Today’s project is the perfect Valentine gift for your favorite kiddo(s)! Learn how to make a DIY Child Apron with a free pattern guide.
Aprons encourage all kids to enjoy the kitchen. I learned this when my son was young. He didn’t have a big interest in cooking, but when he put his little chef hat and apron on, he seemed to embrace it.
The Julia Child in him came alive! Not to mention it was a super cute photo op.👨🏼🍳
This apron design works equally well for boys and girls. I added a ruffle on today’s sample, but you can leave it off too.
You can also easily adjust the pattern to fit any size child.
Let’s get started! Below are the materials you will need. (Affiliate links in blue)
All supplies are not in the photo above. Affiliate links below in blue.
Fabric see below
Two D-rings 3/4 inch
Sewing Scissors HERE
Sewing Machine not pictured
Iron Rowenta optional
Pressing Cloth optional
Premade Chef Hat HERE and HERE
I purchased a pre-made chef hat because there are so many reasonably priced options available. It was easier and faster to buy one and embellish it than make one from scratch.
Free Apron Pattern
You can create your own apron pattern or download my pattern.
Preparing the Pattern
You can customize the pattern below to fit your needs also.
Write down all of the measurements. Use the final pattern size to determine how much fabric to purchase. The amount of fabric and trims will vary based on the apron size you make.
My apron sample below is for an average child, 4-5 years old. This is a size small.
To download the medium and large sizes, click to subscribe to my community and monthly newsletter. Just fill out the subscribe box.
Measure the Recipient(s)
Next, measure the child or person you are making the apron for. (Or guess!) Reduce or enlarge the apron dimensions to fit if necessary.
If you are not making the ruffle, add more length to the bottom of the apron body pattern piece. For the small size, I would add approximately 4-5 inches but it depends on the height of the child.
Find a large piece of paper or tape a few together to draw your pattern life-size using this as a guide. Use a straight edge for most lines and draw the arm curve freehand or by following the edge of a plate.
Child Size Apron
The pattern piece for the apron body and lining is the only piece that does not include a seam allowance. Add whatever size you’d like. They are typically 1/2 – 5/8 of an inch.
Fabric and Trim Amounts
For reference, below are the fabric amounts that I purchased to make the size small.
Apron Body, Lining, & D-ring tab 1/2 yard
Ruffle, ties, & hat trim 1/2 yard
Fabric trim, heart fabric, 1/8 yard
Ribbon trim, 3/4 yard
Below is a step by step guide for making an apron with a ruffle.
Preparing the Fabric
1 Pre-wash all of your fabrics. Use the drying method you plan to use in the future, such as, air-dry or machine-dry.
After you have created the correct size pattern, cut your fabric pieces out.
To create the same look I made, you should have 10 fabric pieces.
Body white fabric
Lining for Body white fabric
D-ring tab white fabric
Apron Trim heart fabric
Ribbon gingham ribbon
Ruffle red fabric
Hat trim red fabric
3 Ties red fabric
Making the Ruffle
2 Firstly, let’s finish the bottom of the ruffle.
If you have a directional print like mine, choose which edge you want to be at the bottom.
Fold the bottom raw edge 1/2 inch towards the wrong side of the fabric. Press it flat.
Open the fold up, and now make a shorter fold into the crease line. Press again. This double fold creates a 1/4 inch hem for the bottom of the ruffle.
Stitch along the bottom, 1/8 inch from the edge. (Called edge-stitching) Secure it by backstitching at the beginning and end.
Sew a longer length, gathering stitch across the top, 1/4 inch from the raw edge.
Pull the bottom bobbin threads at both sides to gently gather the fabric. Gather until the ruffle length measures the width of the bottom of your apron body. My finished width is just under 19 inches long but it will vary based on your apron size.
Attaching the Ruffle to the Apron with a French Seam
3 Evenly space the gathers.
Next, we will create a french seam, which will hide the raw edges from view on both sides of the apron.
Pin the ruffle to the body piece with the WRONG sides together.
Stitch using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Then trim it down to 1/8 inch with your sewing scissors. Press the seam allowance facing upwards.
4 Now, fold the ruffle over so that the RIGHT sides are now facing. Pin and sew across, backstitching at beginning and end.
(Not pictured.) Iron the ruffle downwards. Press the seam allowance upwards.
Attaching the Trim and Ribbon
5 This pattern has a 1-inch finished trim size (mine has hearts), with a starting fabric cut width of 2 inches. Of course, you can choose the width that works for your apron.
Fold the top and bottom edge of the trim fabric, lengthwise towards the wrong side, 1/2 inch. Press.
If trim fabric has a directional print, take note of which edge you want to be at the bottom.
Pin in place on the apron. Topstitch along the top and the bottom, 1/8 inch from the folded edges. Secure the stitches by backstitching at the beginning and end.
Next, pin the ribbon in place the same way. (Not pictured) Stitch along the top and the bottom. This time using a 1/4-1/8 inch from the edges, depending on the size of your ribbon. Again, secure at the beginning and end.
Preparing Fabric Ties for the Neck, Side, and Hat Trim
6 You can make your ties out of fabric, or purchase them. Ribbon or twill tape would work well.
If you choose to make fabric ties, follow these instructions. Fabric Tie Tutorial (Note: For the hat trim piece, do NOT sew the tie closed)
The pattern allows for a 1/2 inch finish tie. The total cut width of the fabric starts at 2 inches wide.
You will need three ties for the apron and one for the hat trim.
Below are the lengths, roughly, that I used for the small apron. Yours may vary depending on your apron and hat size.
Neck Tie (one) 30 inches
Side Ties (two) 20 inches
Hat Trim (one) 30 inches (Do NOT sew the tie closed before attaching to hat.)
Making a Holder for the D-rings
7 With right sides together, fold the tab piece in half lengthwise. Stitch. Turn right side out. Press flat, opening up the seam.
You can topstitch both edges if you like. You do not need to finish the ends.
Now fold in half to create a loop for the D-ring. Thread 2 D-rings on and pin ends in place. See drawing for placement.
8 Pin one end of each of the three ties in place. (One is a neck tie, and two side ties.) Pin the D-ring tab at the top front. All 4 pieces should be laying inward towards the body. See photo and drawing for reference. Set the hat trim aside until later.
Not pictured. Next, let’s finish the bottom of the lining. Fold the raw edge at the bottom of the apron lining 1/2 inch towards the wrong side of the fabric. Press it flat.
Open the fold up, and now make a shorter fold into the crease line. Iron it flat. This double fold creates a 1/4 inch hem for the bottom of the lining.
With right sides together, stitch the body together around the top, starting at the bottom corner sewing to the other bottom corner. The bottom will remain open.
Turn right side out. Press the seams open, then flat. Topstitch around the apron to finish.
Child Size Chef Hat
9 To trim the chef hat, use the leftover tie fabric from your apron to add a matching trim to the hat. Instead of stitching the ties closed, enclose the hat’s bottom edge within the folded tie fabric. Now topstitch to hold it in place. It’s that easy.
10 You are finished. Nice work!
DIY Chef Hat
I used a shortcut method for the chef hat.
There are so many reasonably priced white chef hats for kids for sale. It is easier, less expensive, and faster to buy one and embellish it than make one from scratch.
I hope you enjoyed the project. More importantly, I hope the young recipient has a lot of fun wearing it.
Let me know if you make a DIY Child Apron. I enjoyed making this project, it’s not often I sew for kids. I’ll be giving it to a special little girl.💖 Can’t wait.
Thanks for following along. Happy Sewing!
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