How To Make an Apron Top

Girl sewing
An apron top, with its open back and flowing fabrics, is great for those hot summer days. Here's how you can make your own apron top or shirt.

Step 1

Gather your supplies. To make your very own apron top, you'll need:

  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk or fabric pencil
  • 3 colors of fabric (see measurements below)

Step 2

Take your measurements. You'll need to know your specific measurements in order to tailor this apron shirt to your body. To figure out you bodice length, measure from your armpit to just below your bra line, and add 1 ½" for the seam allowance. To determine your apron length, measure from just below your breasts to your waist (or longer, depending on how long you want your apron top to be). Add 1" for the seam. And to calculate your apron and bodice width, measure your bust (the widest part of your chest) and then subtract the number of inches of your back that you want visible. For a 33" bust with 4" of skin showing at the back of the apron top, your bodice width would be 29".

Step 3

Cut your apron top panels. The bodice of your apron top consists of 3 different panels - the middle panels, and two identical side panels. The width of the middle panel will be 8" - 10" (depending on the size of your bust), plus 1" for the seam. So, if your bodice length is 8", you'll cut this first piece of fabric in a rectangular measuring 8" x 9".

Now, subtract the length of the middle panel (9") from your bodice width measurement that you took earlier (29") and add 2" for the seam allowance. In this case, 29 - 9 + 2 = 22". Divide this number in two (11") and cut two pieces of fabric for the side panels that measure 11" by  your chosen apron length (29").

You can now cut the largest part of your apron top. Let's call it the ‘apron rectangle'. This needs to measure the sum of your 3 panels in width, plus 2 inches for the seam. In this case, it would be 8" + 10" + 10" = 28" plus the seam for a total of 30" in width by 29" in length.

Step 4

Begin attaching your apron top panels. Stitch each side panel the middle panel of your apron top. Start with a straight stitch about ½" in, and then add a zigzag stitch above this to stop the rough edges from fraying.

Lay your apron rectangle on top of your bodice piece, and again, sew a ½" seam from one end to the other, using a straight stitch then a zigzag stitch.

Iron your newly-sewn seams flat.

Step 5

Add a hem. To make your apron top look finished, the edges need to be hemmed. Fold and iron a 1" seam across the bottom of your apron top (using chalk if you need to). Sew a straight stitch along the entire bottom. Do the same with the bodice. Measure your ½" hem, fold it, iron it, and sew a straight stitch across the fabric to make the hem.

Step 6

Add laces to the back of your apron top. You now need to create something to attach your laces to the back of your apron shirt. These are called eyelets. Cut six 3" squares of fabric. Fold the piece in half and iron that fold, then sew a ½" seam across the length of the strap. Turn it right-side out. Only two sides should now show raw edges. Using a zigzag stitch, sew those two sides together. Do this with all of the eyelets.

Lay your apron top right-side down. Put one eyelet in the uppermost left corner of your bodice so that the rough edges are about ½" in. Straight stitch them to the apron top. Repeat this with all of the other eyelets, placing them directly across from each other and not on the apron part (which needs to flow freely).

Step 7

Create your apron top straps. Decide on the right length for your straps for your apron top (which will double as your laces). Anywhere from 30" - 50" will work. Cut two, doubling the size of the width you want for your strap and then adding 1" for the seam. Fold and iron the straps in half, sew a ½" seam across the length of the strap, and then turn the strap right-side out. Do this for both straps.

Sew each strap about 4" from the centre of your bodice using a straight stitch. Then lace it through the eyelets, tie it with a bow, and your apron top is complete.


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