Easy as Pie DIY Aprons for the Entire Family

SEP 18, 2017 updated Jun 3, 2021
Featured designs by bestybarry (private), katerhees, littleislandcompany, and digidivagraphics

When we first laid eyes on Betsy Barry’s tiered apron featuring her custom watercolor artwork, we knew we had to find out how to make one for ourselves. It’s the perfect combination of fashion and function and can be customized to match the hobbies of any adventurous chef (aka: the perfect handmade gift). We’re lucky to have Betsy stopping by the blog to show us how she created the apron we can’t stop talking about. Want to know what’s even better? We think your mini “sous chef” will love stirring up sweets next to you in these matching aprons! 

Before they were turned into fabric for this apron, Betsy’s botanical designs were colored pencil drawings!

Betsy: Long before I became an artist, or at least began calling myself an artist, I’ve been a maker. Always making something with my hands; knitting, felting, rug hooking and sewing. When I discovered Spoonflower, it opened up a new world of ‘making’ to me where I can combine my love of drawing and botanicals with my love of making! I created this Petal Signature Cotton™ apron to be whimsical and fun and a useful addition to my kitchen! I hope you enjoy this pattern as much as I do!

Materials

  • Top Ruffle: 1/4 yard of Petal Signature Cotton
  • Middle Ruffle: 1/4 yard of Petal Signature Cotton (Is this my fabric list or grocery list?)
  • Bottom Ruffle: 1/4 yard of Petal Signature Cotton
  • Apron Base: 1/2 yard of Petal Signature Cotton
  • Ruler
  • Scissors/ Rotary Blade
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron

Pro tip: For the three ruffle layers that require 1/4 of a yard each, use the Fill-a-Project™ 1 yard cheater quilt template! 

First, cut a 20″ x 12″ rectangle from your base fabric to create the apron base. This measurement can be easily adjusted to be wider or more narrow to fit the entire family!

Pro tip: If you’re adjusting the size of your apron base, be sure to adjust the size of your ruffle layers! 

Hem the bottom and the two short sides of your base panel.

Next, cut the three 42″ (or the width of your fabric) x 8″ panels from the Strawberry, Green Onions, and Hydrangea fabrics. These panels will be used to create the ruffled layers on your apron. Hem the four edges of each ruffle panels.

Create Your Ruffle

Using a large basting stitch, stitch one row below the hem of each ruffle panel. Remember to leave long tails of thread at both ends!

Slowly pull the ends of the basting stitch thread to gather your fabric. As your pull your fabric, evenly spread the gathers until your fabric is 20″ wide, the same width as your apron base. Look at that – you have a ruffle! Repeat for your remaining two panels.

Pro tip: Go slowly! If you pull your thread too fast, it can snap off and you’ll have to re-do the stitch. 

Next, pin the bottom ruffle layer onto the bottom hem of the base layer. The right side of the ruffle fabric should be touching the wrong side of the base fabric. Stitch in place, making sure your seam is below your row of gathering stitches.

To attach the next layer, pin the middle panel on the front of your base layer so the bottom covers the top hem of the bottom panel. Stitch in place, making sure your seam is below your row of gathering stitches.

Attach the last ruffle panel along the top of the apron, about 1-2″ below the top of your apron base. Remember to make sure this panel is positioned so it can cover the top hem of the panel below!

Make the tie

Cut two 42″ wide (or the width of your fabric) x 4″ tall pieces of fabric from the remaining base panel fabric. Pin the ends (wrong sides facing) to make one long piece and stitch together. With the longer piece of fabric, you’ll be able to wrap the tie around your waist and tie a nice bow in front. If you prefer to secure your tie in the back, simply make your tie shorter before stitching.

With the unprinted side facing up, fold the fabric in half and press to mark the center of the tie. Unfold your fabric and fold in the edges 1/4″. Press.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to fold in the short edges too! 

Attach the tie to the apron base

Next, unfold the tie fabric and place your apron base fabric on top, lining up with the halfway crease you ironed in the step above. Fold the top of the tie fabric over the apron base, enclosing the raw seam. It’s like your apron tie is giving your apron base a big warm hug!

Pin in place and stitch from one end of the apron tie to the other. As you’re sewing, double check that your stitches are catching the back side of your tie.  Cut any loose threads and try on your new apron!

Pro tip: Make sure to stitch the short ends of your ties! 

We’d love to see your version of my go-to apron! Be sure to tag @betsybarryart and @spoonflower when sharing photos of your apron.

Betsy models her DIY apron that caught our eye at Surtex!

Betsy Barry is a talented botanical artist living and creating in Kingwood, Texas. She loves fabric, designs, and all things vintage! Betsy hopes to reconnect the viewers of her artwork with the simple, natural things we come across everyday, but that we often overlook. She has a love for seeing her botanical designs come to life through fabric and styling them with a vintage mindset! See more of her work at BetsyBarry.com

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  • Vanessa Pannell

    I\’ve made one very similar, but used a terrycloth dishtowel for the second ruffle. That way the cook has an absorbent layer to wipe their hands on without danger of ruining the pretty patterned cotton.

  • I loved your idea! I have an idea for a special event, but I would need to create the fabric first! I’d need to learn how to do that, then create my project!

    Thank you for the inspiration!