Simple Apron Tutorial

    Posted by  ·  February 25, 2010

    With very little work you can make this smashing tea towel apron. Leave off the ruffle and you only have two lines of stitching.

    (Thanks Zack for being my fabulous model and rockin’ out my apron! You are a great kid and a really good sport!)


    1 tea towel (mine measured 20″ X 28″)

    1/4 yard of coordinating fabric 44″-45″ wide

    4 yards of ribbon (mine was 1/2″ wide)

    about 21″ of twill tape (width of towel plus a touch extra to turn ends under)


    Before starting pre-wash fabric and tea towel

    The Ruffle

    With right sides together sew across each end of fabric.

    Turn right side out and press.

    Gather the fabric. I zig zag stitched over dental floss close to the edge, then pulled the dental floss to make my ruffle.

    Sew ruffle to bottom of tea towel(right sides together). Before turning lay a piece of twill tape across the raw edge and stitch using a long stitching length. Tuck ends of twill tape under before stitching

    Turn (open ruffle flat) and lightly press. This is how it will look from the back.

    Edge stitch across on the front.

    The Apron

    Fold in top two corners  of the tea towel and trim. I folded my towel in thirds to decide where to cut. If you want it wider at the top try folding them in only 1/4.

    Trim off corners, turn raw edge under slightly and stitch close to the edge. Fold edge over wide enough for the ribbon to slip through,  allowing enough for seam. Press. Really though, you could just fold over the corners like the above picture and sew the casings!

    Stitch, making a casing for the ribbon. Feed ribbon through each casing.

    The ribbon goes through each casing, crosses in the back and ties in the front.


    You might be interested in the half apron made from a tea towel, or this cute apron for kids. Don’t forget the chef’s hat!

    Leave a Comment


    1. Virginia Millard
      Saturday, August 13th, 2016
      I can't understand this tutorial at all. I get that the ribbon runs through the casing made under the chin, but where are the other casings?? It seems like there is a step missing. Do you make casings along the side somewhere?
    2. flo
      Wednesday, June 15th, 2016
      Thanks for the apron idea!
    3. Robin McLain
      Monday, April 6th, 2015
      Nice tutorial. Will this sew up just as nicely if I use a piece of fabric that size of the tea towel instead of the tea towel? Trying to use up fabric around here. Thank you in advance.
    4. Judy
      Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
      Have scoured the stores and can't find a 20 by 28 towel. Everything is 16 by 28. That 4 inches makes a big difference. Advice? Thanks.
    5. Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
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    6. Nicole
      Thursday, July 18th, 2013
      Would I be able to do this with fabric measuring the same size instead of a tea towel? :)
    7. Betty
      Thursday, June 6th, 2013
      While this apron looks simple, I seemed to miss something in the part where you're making casings for the ribbon that goes around the there a step missing, or am I a dunce today!?!?!?! LOL!!
    8. Kathy
      Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
      I made two of these a while back from someone else's tutorial & it had a pocket on it. You get some coordinating material to make a pocket, cut it 8 inches wide & the length of the material which you'll cut in half, then you cut those pieces down so it will be 8inches x 16inches. Then you put the right sides of the 16 inch pieces together & sew leaving an opening so you can turn it right side out. Sew all the way around & make sure you sew the opening at the bottom shut. You fold that in half width wise & you fold the towel in half long way's. Then you match up the fold with the towel so you know exactly where the middle is. Pin it to your towel & sew around each side & the bottom, NOT THE TOP. Make sure to sew your pocket down the center crease twice to make it's sturdy because your pockets will get a lot of wear & you don't want it to tear.
    9. Friday, March 29th, 2013
      I LOVE this! It's so simple, yet so perfect! I can't wait to try one. I just HAD to feature this on my blog today and there's a direct link right back to you at
      I might have to go in search of MORE tea towels!
      Thanks, Carrie
    10. aghni
      Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
      what a beautiful apron!
    11. Isabel
      Monday, February 20th, 2012
      Awesome tutorial - there's only one step I'm confused about.
      "Before turning lay a piece of twill tape across the raw edge and stitch using a long stitching length. "

      How do you do that before turning the ruffle over? What obvious point am I missing????

      THANKS for the tutorial!
    12. Sunday, January 22nd, 2012
      Great tutorial! You've been featured on the Quality Sewing Tutorials blog.

