I love the simple and sweet look of an Apron-style Top in the summer time. I’ve wanted to make one for a while and finally put aside some time to figure it out how to do it. The Apron Top came together so quickly that I wanted to share the tutorial.
(Looking for more free patterns? Be sure to check out my free patterns and tutorials page here.)
Here is the back view. So adorable, I love the little fabric loops!
My daughter had mentioned she wanted me to make her something purple. Luckily, I hit Hancock fabrics on the right day last month and most of their cottons were 50% off. I thought she would really like this butterfly print, so I grabbed a yard, plus a few others. I also really appreciate it when I find gingham fabrics that are already printed on the bias. (Saves me effort and money!)
Materials needed to make your own Apron Top:
- +/- 3/4 yard of fabric
- well fitting t-shirt for tracing
- fabric marker
- my printable pattern or paper to create your own pattern (I like to use freezer paper)
- Scissors, plus any other basic sewing supplies you might need
If sizes two to six is not what you need, here are instructions on how to make a basic bodice from a well fitting top and how to tweak that bodice pattern to make the apron bodice pattern.
(Seam allowances are 1/4 inch unless otherwise stated.)
Step 1: Printing pattern and cutting the fabric pieces.
Print pattern, tape together and cut out 2 bodice pieces. (One is outer bodice, the other will be the bodice lining.)
For the straps:
Cut 2 pieces 40 inches by 2.5 inches.
To calculate the width needed for the bodice bottom, measure the bottom of the pattern and multiply that measurement by 3. This is measurement A.
To determine length (height) of fabric needed for the bodice bottom, hold the top bodice piece to your child and measure down how far you want the apron top to go. Add 3/4 inch to this measurement for seam allowances This measurement is “Measurement B”.Cut a piece of fabric Measurement A (width) by measurement B (height)(Example: for my 5 yr old, I cut mine 31 inches wide by 13.5 tall)
Cut 2 small pieces 2 inches by 4 inches for the back loops.
Step 2: Sewing the shoulder straps and back loops.
Fold shoulder straps in half long ways, right sides together. Sew along one end and down the side.
Turn the strap right side out and press. Grab the fabric loops and press both as shown.
Sew along the open side on both strips.
Step 3: Assembling the bodice top and lining.
Lay out one bodice piece, right side up. Line up the raw edges of the straps with the raw edges of the bodice top 3/8 inches from the edge. Pin in place.
Line up the fabric loops, looped side in, 1 1/4 inch from the edge. Pin in place.
Sew the straps and loops securely in place, a little less than 1/4 inch from the edge. Back stitch a couple of times. Trim any uneven edges so all raw edges are even.
Lay the 2nd bodice piece over the 1st, right sides together. Sew along the edges as shown, stopping 1/4 inch from the edge.
Clip the inner corner and flip the bodice piece right side out.
Press the seam edges flat.
Step 4: Attaching the Bodice Bottom.
Grab the bodice bottom. Hem both sides by folding over 1/4 inch, press, fold over another 1/4 inch, press again and sew a straight stitch, right along the edge.
Next, determine which side of the bodice is the front and which side is the lining. Fold the bottom edge of the lining in 1/4 inch, and press. (Lining only)
To gather the top edge of the bodice bottom, change the stitch length on your machine to the longest setting. Sew a straight stitch along the top, 1/4 inch from the edge. Pull on the bobbin thread while holding the fabric. You should be able to slide the fabric down. Keep sliding the fabric along the thread, gathering the fabric of the bodice bottom until the gathered width is the same width as the bodice top.
Next, right sides together, line up the gathered edge of the bodice bottom with the raw edge of the front piece of the bodice top. Pin in place.
Sew right over the gathered edge. Remove the pins and finish this gathered seam edge with a serger, pinking shears or a zig zag stitch on your machine.
Fold the lining back down over the gathered edge.
Press the gathered seam flat, with the seam pointing up. Pin the lining edge in place from the front side and top-stitch the bodice top from the front side. If you miss any of the back folded edge, you can do a simple whipstich to secure the edge.
Step 5: Finishing the bottom edge.
The measurements I gave you at the top include 1/2 for a folded hem. To make the folded hem, simply fold the edge over 1/4 inch, pres, fold over another 1/4 inch, press again and sew along the folded edge.
Since I used 2 different fabrics, I wanted to bind the bottom edge in the contrasting fabric.
To do this, cut a strip of fabric 2 inches tall by the width of the bodice bottom plus a couple of inches (just to be safe…) Iron and fold the same way you did the fabric loops. Then sandwich the bodice bottom between the folded fabric, pin and sew. Tuck in the side edges for a finished edge as shown below.
And you are done!
For a little extra detail, I made 3 rolled flowers and just pinned them on.
If you like this pattern, be sure to visit my clothing and accessories tutorial page in the drop down menu bar at the top (under Tutorials.)
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