How to Sew an Apron

Young Woman Tying Her Beautiful Handmade Kitchen ApronLook Forward to Tying Your New Apron
(Source: ©artursfoto1/

Learn how to sew an apron using the free vintage pattern below. Proudly wear your own handiwork or if you haven't the time to make one, buy a beautiful handmade apron for yourself or as a gift to someone special.

Grandma loved to wear her handmade aprons around the house and out in the garden too. It's hard to picture her without her old fashioned pinny on. She always wore one and had several hanging in the pantry cleaned and pressed ready for life's emergencies. You're sure to find yours handy too.

Learn How to Sew an Apron

United States Department of Agriculture (1944)

Lady Gathering Fruit with Her Versatile Handmade ApronVintage Basket Apron Designed for Double Duty
(Source: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1944)

Designed for double duty, this simple tie-on basket apron, equipped with shoestrings in the edge casings, can be quickly transformed into a basket for carrying in such things as apples or clothes pins. It leaves both hands free.

Attractive and totally practical, this may be serviceable round-the-house or by pulling the drawstrings, you have a basket for carrying in roasting ears, freshly laid eggs, or a mess of peas.

Make this homemade apron of sturdy cotton — 1 yard is enough — and use strong, smooth cotton shoestrings in the edges. You'll need four 36-inch shoestrings.

Handmade Basket Apron Sewing PatternBasket Apron Sewing Pattern with One-Inch Squares
(Source: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1944)

Draw 1-inch squares on a 23-inch by 38-inch sheet of paper and draw the pattern on as shown.

CLICK HERE to instantly access a free PDF copy of the above pattern to print out for easy reference while you're learning how to sew an apron.

Illustration Showing the Placement of the Four Eyelets for the Basket ApronPattern Showing the Placement of Four Eyelets
(Source: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1944)

Work four eyelets — one at each of the four places indicated on the hem. Turn the hem and stitch it.

Illustration Showing How Shoestrings are Threaded Through the Apron's Side CasingsShoestrings are Threaded Through Side Casings
(Source: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1944)

Thread two shoestrings through each side casing. For a good hand grip, let 2 or 3 inches of one string hang from top eyelet, 2 or 3 inches of the other string hang out the lower eyelet.

Cut off the opposite end of each string and bar tack it just back of the eyelet.

Vintage Basket ApronBasket Apron Easily Transforms for Carrying Objects
(Source: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1944)

Pull the strings, drop the ends inside, and you have the basket pictured above. The cotton shoestrings will not slip until you grasp the edges of the apron firmly back of the eyelets and pull.

Enjoy wearing your handmade apron!

Source: National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Watch How to Sew an Apron

Follow Professor Pincushion's step-by-step YouTube video and make an attractive vintage half apron decorated with contrasting cotton fabric, decorative rick-rack, long ties, and a handy pocket.

Materials Needed:

  • 5/8 yard cotton fabric
  • 1/3 yard contracting fabric
  • 1 package medium rickrack
  • All-purpose thread

Pattern Dimensions:

  • Main apron = 32 x 14 inches
  • Straps = 44 x 3 inches (2 needed)
  • Pocket = 5-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches
  • Contrasting bottom = 32 x 5 inches
  • Contrasting top band = 17 x 6 inches

Visit the Professor Pincushion website for numerous learning-to-sew videos and a membership offer.

How to Make Aprons and House Dresses

Complete Course In Dressmaking Cover

If you already possess some sewing skills, you might want to download this free 64-page PDF Ebook, Lesson Two of A Complete Course in Dressmaking In Twelve Lessons, by Isabel De Nyse Conover, published in 1923.

Lesson Two promises...

"After this lesson is thoroughly understood, you will be able to copy any apron you see. Many a tempting but expensive idea in some specialty shop may be carried home in the mind's eye, and with some delightful novelty goods from that mine of treasures, the remnant counter, a thing of beauty will be evolved at little actual cost."

No time to make your own...

Buy Cindy's Handmade Aprons

Cindy Best of So Many Buttons Studio at Etsy

Want the BEST apron? Buy one of Cindy Best's beautiful creations! Cindy has a unique flair for style, color and fabrics, and her comfortable aprons reflect her eye for fine detail.

Handmade Apron by Cindy Best of So Many Buttons StudioOrder Your One-of-a Kind Handmade Apron Today
(Source: ©Cindy Best, Used with Permission)

Cindy's aprons are all handmade and one-of-a-kind with old fashioned quality and value sewn in. You'll love her flattering, functional styles thoughtfully designed to bless the wearer.

Handmade Kitchen Apron Showing Fine Sewing DetailHigh Quality Sewing Detail from So Many Buttons Studio
(Source: ©Cindy Best, Used with Permission)

How about a cozy flannel and plaid apron for the cooler Autumn weather? The two large pockets are trimmed with vintage lace and the perfect matching button. You'll love it.

Handmade Apron by Cindy Best of So Many Buttons StudioHandmade Autumn Apron in Flannel and Plaid
(Source: ©Cindy Best, Used with Permission)

Also, be sure to take a peek at Cindy's decorative pillowcases. Grandma always treasured a beautiful pillow that helped her relax after a busy day.

And like Cindy's gorgeous handmade aprons, her pillows are all one of a kind creations.

Handmade Floral Pillowcase by Cindy Best of So Many Buttons StudioDecorative Pillowcase Thoughtfully Crafted by Hand
(Source: ©Cindy Best, Used with Permission)
So Many Buttons Studio Logo

Cindy Best's handmade aprons are perfect for gift giving, but you'll want one or two hanging ready-to-wear in your own kitchen too.

Visit Cindy's So Many Buttons Studio at Etsy.

Grandma's Handmade Aprons

Vintage Photo of Three Ladies Standing in a KitchenSpot the Lady of the House? — Guests Don't Wear Aprons
(Source: ©Maureen Stephan, Used with Permission)

Knowing how to sew an apron is a handy skill to have. Aprons are beautiful and practical, and you can always use several. Grandma found many uses for her aprons round-the-house, and you are bound to find many practical uses for yours too.

Aprons not only protected Grandma's clothing from flour and grease spatters, they also served as a handy potholder, a clean towel to wipe her hands, a soft cloth to dry a little one's tears, and a ready basket to carry fresh eggs from the hen house.

Vintage Color Illustration of a Grandmother Shooing Her Cat Out the Door from an Armour's Oats Illustration, 1922Grandmother Using Her Apron to Shoo the Cat Out
(PD Source: Adapted from Armour's Oats, 1922)

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