      We hand select only the best free tutorials and patterns for home sewers.

      Grab a brag button!
    13. Tuesday, December 27th, 2011
      I love this tutorial! Just included it in a post about making aprons over at my blog:
    14. Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
      so.... did you fold the diagnal side down again to make the casing or is there two pieces of fabric (front and back) that the ribbon is inbetween?
      thanks! way cute apron!
      • Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
        Fold the towel over to make the casing for the ribbon to feed through.
    15. Friday, June 10th, 2011
      Awesome tutorial! featured you!
    16. Beth Thorson
      Thursday, January 6th, 2011
      Thank you! I was able to quickly whip up 7 for party favors for a clay party this weekend. They turned out so cute!
    17. Danae
      Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010
      I used literally the exact same green polkadot towel to make myself an apron a couple of months ago! Nothing like a cute apron to make you willing to cook! Mine didn't have the cute ruffle, though-- I like how it adds some detail without making it too complicated. (Who wants to spend all day sewing an apron?) Great tutorial!
    18. Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
      I made one! Thanks for this tutorial!
    19. Kirsten
      Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
      This is a great quick craft for gift giving. The only thing I will change is to buy extra ruffle fabric to add pockets.
    20. Meg
      Friday, May 21st, 2010
      Very very cute! Just wondering on the zig zag step, did you thread your machine with dental floss? I have never heard of that but it sure would make the gathering step a lot easier. My threads always tend to break! Thank you!
      • Friday, May 21st, 2010
        Thread machine with your regular thread. Place the dental floss under the presser foot (leave a long tail) and then zig zag over the floss ( making sure not to catch it with the stitches. It is a great technique --- I always have trouble when I just use gathering stitches, as they break.

        If fabric is really heavy, fishing line works well.
    21. Saturday, March 6th, 2010
      What a beautiful apron! I'm in desperate need of a new one, and perhaps I'll use this lovely tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing!
    22. Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010
      I love this tute! So fun and so simple! A great project. I added this to our "link luv roundup" today, come by for a peek!
    23. Sunday, February 28th, 2010
      Hi, I hope you don't mind, I have added one of your tutorials to my 100+ fat quarter tutorials post, thank you for sharing :o)
    24. Sunday, February 28th, 2010
      I love how your tutorials make things look so simple! Awesome job and Zach is a great sport! My 14 year old would've looked at me like I was insane and walked off mumbling about how crazy his mother is and no one understands LOL!
    25. Sunday, February 28th, 2010
      Both Zach and you deserve a gold star. I hope my 5-year-old son will be willing to help out his mom when he's older like that.

      Great job!

    26. Saturday, February 27th, 2010
      I am gong to have to make one of these...such a fun and easy way to make an apron!
    27. Thursday, February 25th, 2010
      I have some fabric and an item on my to do list to make an apron. This tutorial has inspired me to get it done!
    28. Belinda
      Thursday, February 25th, 2010
      OK - this is super cute BUT are you a size 0?? I really can't imagine a tea towel wrapping around my body quite that far - or is it just me ;p
    29. Thursday, February 25th, 2010
      I love simple & sweet projects like this! thanks :)
    30. Thursday, February 25th, 2010
      Hey I tie my APRON in the front too. You make it look so easy! i got to finish my latch hooking project before starting anything new.
    31. Thursday, February 25th, 2010
      very simple and clever, and that boy must LOVE you! :-)
    32. Silvelaine
      Thursday, February 25th, 2010
      Estou reformando a minha cozinha e quero colocar 3 aventais bem coloridos, pendurados na parede, só decorativo mesmo, mas vai ficar uma graça, tenho certeza disso!
    33. Thursday, February 25th, 2010
      I'm definitely making one - thank you so much for posting this tutorial!
    34. Thursday, February 25th, 2010
      I love it! I am a huge apron fan. These are cute and fun and so cute! (And easy looking) And it is reminding me that I should make myself a St. Patrick's Day apron. Maybe I need one for every holiday. So fun! Thanks!
    35. Thursday, February 25th, 2010
      I am totally going to make this apron for my future sister in law's bridal shower! Thanks for the tutorial. I may leave off the ruffles b/c I am a sewing beginner!!
      • Thursday, February 25th, 2010
        Don't let the ruffle scare you! You could always sew ruffled eyelet trim to the bottom! See blue check apron in this post.