How to Make a Waist Apron Without a Pattern

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Things You'll Need

  • Grid sewing board

  • Straight edge ruler

  • Measuring tape

  • Straight pins

  • Fabric marking pencil

  • Sewing scissors

  • Pinking shears

  • 2 yards cotton fabric

  • Coordinating thread

  • 3 yards extra wide double fold bias tape

  • Sewing machine

  • Iron & ironing board

A waist apron is so easy to make, you'll want one for every day of the week. The look is true retro and at home in the kitchen. Sew a waist apron without a pattern for your mom or a good friend, regardless if they like to cook; they'll still love wearing it.


Step 1

Lay fabric for the waist apron folded in half at edge of sewing board. Use a straight edge ruler and the grids on the sewing board as a guide to cut a piece that measures 16" wide by 17" long. Note when this apron piece is laid out flat it will measure 32" by 17".

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With fabric still folded, lay one end of straight edge ruler at lowest point of the fabric fold. Set the other end of the ruler 3" up the cut edge of the fabric. Draw a line along the angled ruler and cut fabric. This will create a V shape for front of the apron.


Cut another section from your doubled fabric that is 3" wide x 68" long. These two pieces will make your apron waist and apron ties.

Step 2

Lay fabric so the center fold lies on a vertical line of the sewing board. Measure 3" over to the left of center. Fold 1" under at this point. Secure fold with straight pin and crease fabric by running the palm of your hand down the fold.

Measure 2" away from this fold. Fold under 1" of this and crease with hand. Repeat this process one more time. Then do the same on the right side of the center fold. You should now have 3 folds per each side.


Press folds flat with hot iron.

Step 3

Sew 1/2" from top raw unfinished edge of fabric, sewing from one side to the other and securing folds in place.

Step 4

Trim sides and bottom of the waist apron with bias tape. Sew close to inner edge of tape, mitering corners.

Step 5

Measure top upper edge of waist apron front from side to side to figure the size of the opening needed on the waistband piece, about 20".


Step 6

Fold waist apron ties in half, right sides together, and make a crease with a hot iron. From this point mark 10" to the left and 10" to the right of the center. Sew ties in 1/2" seam from the edge leaving 20" opening on one side between markings.

Lightly trim sewn edges of ties with pinking shears. Trim corners. Turn ties right side out. Press with hot iron.

Step 7

Place right sides together and match the center folds of waistband and apron front fabric. Pin waistband to front apron piece. The 20" opening should begin and end at both opening edges of waistband.


Sew in 1/2" seam on sewing machine.

Step 8

Turn waistband over so opening encloses the top of waist apron. Pin in place and slip stitch on the inside of the apron front.

Step 9

Press waist apron with iron.


Add pockets to your apron front if desired. Rick rack is also a good trim to use when you make a retro inspired waist apron. Using bias tape on the raw edges of aprons serves as a quick, colorful finish. The folding cardboard cutting board is a real big help for any sewing project. The grid on the board is 1" squares. If you don't have one of these boards, find them available at most fabric or discount stores for less than $10.