone, and there are plenty of modern apron designs on the web as well. If you want to make a more modern apron, choose a fabric with a geometric print, a simple stripe, or a bold, solid color.
You can find modern apron patterns here:
- Stop Staring and Start Sewing has a free pattern for a modern half apron you can make in one hour or less.
- Craft Stylish offers this pattern for a pretty full apron using cloth napkins.
- EtherWork has a intermediate-level pattern for a butcher-style apron.
- Martha Stewart has a free pattern for a bakers-style apron.
Patterns for Men's Aprons
Women aren't the only cooks in the kitchen, and a masculine apron can make a perfect Father's Day gift or housewarming present for that special guy. To make a men's apron, choose a fabric that is heavyweight and utilitarian-feeling. Alternatively, you might choose men's shirting fabrics for some cooking fun inspired by the office.
These sites offer great free patterns for men's aprons:
- NeedleBook has a great pattern for a masculine apron.
- Martha Stewart has an intermediate-level pattern for a chef's apron.
- About.com offers an easy pattern for a men's BBQ apron.
Apron Patterns for Kids
Want to get the whole family in on the cooking fun? You can make smaller aprons for the special kids in your life. Choose easy-to-wash fabrics in juvenile prints.
You can find kids' apron patterns at these sites:
- This Smock Apron is perfect for kids and makes an easy project for a beginning seamstress.
- Martha Stewart has a pattern for making a simple kids' apron out of a bandana.
- Better Homes and Gardens has a free tutorial for making matching aprons for a mom and daughter.
- Sew Liberated has a great pattern for making an apron for a three to six-year-old child.
Stretch Your Skills
Apron patterns come in all kinds of styles, from the very simple to the fitted and ornate. Because they don't involve sleeves or tailored seams, making an apron can be a great way to expand your sewing skills. Choose a pattern that's challenging but fun, and you'll be cooking up some fun style in no time!