About this project
Published

Time
Time:4h00
Difficulty
So so
Crafts
Dressmaking
Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Tutorial!!!

A note about the fabric – vintage pillowcase can vary quite a bit in their weight. If the fabric is especially lightweight, and you’d like to use the apron to protect your clothing from liquids, you’re going to need to line the apron skirt with a heavier fabric. In addition, you may need to interface the waistband. The pillowcase I used is fairly thin – not as thin as some, but not as thick as others. It’s fine without interfacing!

This apron took me about an hour and a half, and that’s with me photographing every step compulsively. It would’ve been shorter, so this is definitely a project you can do in an evening, or as a last minute hostess gift.

Start with a vintage (or new, but vintage is more fun!) pillowcase.

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Instructions

  • Step 1

    Cut a 15” piece from the bottom of the pillowcase, where the hem is. We’re going to use that pre-existing hem for our apron. Not only does it mean one less step for us to sew, the depth of the hem gives it extra weight, which will help the apron hang better.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 2
    Step 2

    Cut 3 pieces that are 4 ½” tall, the width of the pillowcase.

  • Step 3

    Trim seamed edge from the side of all pieces. Most pillowcases have one folded side and one seamed side. If your pillowcase is seamed on both sides, just pick one and cut it off.

    *If your pillowcase has a centered design on the front, you’ll want to keep it centered! Instead of cutting the seam off the side of the 15” piece, cut up the centre back.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 4
    Step 4

    From one 4 ½” wide piece cut a piece that is 18-23” long. It depends on your waist size, you want it to cover your front entirely, and go a little bit to the back.

    This is going to leave you with a little extra piece, if you’re feeling optimistic, try making a pocket out of it!

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 5
    Step 5

    Press under the short edges of the apron skirt piece (the 15” piece) about ¼”, then press under again. (note – if you’d like to add trim or other decorations to your apron, add them BEFORE you hem the edges!

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 6
    Step 6

    Stitch the seams on both sides of the skirt. My pillowcase had a tag sewn into the hem, and I thought it would be cool to leave in, as a reminder of what it once was.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 7
    Step 7

    Taking the 2 long 4 ½” wide pieces, fold them in half lengthwise and stitch along the long edge.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 8
    Step 8

    When you reach the corner, create a point at the end. If you’re uncomfortable doing this without a guide, just stitch down to the end, pivot, and stitch across, giving the tie a square end.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 9
    Step 9

    Press the seam and trim off the extra fabric, paying close attention to the corners.

    Turn the ties right side out and press again.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 10
    Step 10

    Topstitch around the edges.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 11
    Step 11

    Finish one long edge of the waistband (the shorter 4 ½” piece).

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 12
    Step 12

    Begin by folding the edge under ¼”, pressing, then folding again, then stitching, the same as we did on sides of the apron skirt.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 13
    Step 13

    Divide the unfinished edge into 4 and pin to mark.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 14
    Step 14

    Divide the top edge of the apron skirt into 4 and mark with pins.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 15
    Step 15

    Change the stitch length on your machine to the longest stitch (usually 5), and change out your bobbin to use a bright colour (basting is a great way to use up the ends of bobbins!)

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 16
    Step 16

    Stitch between the pins on the apron skirt, stopping at each pin and leaving longish tails (at least 2”) at the beginning and end of each section. Don’t backstitch!

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 17
    Step 17

    While we’re at it, we want to baste the raw edge of the ties. Baste them then set them aside, attaching them is one of the last steps.

    STOP NOW! Reset your stitch length to 2.5, and change back to the matching bobbin! Do it now before you forget! You’ll be seriously annoyed if you sew the rest of the apron in a baste stitch! Trust me on this!

  • Step 18

    Lay the skirt raw edge and the waistband raw edge together, right sides facing, matching pins.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 19
    Step 19

    Starting ½” from short end of the waistband, gather apron fabric by gently pulling the tails of thread. (The bobbin thread will pull easiest, which is why we used the bright colour for the bobbin instead of the needle thread.) Pin the apron to the waistband piece to secure layers.

  • Step 20

    You reset your stitch length, right? Okay, ready to go! Stitch the skirt to the waistband, removing pins as you go. Once you have sewn the whole length, gently tug on the basting threads and they’ll slip out. (NOTE - if you have a ruffler foot, which are seriously the best thing since sliced bread - and i love sliced bread, since i'm horrific at cutting it myself! - don't worry about any of this basting crap, just ruffle away! I'm assuming most people don't have $50 sewing machine feet though, so i did mine the hard way to show everyone. oh, the sacrifice.)

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 21
    Step 21

    Press the seam towards the waistband.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 22
    Step 22

    Fold waistband piece right sides together with the finished long edge overlapping the gathered seam by ¼” and press.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 23
    Step 23

    Gather the unfinished end of each tie piece and fit them inside the folded waistband, one at each end. Pin in place.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 24
    Step 24

    Stitch the short ends of the waistband using ½” seam allowance. Take care not to catch the skirt in the seam.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 25
    Step 25

    Press, trim corners to reduce bulk.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 26
    Step 26

    Unfold waistband and press. Carefully pin the waistband in place on the wrong side of the apron. This will enclose the gathered seam.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 27
    Step 27

    Topstitch around the waistband, taking care to include the gathered seam allowance.

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 28
    Step 28

    You’re done! Wear your apron with pride!

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 29
    Step 29

    The straps on this apron are quite long – you can do them shorter if you’d like!

  • How to make a half apron. Vintage Pillowcase Apron - Step 30
    Step 30

    If you have a tiny waist like my vintage dressform, you can even wrap them around twice!

    I hope you liked the tutorial, and I’d LOVE to see your aprons!

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And you're done!

Comments

Kiirby
Kiirby · 8 projects
i really wanna do this but i am such a noob and really confused lol I'll have to get mum to help Happy
Reply
PinkWeeds
PinkWeeds · Omaha, Nebraska, US · 207 projects
my parents so had that bed set for the longest time. crazy.
Reply
DreamsInBloom
DreamsInBloom · Cedar City, Utah, US · 20 projects
Beautiful apron!

I've been planning on making an apron for a friend and I think the look of this one is more her style than the other one I was going to do. Thanks.
Reply

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