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Reversible Child’s Apron with Adjustable Ties Tutorial

Last summer I made some reversible children’s aprons with adjustable ties for our oldest daughter’s classroom.    I’ve redone the photos and accompanying instructions for this tutorial several times but was never completely satisfied with it.  Hopefully this last time I’ve covered each and every step you’ll need to complete an apron for a little one in your life.

*Note:  This post is photo intensive.

You’ll need:

3 fat quarters (2 for the apron body and 1 for the ties)  or 3 pieces of fabric at least 18″X22″

Small scrap of light weight fabric

Quilting Ruler

Rotary Cutter

Cutting Mat

(*note that affiliate links are enclosed in materials needed)

Begin by printing and cutting out the armhole template.

For the body of the apron:

Place the two fat quarters that you want for the body of the apron, one on top of the other on your cutting board.  Trim off the selvedges.  Then square up the other three sides of the fat quarter.

1 - square up fabric

Pin the armhole template in place with the top of the template along the narrowest edge and on the corner of the fat quarters.  Cut out.

2 - cut right arm hole

Flip template over and repeat for the other armhole.

3 - cut left arm hole

4 - armholes cut

Don’t throw away the fabric you cut away.  You’re going to use those cut outs to make the apron pockets.

Pin the long straight edge of each pocket, right sides together.  Sew using a ¼” seam allowance.  Press seam open.

5 - sew pocket pieces together

Repeat for second pocket.

Place the pockets right side down on the scrap of light weight fabric.  Pin and cut out.

6 - Pin pockets to lining fabric

Sew all the way around using ¼” seam allowance leaving an opening for turning.

7 - Sew pocket to lining

Trim corners and clip curves.

8 - Clip Curves

Turn right side out.  Sew opening closed and press well.  Repeat for second pocket.

Topstitch ¼” from the top edge of the pocket.

9 - Topstitch top of pocket

Center one contrasting pocket on right side of one apron body, 9 ½” from the top.   Pin in place.

10 - Center Pocket on apron

Sew close to the edge from the top of the pocket on one side around to the top of the pocket on the other side.  Back tack at beginning and end of seam.

11 - Stitch pocket in place

Next, sew down one side of the center seam, with the needle down, pivot, take a couple of stitches, needle down, pivot, sew back up to the top of the pocket.  (Back tack at beginning and end of seam)

12 - Stitch along center pocket seam

13 - Lift presser foot and pivot

14 - Sew along other side of seam

You have now created a divided pocket.

Repeat with second apron body and the other contrasting pocket.

Along top of each apron piece, make a mark 2” in from the armhole edge.

15 - Mark two inches for edge

Place apron pieces right sides together and sew between marks using 3/8” seam allowance.  Back tack at beginning and end of seam.

16 - Sew between marks

Press seam open as indicated in photo below:

17 - Press seam open

Stitch ¼” on each side of seam.

18 - Stitch seam down

Again with right sides together, sew armhole seams using 3/8” seam allowance.  Back tack at beginning and end of seam.

19 - stitch armhole

Partially press seam open at bottom of armhole as indicated below:

20 - partially press seam open

On wrong side of fabric, make a mark 1 ¾” from either side of armhole seam.

21 - Mark on either side of seam

Clip at mark to a depth of 3/8”.

22 - clip at marks

Fold under 3/8” and pin.

23 - Fold and pin

Stitch in place.  (This is creating the casing for the adjustable ties)

24 - Stitch in place

With right sides together, sew from the bottom of the casing on one side to the bottom of the casing on the other side, leaving an opening in the bottom of the apron for turning as indicated in photo.

25 - Sew right sides together

Trim the corners on the diagonal to reduce bulk after turning.  Clip along curves of armholes making sure not to clip into the seam.

trim corners clip curves collage

Turn the apron right side out and top stitch ¼” from edge all the way around, leaving the casings open.

28 - Topstitch

29 - Topstitch armhole

Sew a second seam 1 5/8” from armhole edge to form the casing for the tie.

30 - Stitch 1 and five eighth inches from edge


To Make the Tie:

Trim selvedge off of the third fat quarter, place your ruler along the longest edge and cut four 4” wide strips.

31 - Cut 4 four inch strips

Sew strips together along short 4” edge.  Press seams open.

32 - Sew Strips together

Press under ½” on each end of tie.  Fold tie in half.  Press.

33 - Press in half

Open out and fold each edge to center along pressed crease.  Press again.

34 - Fold into center and press

Topstitch close to the edge, all the way around the tie.

35 - Sew close to edge all the way around

36 - Completed apron tie

Thread tie through both armhole casings.

37 - Completed Apron

Here’s the reserve side:

38 - Reverse side of completed apron

If you have any questions about the instructions, feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.


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  • Tiffany Jones
    February 17, 2021 1:22 pm

    Great tutorial! I made one for my son last year, but noticed the straps seem to stick a bit when adjusting. Have you had this problem? I’m thinking of doin an angled arm hole vs curved to fix the issue for my nephews apron I’m making.

  • Andrea
    December 20, 2019 3:26 pm

    This tutorial is fantastic! Thank you for the clear and detailed instructions. The whole tutorial is easy to follow and the photos help a lot. My finished apron turned out to be just what I had imagined when I went looking for a tutorial in the first place. Thank you!

  • Andrea
    June 10, 2019 10:45 pm

    Such a great tutorial! I’ve made aprons from this about 4 years before, but now my kids needed bigger size aprons and I had to come back as I didn’t remember the steps. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this!

  • Mary
    December 11, 2018 11:39 pm

    I absolutely LOVE your pattern and tutorial! Love the photos and step by step instructions. I’ve made 4 of these so far for my grandkids. They love the fun and customized fabrics selected just for each one of them and the parents love the adjustable neck strap feature! Thanks so much!

  • Chris
    November 28, 2018 10:01 am

    Best tutorial ever. I just retired and want to get back into sewing by making an apron for my great granddaughter. Thank you so very much!

  • Ruth Wieler
    December 8, 2017 2:50 pm

    Thank You for sharing this pattern. I have just finished one for my granddaughter. She will be 4 on Monday.

  • Susan
    January 31, 2013 11:20 pm

    I have a grandbaby on the way…so will definitely be giving your pattern a try! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sandra :)
    January 31, 2013 7:20 pm

    Cute apron – I made one for a g-nephew last year, and this year I’ll make one for his cousin!

  • cathy c
    January 31, 2013 3:59 pm

    Wonderful tutorial! Thanks so much!

  • Stephanie Drake
    January 31, 2013 3:59 pm

    Lovely pattern; well written. I shall have to save this to make when Ellie is a bit older.
    Well done!

Comments are closed.