Thursday, October 1, 2009

Apron from a mans shirt tutorial

I had a few requests to show how to make this apron so here is my attempt.

DISCLAIMER........ this is my very first attempt at photographing and writing a tutorial. I have only been sewing for a little over a year and I know these instructions are not perfect. If you see where I could make this tutorial more user friendly in the instructions, please feel free to give your suggestions. I may take them. Those of you that really know me, know that I am not the best with words...I could walk you through making this apron much better than I can write it! Anyway, have fun!

Choose a mans button up shirt. XL is probably best but a large will work too.

Cut off the sleeves on the the inside of the seam. Flip shirt over and cut across the upper back portion of shirt.

Then cut up the middle back of the shirt, stopping once you have cut through your previous cut across the back. (this will form a "T" shaped cut)

Unbutton shirt and pin together. This will be the center "fold" of your apron. Make sure to pin it well and match up all spots where button holes and buttons meet.
If you have an old apron to use as a pattern lay it on top of the shirt, matching the bottom edges. If not, use your imagination or measure your body. How wide do you want it across your chest? where do you want your ties to be? On your hips or waist.
Cut out apron. I cut about 1-2 inches larger than my purple "template" for the seam allowance.

While your shirt is still folded, cut off the bottom of the shirt so that it is a straight edge. You can use the bottom of the shirt if you like, but since I am tall, I like my apron to be a little longer so I am going to add a band of fabric.

Cut a strip of complimentary fabric 6 1/2 inches high x however wide the bottom of your apron is.
Fold the strip in half, wrong sides together. Iron. Pin raw edges of fabric to the raw edge of your apron. Sew together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. I also added a pre-made bias tape ruffle, but you of course don't have to!

Iron the seam towards the band and top stitch.

You can use bias tape to finish off the raw edges or you can "hem" them like you would a skirt by folding over the raw edges 1/4 inch, ironing, and folding over one more time (to make a clean seam) ironing, and stitching close to the folded edge. I did both. I used bias tap for the curved body parts and for the straight sides, I folded over and sewed.
Make ties using Wide double fold bias tape, or use the fabric from the sleeves to create your ties.

Make pockets by cutting two 6 1/5 inch squares from your outer pocket fabric and two from fabric for the lining. Place right sides together and pin. Sew a 1/2 inch all the way around the square leaving a 2 inch opening to turn the pocket. Clip the 4 corners of the pocket. Turn right side out. Press. Place pockets in desired spot on the apron and pin in place. sew a 1/4 inch seam around the sides and bottom to secure in place.

TA DA!!!! your apron is ready to wear. And what man wouldn't enjoy seeing his wife in one of his old shirts! (it's such a guy thing)


  1. So adorable! And, you are awesome at writing tutorials! Are you kidding? I hope you had a good day today. I hope you were able to "celebrate" in a good way. xoxo

  2. I LOVE this!!!!!! I'm so doing this!!!!! Rob says you and I need a sew day cuz he thinks that apron is hot. Lol!

  3. Your amazing. I love it. I made one today but I had to make a few adjustments. I used the sleeve for my pocket. Flipped it upside down and sewed it on. Soo cute! Thanks for being so creative. Keep them coming!

  4. You have a hard time with words? Never!!! You know this is one of my favorite kinds you make, well one of the 50 or so!! Miss and love ya!

  5. I love this! Our Local quilt shop has decided to let everyone have a free class to make this apron. Many have signed up. All the aprons made will be donated to the area's annual cancel walk for life for fundraising, in June. Thanks for sharing. Many will benefit from your generosity!

  6. I saw these on Pinterest, and I was inspired to make my own versions for a craft swap. I hope you don;t mind that I linked to your blog in my post ( about them. Love your site!

  7. Bought four men's shirts at Goodwill. Your instructions were clear and understandable. I have been sewing for 60 years and am constantly amazed at the creativity of people. Pinterist has become a site I look at daily. I made three quilts for my granddaughters this Christmas and 12 sets of Burrito Pillowcases. Thanks for teaching an old women new sewing tricks!