Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pillowcase Apron

Are you ready for this?  Easiest, cutest aprons ever!

 I'm really not naturally crafty, but my sweet mom did teach me to sew.  If you are like me and have done a fair amount of sewing, a project like this is a snap.  However, it is totally doable even if you are a novice.

I got the idea from Betz White's blog.  I followed her directions fairly closely, but I customized the apron length depending on the wearer and the length of the pillowcase.  Her directions make an apron that is a tad short for my taste when you are using a standard size pillowcase and sewing for an adult--it is more of a toolbelt style apron.  More on this below.

Here are some pictures of the two I made initially.  They are really cute on, no matter whether you are are a lithe and cute 8-year-old, or a 30-something-year-old with a little more fluff under your pillowcase, if you know what I mean...

Here is what you need:
  • 1 pillowcase
  • Grossgrain ribbon--approximately 2 yards of 3/4 to 11/2 inch wide grossgrain ribbon (normal, not the wired/decorator type)
  • Thread--match the ribbon or the pillowcase or both?? your call...

I sewed three more aprons after these initial two as birthday gifts for some of my "London" friends.  They are a great group of girls who I met while all our husbands were working on a project in London, England.  We started a book group over there, and have been meeting regularly ever since (until I moved to Washington, that is...sigh).  So ladies, if you are reading this, try to act surprised, 'k?

A note on cost--these aprons are averaging maybe $3 each.  I got the pillowcases because they were adorable, affordable ($1 a piece) and brand-new at the Goodwill.  If you used pillowcases from Target or wherever, that would obviously drive up the cost.  And as for this ribbon, the patterned ones came from Jo-Ann's ($3.99 a spool, and I didn't use all of it).  The solid ribbons come from spools of ribbon I got about five years ago that were $1 for 500 yards.

Yes--one doll-ah.

At the risk of making this the tutorial with the longest introduction ever, I must digress and eulogize the old dollar store in Sandy, UT.  Before it became a Dollar Tree, it was a Greenbacks All-A-Dollar.  Greenbacks would sometimes get some completely awesome stuff (like 500 yards of real grossgrain  and satin ribbon for a dollar).  I bought about $10 worth.  In retrospect, I should have bought a whole carful--but I am enjoying the colors I did buy while they last.

My bargain ribbon and pillowcases.

1.  So, you get your pillowcase and fold it in half length-wise (pic 1).
Pic. 1.  Please ignore the fact that I've already pinned other stuff on this apron.  I forgot to take the picture :).

2.  Fold your ribbon in half (pic 2), line up your centers (pic 3) and pin your ribbon on the top, unhemmed edge (the "bottom" of the pillowcase--see pic. 3).

Pic. 2

Pic. 3
3.  Sew your ribbon across the top edge, down the side, across the bottom edge of the ribbon and up the other side--like a long, skinny rectangle (pics 4-7).

Pic. 4
Pic. 5
Pic. 6
Pic. 7a

Or, you can do a wide zig-zag down the middle of the ribbon--just make sure to go forward/reverse a couple times at each end to ensure it will be durable.

4.  Now, if you have a long, king sized pillowcase, or if you have a standard-sized pillowcase but like your apron short (or if you are making this for a child): fold the bottom/hemmed edge up 8"-9" and hem the fold 1/4" from the edge.

Pic. 8

Pic. 9.  Hemming folded edge 1/4 inch from edge.

5.  Then fold apron over again (about 8"-9")--see Pic. 10 of what the folded apron looks like from the side.  Pin the sides.  Sew 1/4" from each side, then sew down the middle (for a divided pocket)--see Pic. 11, then sew 1/4" from the bottom fold/hem.  Look at the finished aprons at the top if you need a visual in terms of where the edges need to be sewn.

Pic. 10. View of folded apron from the side.

Pic. 11.  Center pocket pinned and being sewed.
Adaptation for standard-sized pillowcases: If you have a standard-sized pillowcase and want it to be a little longer, fold the bottom/hemmed edge up only 4-5 inches or so--maybe just an inch or so past the hem.  In Pic. 12 below, I hemmed it up 5 inches.  Hem the fold 1/4" from the edge, and proceed as described above in step 5 (fold up 8" for the outside pocket).

In either case, if you have a cute design detail at the band of the pillowcase, you can be strategic about where you fold it, or you could even fold it so the pillowcase's hem shows.

Clip your threads if you haven't already done so, and you are done.

Oh yeah!

Since this goes so quickly, you have time left over to embellish.  I will post about what I did with these three aprons in the next few weeks/after I move.

But in the meantime, I need to get these to the post office for my friends, and who am I kidding--take a shower and keep packing :).  Later!

I'm linking up to:                                   Not Just a Housewife's Show me What Ya Got       and

Weekend Bloggy Reading


  1. realhousewifeofidahoMay 4, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    Super cute! I love the blue one. And I don't see any "fluff" at all! ;)

  2. Your 'fluff'comment made me laugh and laugh...and I'm still smiling now!! What a funny phrase.....and what a greeeeeat idea these are! They do look super-cute on both of you! I really like them.


  3. You did a great job! Nice tutorial too. :) I love aprons!

    Thanks for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party. Hope you'll stop by Serenity Now again soon! :)


Please feel free to comment. I love to read what other people think!