We love the retro look of ticking. The classic narrow stripes look good with just about everything, and the fabric itself gets so nice and soft as it’s laundered. Ticking is also a tough fabric that can stand up to the stains and spills an apron must endure. Our fast and easy half design in terrific ticking is beginner-friendly and fun to sew.
To take advantage of the ticking’s inherent softness, we were sparing with the interfacing, adding just a bit of lightweight fusible on the waistband and the pockets. This allows the apron to wrap more comfortably around your body.
Measurements are shown below so it’s easy to cut your main panel, waistband, and waist ties slightly larger or smaller for your best fit. The design is meant to sit at the natural waist line with the ties wrapping from the back and either knotting or tying into a bow at the front.
This little apron is so fast and easy, it’s great as a last minute gift idea. Whip one up, then bundle it with some cooking utensils, a cookbook or maybe your own favorite baked goods. The apron and its long ties make their own gift wrap.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing machine and standard presser foot
Fabric and Other Supplies
- 1 yard of 54”+ mid-weight weight cotton ticking or similar for the main fabric; we used classic 57” wide mattress ticking in a blue stripe
NOTE: The yardage shown above allows you to cut the striped ticking both vertically and horizontally to achieve the effect shown on our sample. If you do not use a stripe motif or do not choose to mix the motif direction, you can get away with ¾ yard. See the cut sizing below in the Getting Started section to confirm your yardage.
- Scraps or ¼ yard 44”+ wide quilting weight cotton in a solid color for the pocket lining; we used Kona Cotton in Natural
- 1 yard of 20”+ wide lightweight fusible interfacing for the pocket and waistband; we used Pellon Shape-Flex
NOTE: Starting with a full yard allows you to cut the interfacing strip for the waistband as a full length. You could use less by cutting two smaller lengths and then butting together the lengths to create the full 28” required length.
- All purpose thread to match fabric.
- All purchase thread in a contrasting color for the pocket corner accent “tacks;” we used bright red
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors and/or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
Getting Started and Pattern/Template Downloads
- Download and print out the two pieces that make up our Pocket pattern.These two pieces have been bundled into one PDF to make the download easier.
IMPORTANT: Each of the two pages within this PDF 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 so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
- Cut out each pattern piece along the solid line.
- Following the arrows printed on the individual pieces, butt together the pieces, do not overlap, and tape to create the full pocket pattern.
- From the main fabric, cut the following:
ONE 30” x 18” rectangle for the skirt panel; we cut ours with the stripes running vertically
NOTE: The stripes in the ticking are a great guideline to use when cutting for perfect alignment.
ONE 29” x 8” strip for the waistband; we cut ours with the stripes running horizontally
TWO 27” x 3” strips for the waist ties; we cut ours with the stripes running horizontally
Using the pocket pattern, cut TWO; we cut ours with the stripes running horizontally
- From the pocket lining fabric, using the pocket pattern, cut TWO.
- From the lightweight interfacing, cut the following:
ONE 28” x 3½” strip for the waistband
Using the pocket pattern, but cutting along the seam line rather than the outside edge, cut TWO
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Make the pockets
- Find the three pieces that make up each pocket: exterior, lining, and interfacing.
- Place an interfacing panel on the wrong side of each exterior panel, centering the interfacing so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Place an interfaced exterior panel right sides together with a lining panel.
- Pin around all sides, leaving a 2-3” opening along the bottom for turning.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around the pocket panel.
- Remember to pivot at each corner; this includes all four points that make up the bottom diagonal corners. And, remember to lock your seam at either side of the 2-3” opening.
- Clip all the corner points and press open the seam allowance.
- Turn right side out through the bottom opening. Using a long, blunt tool, gently push out all the corner points so they are nice and sharp. A knitting needle, chopstick or point turner works well for this.
- Press well, pressing in the seam allowance along the opening so it is flush with the sewn seam.
Hem the skirt panel
- Find the main skirt panel, along each raw side edge, make a 1” double turn hem. To do this, fold back the raw edge ½” and press well. Then fold an additional ½” and press again, hiding the raw edge between the folds.
- Pin both side hems in place.
- Re-set the machine for a slightly lengthened stitch. Topstitch both side hems in place, staying close to the inner fold.
- The bottom hem is created in the same manner; it is simply a deeper hem at 1½”. To make this bottom hem, fold back the raw edge ½” and press well. Then fold an additional 1” and press again. Pin in place across the bottom of the skirt panel.
- Topstitch the bottom hem in place, staying close to the inner fold.
Attach the pockets and add the corner accent tacks
- Find the hemmed skirt panel. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface.
- Find the two finished pockets.
- The bottom of each pocket should sit 2” up from the bottom hemmed edge of the skirt panel, and outer side edge of each pocket should sit 2½” in from skirt’s side hemmed edge. We adjusted ever so slightly to insure our pockets aligned with a stripe in the ticking.
