When I’m cooking or baking, I like to have something to wipe my hands on and I recently decided that something should no longer be my pants. So I needed an apron, but, as we all know, I’m super cheap so buying a new apron was pretty much out of the question. I did some Googling to find some beginners sewing patterns, but then I would have to buy fabric and (since I can’t sew very well – as you may remember from my Burlap Table Runners post) I would run the risk of ruining/wasting it. One thing I found when I was packing up to move was that I have a ton of pillowcases. My husband and I donated all of the XL twin and full-size sheets we used in college, but for some reason I kept all of the pillowcases. I held a pillowcase up in front of the mirrow and TA-DA! It was just about the perfect length for an apron! This project was very trial-and-error (I’m not a sewer, so I had some hiccups along the way), but it’s also really easy to personalize once you have the basic apron shape down.
2 Pillowcases in coordinating fabrics (or one if you want it to all be one color)
Scissors (and possibly a rotary cutter)
Yardstick and ruler
Iron and iron board for pressing seams
Ribbon or fabric (I used lace edging)
Flip your pillowcase(s) inside out and lay them out flat. If they’re super wrinkled, you may need to iron them to make them flat enough to cut.
Cut off the seams all the way around. I used a yardstick to keep my rotary cutter in line.
When you’re done cutting, each of your pillowcases should be in two equal pieces. Mine had a border along the open edge of the pillowcase, which I chose to use as the bottom of my apron.
Using one half of the pillowcase you want to use as the apron, start to fold over 1 inch (or less) of fabric. Press and pin. 1 inch is a pretty liberal seam allowance, but I’m not a great sewer. You could totally go straight down the sides and have a rectangular apron, but I chose to aim for a shape more like this:
Your measurements will depend on your personal preferences and the size or your pillowcase, but make sure they are equal on both sides.
Measure, press, and pin all the edges. Sew along the seams, removing the pins as you go. When you reach a corner, leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot, and gently rotate the fabric before continuing. This will give you a sharp turn.
Now that the basic apron shape is complete, it’s time for the fun part! Decorating! I cut off the border from a piece of my second pillow case, and sewed a band at the waist of my apron. I connected my lace edging ties to this band. You could also sew a long piece of ribbon across the waist, leaving tails that are long enough to tie. It’s totally up to you!
Using matching ribbon or fabric from your second pillowcase, make a loop and attach it to the neck of your apron. Before sewing and making it permanent, be sure to test and make sure it will fit over your head easily.
You can see my finished waistband in the above picture. I also added two little buttons on each side, just to spice it up a bit. Then I proceeded to make a large pocket. I cut a large, rectangular piece from my second pillowcase, pressed and pinned the top seam, and sewed across. This will become your opening. I pressed the rest of the seams and pinned it to the front of my apron, under the waistband. I sewed around the edges, then sewed two lines down the center of the pocket, essentially cutting the larger pocket into thirds.
There are a couple wiggly seams, but I’m really happy with the finished product — I can’t wait to use it the next time I’m baking! Will you be making your own pillowcase apron? Let us know your plans in the comments below!