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Drawstring Apron with Wraparound Ties

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So easy yet so functional. The classic one-piece cut of this apron is a great style for most body types. We added facings to the sides of the bib, made these into casings, then threaded through an extra-long tie that acts a continuous drawstring, creating both the adjustable neck loop as well as the wraparound waist ties. 

A mid-weight cotton or cotton/linen blend with a soft hand is our recommendation for this design. A quilting weight cotton is not likely to have the body needed for the best look. Pre-wash your fabric once or even twice to accelerate the softness. Then just lightly press; this apron looks great with a slightly wrinkled surface.

We used a beautiful cotton/linen blend from Arroyo by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. Fat Quarter Shop has a nice selection of this contemporary collection in both striking neutrals (our choice) as well as saturated colors.

The continuous drawstring tie can wrap two or even three times around with a simple knot at the front or a bow at the back. Because it slides freely through the side casings, it’s easy to adjust the neck loop to position the bib just where you like it.

With the strong directional motif of our fabric choice, we opted to mix the vertical stripes of the body with a horizontal cut for the single-layer pocket. It makes the pocket stand-out nicely against the main panel.

A free pattern download is offered below for both the side cut-out template as well as the facings. These have been bundled into one PDF to make the download easier.

This is a super fast and simple apron project – perfect for a beginning sewer. Plus, we provide links to several of our most popular technique tutorials, such as clipping curves, creating neat narrow hems with clean corners, and understitching.

As with store-bought aprons, our design is meant to be one-size-fits-all. However, we realize you may still wish to make yours smaller or larger. As a reference, this apron finishes approximately 24½“ wide at its widest point across the center and the total length, top of the bib to the bottom hem, is approximately 30“. The continuous tie is approximately 140" long, which allows for extra-long, wraparound ties.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Pattern Downloads

  • Download and print out our two pattern sheets: the Bib Cutaway and the two pieces that make up the Bib Facing. These patterns have been bundled into ONE PDF to make the download easier.
    IMPORTANT: Each pattern element is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on each page to confirm your print out is to size.
  • Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid lines.
  • Butt together the two facing pieces at the arrows as indicated on the pattern pieces. Do not overlap. Tape together to form the complete facing pattern. 

Getting Started

  1. From the fabric, cut the following:
    ONE 26" wide x 32" high rectangle for the apron body (our motif was cut running vertically)
    ONE 6½” wide x 8" high rectangle for the pocket (our motif was cut running horizontally)
    Using the facing pattern, cut TWO
    THREE 1½” wide x 48” (length of fabric) strips for the drawstring tie
    NOTE: You need enough strips to seam together into at least 135-140”.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Bib cut outs

  1. Find the main panel.
  2. Fold the panel in half vertically, matching the long raw edges.
  3. Find the Bib Cutaway pattern. Place it in the upper corner, aligning the pattern with the top and side raw edges as shown in the photo below. Pin in place
  4. Cut along the pattern outline to create the side curves of the bib.
  5. Remove the excess fabric. Discard or toss into your scrap stash.

Create and place the pocket

  1. Find the pocket panel. Fold back all sides ¼” and press well.
  2. Along the top of the pocket panel only, fold back an additional 1” and press again. We’re using our Clover Hot Hemmer for all measuring and pressing.
  3. Lengthen the stitch slightly and topstitch across the pocket to secure the top hem.
  4. Find the apron body panel. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface.
  5. Place the pocket right side up on the right side of the apron. It should sit 6¾” in from the right raw side edge of the apron and 8¾” up form the bottom raw edge.
  6. Keeping the slightly lengthened stitch, edgestitch the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom. Remember to pivot at each bottom corner. You also want a tidy but substantial back-tack at the two top corners. These are the stress points for the pocket and it’s good to have the extra stitching.

Attach the facing

  1. Find the two facing pieces. Fold back ¼” along the curved edge of each piece and press well.
  2. Place one facing piece right sides together along each each side of the bib. As shown in the photo below the ends of the facing are flush with the top and side of the apron panel. Pin in place.
  3. Re-set the stitch length to normal. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch the facings in place.
  4. Generously clip the curves for a smooth turn.
  5. Press the seam allowance towards the facing.
  6. Flip over and understitch for the flattest finish. If you are brand new to this techique, take a look at our step-by-step tutorial on Understitching prior to starting.

Hem the perimeter and create the casings

  1. Along the remaining raw side and bottom edges of the apron panel, create a ¾” double-turn hem. To do this, fold back the raw edge ⅜” and press well.
  2. Fold back an additional ⅜” and press again.
  3. At each bottom corner you can simply overlap or, as we did, create a clean corner with a diagonal point.

    NOTE: If you are brand new to this corner technique, we have a handy tutorial you can review.
  4. Slightly lengthen the stitch again.
  5. Stitch the hem in place along both sides and across the bottom, staying close to the inner fold and pivoting at each corner.
  6. Along the top of the bib, fold back the raw edge ⅜”, then make a second 1” fold to create the full top hem.
  7. Pin all the way across. Your facings should both still be pressed outward as shown in the photo below.
  8. Keeping a slightly lengthened stitch, stop stitch across the top of the bib to secure the hem.
  9. Fold the facings into position against the back of the apron and press well.
  10. Pin along the inner folded edge of each facing.
  11. Again still keeping the slightly lengthened stitch, stitch along the inner folded each of each facing to create the drawstring casings.

Make and insert the continuous tie

  1. Pin together the lengths of 1½” tie strips end to end. Then stitch together, using a ¼” seam allowance, to create the long, continuous tie. As mentioned above, it should be approximately 140” in length when seamed together.
  2. Press open the seam allowances.
  3. Fold the tie in half, wrong sides together, and press to set a center crease line.
  4. Open up the tie, wrong side up, so the crease line is visible. Fold in each long raw edge ¼” and press well. Then fold again along the original crease line, concealing the raw edges within the folds. The folded edges should be flush and the finished width of the tie should be ½”. Both ends are raw.
  5. With the same slightly lengthened stitch, edgestitch along the folded edges.
  6. Make a simple knot in each end.
  7. Attach the large safety pin to one end.
  8. Insert the end through one side casing, from the bottom to the top, then loop over and insert through the opposite side casing from the top to the bottom. Make sure the tie doesn't twist on itself as you run it through both casings.
  9. With the drawstring tie inserted, trim the tails close to the knot and add a dab of seam sealant to each end to prevent raveling.

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas  
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

Section: 

Comments (6)

CAS51 said:
CAS51's picture

Thank you for the nice apron pattern!  I'm finishing it up now.  Nice clear pictures and instructions.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

@CAS51 - Thanks so much! We'd love to see your apron. If you follow us on social media, share a pic or two so we can all be inspired. We are sew4home on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and sew4home_diy on Instagram !

Caroline from France said:
Caroline from France's picture

I love the idea of the drawstring adjusting both the neck and the waist at the same time - ingenious! As I have a very short upper body, I always need to mess around with the neck loop - this pattern seems to make it all a lot easier. I shall try making this one day and report back!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

@Caroline - It's a very easy design. Let us know how yours turns out!

Mewpurrs said:
Mewpurrs's picture

I love this so much and have been wanting to make a drawstring apron for a while now!!  Thank you Sew4Home for always reading my mind  (that must be your other superpower)

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

@MewPurrs - We do list mind-reading as one of our super powers! That and juggling. So glad you like the apron project 

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