- Pin the pockets in place along both sides and across the bottom.
- Using the same slightly lengthened stitch as above for the pocket topstitching, edgestitch both pockets in place along both sides and across the bottom. This seam closes the opening used for turning. Remember to pivot at all the corner points. If possible, use a lock stitch to start and end your seam at the upper corners. This is a much neater look than backstitching. If your machine does not have this function, you can leave the thread tails long, pull them through to the back of the skirt panel, and hand knot to secure.
- Re-thread the machine with the contrasting thread in the top and bobbin. Re-set for a dense zig zag. We recommend practicing your stitch on fabric scraps until you get a stitch width and length that you like.
- In each corner, measure for a ½” tack length. Place a pin at the starting and ending points, or use a fabric pen or pencil to mark these points.
- Stitch each tack. It’s very important that all four corner tacks are in the exact same location and are the same length and width. As mentioned above, practice on scraps to get it correct before you stitch on the actual apron. This tack goes through all the layers: the corner of the pocket as well as the skirt panel itself, which means the tack is visible on the back of the apron.
Make the ties
- Find the two 27” x 3” waist tie strips. Fold each strip in half, wrong sides together so it is now 1½” in width. Press well to set a center crease line.
- Unfold wrong side up so the center crease line is visible. Fold back the raw edges of each strip ¼” along both 27” sides and one 3” end. Press well. The tie is now 1″ in width.
- Re-fold along the original center crease line, again wrong sides together, aligning the long side folds and the folds on the one end. The opposite end is raw. Lightly pin in place.
- Re-thread the machine with the thread to best match the main fabric in the top and bobbin and re-set for a slightly lengthened stitch. This should be the same length as you’ve used above for your topstitching and edgestitching.
- Edgestitch across the one folded end and down the side of each tie. Remember, the opposite end of each tie is raw.
- Set aside the two finished ties.
Make the waistband
- Find the 29” x 8” waistband strip and the coordinating 28” x 3½” interfacing strip.
- Fold the strip in half, wrong sides together so it is now 4” in width. Press well to set a center crease line.
- Unfold wrong side up so the center crease line is visible. Along one 29” edge, fold back the raw edge ½”.
NOTE: This edge is the “bottom” of the waistband, the edge that will end up at the back of the apron. Keep this in mind if dealing with any kind of directional motif.
- Place the interfacing in the upper half of the waistband, aligning one long edge of the interfacing along the center crease line and centering so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on the other three sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Flip over so the waistband is now right side up and flat. Find the two waist ties.
- Place the raw end of each waist tie just below the center crease line, aligning the raw end of the waist tie with the raw side edge of the waistband. Pin in place. You could also machine baste the ties in place for added security.
- Re-fold along the original center crease line, but this time folding right sides together. The waist ties are now sandwiched between the layers. You can lightly pin the ties at the center of the waistband to insure their finished ends stay out of the way of the side seams.
- Re-set the machine for a standard stitch length.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch each side seam. You are stitching through all the layers, securing the ends of the ties in place. Also, that folded edge you made above along one 29” edge – that remains folded, which means your side seams also secure this folded up edge in position.
- Carefully clip the corners and pull the waist ties out and away.
- Turn the waistband right side out. Gently push out the upper corners. As above with the pockets, a long, blunt tool works well for this, such as a knitting needle, chopstick or point turner.
Attach the waistband to the skirt
- Find the hemmed skirt panel, which should have the pockets stitched in position.
- Place the skirt panel right side up and flat on your work surface.
- Find the waistband. Push back the folded edge just a bit so you completely reveal the top raw edge of the waistband. Align this top raw edge of the waistband with top raw edge of the skirt panel. Both of these raw edges should be 28” in width, allowing an exact fit across the top of the apron.
- Pin all the way across through both layers. The seamed side edges of the waistband should perfectly align with the hemmed side edges of the skirt panel.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch across the top of the apron through both of the layers. Remember to keep that folded edge out of the way of the seam. The waist ties should also still be pulled out of the way.
- At either side, all the folds should come together and be flush with one another as shown in the photo below.
- Press the seam allowance up towards the top of the waistband.
- Bring the folded edge of the waistband down into position at the back of the skirt panel so it covers the seam allowance. Pin in place across the back of the skirt panel.
- Re-set the machine for a slightly lengthened stitch, the same length as you’ve used above for your topstitching and edgestitching.
- Topstitch across the waistband through all the layers. Go slowly and carefully to insure your seam stays straight and true, and to be sure you are catching and securing the back folded edge of the waistband all the way across.
- Edgestitch up both sides of the waistband, making sure your ties are still pulled out and away.
- We added our Sew4Home label to the right side of the waistband as shown in the beauty images above; a custom label is a fun way to personalize your handmade creations.
Project Design: Anne Adams
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild