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How to Sew an Apron in 8 Simple Steps — No Pattern Pieces Needed!

Whether you’re a gardener, a cook, an artist or anyone who gets messy, an apron can come in handy! Aprons take a small amount of fabric and are great for using up your mix-and-match scraps. Here’s how to sew an apron that you can customize to fit any activity. 

Learn How to Sew an Apron With our Step-by-Step Tutorial

How to sew an apron step by step

Step 1: Draw the apron shape

Aprons are a standard design, and you can make the shape in a few different ways. If you have an apron that you already like, you can use that to trace the shape onto your fabric.

Luckily, you can still learn how to sew an apron without a pattern. We’ll use simple measurements to create our own pieces.

Mark apron shape on fabric

First, fold your fabric lengthwise and then mark as shown. Here we are planning for ½” seam allowances.

Mark a straight 6″ line perpendicular to the fold. Move down from that 10 inches, and then mark the fabric 13″ from the fold.

You can use a dressmakers ruler to create the side curve of the apron, or mark it with a straight line from the apron top to the waist. You can even draw it freehand — no rules when it comes to making aprons!

Along the fold, measure 32″ down from the top of the apron. Draw another 13″ line perpendicular to the fold. Draw the side edge of the apron by connecting the two 13″ lines. Now you can cut it out.

Step 2: Finish the curved edges

There are lots of choices for finishing the curved side edges of the apron. You can fold the edge toward the inside of the apron, press, fold again and then stitch.

attach bias tape to curved edge

Here I decided to add some color with bias tape. Apply the bias tape on the inside and then fold it toward the right side, press and stitch. 

Step 3: Add a pocket

Aprons with big pockets are so useful — you can have your kitchen timer, gardening tools or other supplies right at hand. You can also play around with accent fabrics or use your scraps to embellish.

pocket press and ready to sew on


Here I used the selvedge edge of the fabric at the upper pocket edge for a clean finish. In this example I cut a piece of fabric 13″ x 12″. Press the top edge under by a ½” then fold again another inch and stitch across the top of the pocket.  Press the other edges in ½“.

Step 4: Attach the pocket

Center the pocket right side up on the apron, about 4″ down from the top edge of the side of the apron. Stitch around the sides and the bottom with two rows of stitching to secure your pocket. You can also stitch down the center of the pocket to make it a two-compartment pocket. 

Step 5: Finish remaining edges

finish top and side edges plus hem

Double fold and stitch the top, sides and bottom of your apron to finish those edges. If you want to embellish or add some accent fabrics, you can use bias tapes or other trims to add more texture to your apron. 

Step 6: Make apron neckband

cut elastic make neckband_d

Here’s a neckband idea for your apron that will make it easy to put on and eliminate the need for a closure or tie at the neck. Cut an 18″ length of 1″-wide elastic, and then cut a length of your apron fabric 22″ by 3″. 

stitch neckband channel

Stitch the apron neckband fabric into a tube with ¼” seam allowance. Leave both ends open, turn it right side out and press flat.

thread elastic through neckband

Pull the elastic piece through the fabric tube, keeping the end of the elastic even with the fabric tube at both ends. 

Step 7: Sew neckband on apron

sew on elastic neckband to apron inside

Tuck the ends of the fabric tube in about ¼”, keeping the elastic covered but also at the end of the tube. Stitch the neckband on either side of the top of the apron, making sure that it is flat and not twisted when you attach it. 

Step 8: Make waist ties

make waist ties for apron

Here’s another spot where you can use accent fabric or even ribbon or twill tape. I like an apron where I can wrap the tie around the front so I make the ties long but you can choose any length you prefer. 

Cut and sew lengths of fabric into waist ties. Here, the ties are 1″ wide.

To start, cut two lengths of fabric 3″ by 43″. Sew both tubes wrong sides together with a ½” seam allowance and turn right side out. Finish by tucking in the open ends and stitching closed. this makes turning the tubes easier.

Step 8: Attach the ties

attach waist ties to apron

To attach the waist ties to the apron, fold under the raw edge of the tube and attach as shown, enclosing that edge and creating a clean finish inside the apron. Give it a few rows of stitching to make it really secure. Now you’re ready for the kitchen or gift giving!

Apron Patterns

8 of the Cutest Free Apron Patterns to Sew

Discover eight of our favorite free apron patterns and get sewing!Get the Patterns

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published December 2016 and was updated in January 2018.


Lisa FEldmann

Love this pattern! A fairly easy sew that looks neat when completed. I made the ties extra long and wide plus added darts at the top to fix the gap. Thanks for posting!


I use this easy on-easy off kneckband on every apron I make and would never use another method; everyone loves them, too! I got the idea from aprons for nursery schools, but it makes so much sense for everyone.


Any recommendations for sizing up or down? It would be nice to be able to make matching or coordinating aprons for a man who is broad-shouldered and over six feet tall; his 5’9″, slender wife; 5’2″(and growing fast), twig-thin 12-year-old son; lithe and lissom daughters of 10 and 8; and robust little four-year-old boy (not to mention Rubenesque 5-foot grandmother who lives with them). This is surely not a one-size-fits-all pattern?


I’m not sure if I missed it in the instructions but how much fabric do you need for this? A yard? Two yards? Thanks!


I would say three yards if you want to lengthen it to your feet but two if not. Measure it on your body, and cut the seam where you feel it will be the most comfortable. Patterns can be changed.


Love this pattern and look forward to sewing mine. One question was answered – how much fabric to use. My second question is – what type of fabric do you recommend? Twill/Decorator?


I am using cotton on mine, but either one of yours would work. Decorator might be a little heavy, though.

Debbie Harden

I bought a bunch of painters drop cloths (cheap) and used a yard of that. So easy and a good durable weight.


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