There are so many fun things about a reversible apron. For instance, you can coordinate it with your outfit. Why not, right? You can pick a side to wear depending on what mood you are in. Or, when one side gets dirty you can flip it over and use the clean side. It’s like having two aprons in one!
Read more to see the whole tutorial!
Here are instructions to make our hemming birds reversible half apron! Note: all seam allowances are 1/2 inch unless otherwise noted.
(1) CUTTING FABRIC: this apron can be made from 3 one-half yard cuts of fabric. However, I would recommend buying a little bit extra or you may be short by a bit (for example, even though 1/2 yard is 18 inches of fabric, it’s never cut from the bolt exactly straight – after you square up the fabric it will be a little bit shorter than 18 inches. . .which is fine). There is a little wiggle room in this pattern.
I used Camelot Fabrics Iconic Collection fabric for this apron – as well as the half-apron I made a few weeks ago as a bridal shower gift (see my post here). I purchased all my fabric at our local store Five Eighth Seams.
- Apron main body: (2) pieces 30 inches wide x 18 inches tall (or whatever you have after squaring up your fabric).
- Top band: (1) 24 inches wide x 4 inches tall
- Straps: (2) 30 inches wide x 5 inches tall (Note: if you only have a 1/2 yard cut for your straps and you plan on using the extra for pockets, first cut a piece 30 wide X 18 tall – use the remaining ~15 inch wide x 18 inches tall piece to cut pocket pieces)
- For rectangular pockets: (4) rectangles 5 inches wide x 6 inches tall
- For half circle pockets: (2) rectangles 13 inches wide x 8 inches tall
(2) MAKE STRAPS & TOP BAND: First, make your two straps. Fold each of the 30″x5″ rectangles in half, iron, and then open and fold each raw edge in to meet the mid line. Iron.
Next, fold the ends in as shown below to make a nice, neat triangular end (this will be the finished, outer end of the strap – the other end will be sewn into the top band.
Topstitch along all of the edges except the unfinished edge (I use a topstitching foot, lining the edge of the fabric with the middle of the foot and moving my needle position 3 places to the left). Next, make the top band. Fold both long edges of the piece over 1/2 inch and iron. Then, fold the piece in half so your folded edges meet. Iron, but DO NOT SEW!
Next, attach the straps to the top band. Take the top band and fold it so that right sides touch. Align the straps so that the raw edges meet the raw edge of the top band, with the straps bunched up inside of the top band. Be sure to align the straps so that the pointed ends are the same (I align mine so that the top edge of the strap is the longer edge). Pin and sew.
Trim the corners and flip the top band right side out. You should now have your finished straps coming out the side of the top band, and the top band should be open on the bottom with the ends folded in 1/2 inch.
(3) MAKE POCKETS & ATTACH TO APRON MAIN PIECES:
- Rectangular pockets: Line cut pieces right side together and sew all around leaving a small hole (~1.5 inches) at the bottom of the pocket. Trim corners, flip and iron.
- Optional: topstitch along the top edge. Next, attach pockets to the apron exterior piece. Find the center line of the apron and line up the pockets so that they are 4 inches from the top and 4 inches from the center of the apron.
- Half circle pockets: Align two cut pieces right side together and then trace a rounded shape on each bottom corner (this time I used a saucer). At this point you can trim it, or you can leave the square edge and trim after you sew. Sew all four sides of the pocket leaving a small opening at the bottom (~1.5 inches is fine).
- Trim the curved edge, flip, iron and topstitch along the top edge. Align to apron front, centering along width and aligning the top edge of the pocket 4 inches down from the top edge of the apron.
- Note: Pleated pocket and chef apron pocket instructions coming soon!!!
(4) ROUND CORNERS OF MAIN APRON PIECES. Fold both exterior pieces so that the bottom corners are on top of one another – in other words, fold the width in half and lay the exterior pieces on top of one another. Use a round object (I used a salad plate) to make a curved mark from the side to the bottom. Trim.
(5) SEW MAIN PIECES TOGETHER. Align main panels (with attached pockets) right side together. Sew along both sides and bottom.
(Note: I’ve had trouble in the past with fabric shifting while I sew – I find that it is helpful to start in the middle on the bottom and sew to one top edge. . .then start in the middle and sew in the other directions). Trim around the curves. Flip, iron, and then topstitch.
(6) GATHER APRON AND ATTACH IT TO TOP BAND. Baste along top of apron about 3/8inch from the top – be sure to leave free thread at the beginning and end. Place the top band with attached straps on a flat surface – gather the apron by pulling on one of the threads on each side until the top of the apron is narrow enough to fit inside the top band.
Insert apron main piece into top band. This part isn’t an exact science – I don’t push the apron all the way to the top of the top band, I’d say I leave it at about half way. Minimally you need to push enough in so that it both covers your basting stitch and you make sure that when you topstitch next that you don’t miss the apron in any pieces. Adjust gather if needed and then pin across.
At this point, I usually also check to make sure that my top band is fairly even on both sides. In the next step you are going to be sewing along the bottom of the top band. . . and while you will be sure you are sewing through one side of the top band, you will be blind to what is going on on the other side. Feel along the top band to make sure it is relatively even on both sides of the apron.
Sometimes I take a pin and push it straight through the gathered apron exterior right below the top band, then flip the apron over and see how close the pin is to hitting the top band on the other side. Do whatever works for you. Side note: the first time I made this apron I missed the top band in a few places on the reverse side. After swearing at myself, I grabbed my “undo” tool and had to pull all of the stitches out and redo it. Don’t do what I did, it ruins the fun of this simple pattern!
Lastly, sew along the bottom of the top band (for this part I was a little more generous with the width of my topstitching here – I’d say it was closer to a 1/4 inch). You can also continue all the way around the top band if you want.
Lastly, trim any loose threads and admire your new half apron!