Three Panel Apron: A tutorial

As you may recall I made a promise to a friend/coworker that I'd make me an apron, and that my first attempt didn't work out as well as I'd wished.

Three-Panel Apron

Well, week or two ago, I drafted out some more well-thought out plans and came up with this:

And I'm quite pleased with the final results, so I packaged it up and gave it to my coworker - who quite liked it!

I've recently gotten into posting stuff on BurdaStyle (sorta like Ravelry, but for sewers), and someone wanted to know how I made this apron. It's easy enough, so I thought I'd oblige with a simple tutorial. (Note: I only took pictures of the first half of the process so this is largely text-based)

Planning the Apron

You'll need the following:

Two fabrics, with thread to match each, as well as 10" to 20" of trim (or more depending on how you want to fancy it up).

All seams are ½ inch.

Cut list:

Main Color (in my case, the blue)

  • one 21"x19" large front panel
  • one 11"x19" small front panel
  • one 27"x7"  waistband

Contrasting Color (in my case, the yellow)

  • one 11"x13" pocket
  • one 11"x19" small front panel
  • two 23"x4"  ties

Press all pieces

My Iron Needs Cleaning

1. With matching thread, make a ½" hem the top of the pocket.

2. Add any trim to front of pocket.

Adding some Trim

3. Pin pocket to matching apron panel with back of pocket on front of panel and baste pocket on. Press.

4. Prep ties. Hem three sides of each tie, folding over one end to a 45° angle, if preferred - if you do this make sure you make a left and a right facing strap)

5. Baste two lines of stitches inside the seam allowance along the un-hemmed side of each tie. Gather slightly.

Back of Apron

 6. Change to main color thread.

 7. With right sides facing, stitch pocket panel to the right hand side of the large front panel. Press and finish seam.

 8.  With right sides facing, stitch the smaller main color panel to the other side of the pocket panel. Press and finish seam.

Pocket close-up

9. Hem the bottom and sides of apron body. 

10. Baste two lines of stitches along the top of the apron within the seam allowance, this will be used to gather the top of the apron.

11. Take the waistband piece and fold in half. Press.

12.  On the back half and sides of the waistband, press in seam allowance.

13. With right sides facing, place the apron body on the front half of the waist band (if you want a little extra length, you can place it shy of the fold). Adjust gathers so apron fits to waistband.

14. Sew together apron body and waistband front together. Fold waistband over the apron body and press. 

15. Slip stitch the back half of the waistband down. Do not sew the sides closed.

16. Insert tie into the opening in the waistband, with the front of the strap facing the same direction as the front of the apron. Adjust gathering to fit. Stitch opening closed, thus attaching the tie. Repeat for other side.

17. Give your apron a final press and you're done! Give to a friend or enjoy for yourself!

Please note that all patterns and tutorials are for personal use only and should not be distributed or produced for sale without the written consent of the author.

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