Learn how to make an apron with very little work. You can easily make this smashing tea towel apron with some basic sewing skills. Leave off the ruffle and you only have two lines of stitching. It is the perfect beginner sewing project!

If you’re sewing this for a gift, you’ll want to add a coordinating hot pad and oven mitt. Handmade gifts are the sweetest way to show your appreciation for a hostess or to celebrate a new homeowner.

simple apron polka dot

(Thanks Zack for being my fabulous model and rockin’ out my apron! You are a great kid and a really good sport!)


1 tea towel (mine measured 20″ X 28″)

1/4 yard of coordinating fabric 44″-45″ wide

4 yards of ribbon (mine was 1/2″ wide)

about 21″ of twill tape (width of towel plus a touch extra to turn ends under)

Before starting pre-wash fabric and tea towel

apron supplies

The Ruffle

With right sides together sew across each end of fabric.

sewing right sides together for apron ruffle


Turn right side out and press.

right sides turned out to press for ruffle


Gather the fabric. I zig zag stitched over dental floss close to the edge, then pulled the dental floss to make my ruffle.

gather fabric for ruffle

Sew ruffle to bottom of tea towel(right sides together). Before turning lay a piece of twill tape across the raw edge and stitch using a long stitching length. Tuck ends of twill tape under before stitching

sew ruffle to tea towel for apron

Turn (open ruffle flat) and lightly press the top edge. This is how it will look from the back side of the apron.

pressing ruffle


Edge stitch across on the front. Although the ruffle isn’t necessary for the apron pattern, it certainly makes it super cute!

The Apron

Fold in top two corners  of the tea towel and trim. I folded my towel in thirds to decide where to cut. If you want it wider at the top of the apron, try folding them in only 1/4.

folded tea towel for cutting apron


trim corners for stitching

Trim off corners, turn raw edge under slightly and stitch close to the edge. Fold the fabric edge over wide enough for the ribbon to slip through,  allowing enough for seam. Press. Really though, you could just fold over the corners like the above picture and sew the casings!

Stitch, making a casing for the neck strap using ribbon. Feed ribbon through each casing.

casing for neck strap on apron


The ribbon goes through each casing, crosses in the back and ties in the front.

ribbon through casing and crossing in back

Finished! This is such an easy apron sewing pattern that you should be able to whip it up in no time. The tea towel saves a little time, and is the perfect fabric for the kitchen.

more fun sewing projects

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  1. No, there’s no casing under the chin, the casings are the upper corners that got turned down on the diagonal and then stitched. The ribbon tie is a big loop that goes around the neck then into the casings then out the bottom sides which are above the waist. Then the ties wrap around the back and tie in the front.

  2. This apron is precious. I am starting now (please don’t hate me) on Christmas gifts and I decided this year to give all the cooks on my list aprons. These are perfect. Thank you so much. Lois

  3. I can’t understand this tutorial at all. I get that the ribbon runs through the casing made under the chin, but where are the other casings?? It seems like there is a step missing. Do you make casings along the side somewhere?

  4. Nice tutorial. Will this sew up just as nicely if I use a piece of fabric that size of the tea towel instead of the tea towel? Trying to use up fabric around here. Thank you in advance.

  5. Have scoured the stores and can’t find a 20 by 28 towel. Everything is 16 by 28. That 4 inches makes a big difference. Advice? Thanks.

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  7. Would I be able to do this with fabric measuring the same size instead of a tea towel? 🙂

  8. While this apron looks simple, I seemed to miss something in the part where you’re making casings for the ribbon that goes around the waist..is there a step missing, or am I a dunce today!?!?!?! LOL!!

  9. I made two of these a while back from someone else’s tutorial & it had a pocket on it. You get some coordinating material to make a pocket, cut it 8 inches wide & the length of the material which you’ll cut in half, then you cut those pieces down so it will be 8inches x 16inches. Then you put the right sides of the 16 inch pieces together & sew leaving an opening so you can turn it right side out. Sew all the way around & make sure you sew the opening at the bottom shut. You fold that in half width wise & you fold the towel in half long way’s. Then you match up the fold with the towel so you know exactly where the middle is. Pin it to your towel & sew around each side & the bottom, NOT THE TOP. Make sure to sew your pocket down the center crease twice to make it’s sturdy because your pockets will get a lot of wear & you don’t want it to tear.

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