Blogueur d’invité, Jill Flory from Sew a Fine Seam!


Happy Monday!  I bet you were expecting a “Redoux” of some sort? I am taking the week off FROM LIFE as I am spending the week, far away from my computer, my workshop and my kids.  ALONE with Mark.   See you when I get back!

I am running some “reruns” this week that you may not have seen.  Today, however,  I am so thrilled to host my Guest Poster.  Jill Flory from Sew a Fine Seam.  I LOVE Jill.  She has such a calm way of writing, and showing off her gorgeous creations.  Like this one:

Do you remember this adorable ottoman???  How can we forget it?  Jill also made all the slipcovers in this picture, click on the picture to take you to the link.

Jill makes the most gorgeous camera straps, and she is a talented photographer.  (Not to mention, she paints furniture, cooks, and can organize her home and sewing space)

I love all of Jill’s creations.  Guess what?  You are getting an awesome tutorial from Jill, she is going to show us how to make these adorable aprons.  I think I can actually do this!

Take it away Jill:

Hi! I am SO honored and excited that Karen asked me to share a post here on her blog. I ran some blog post ideas by her and she expressed an interest in an apron tutorial – something she could make for herself. I promptly set about coming up with an apron that can be made without a pattern. With the help of my Teenager as a model, I’ve come up with one, along with several a ton of pictures to help you figure out what I’m talking about!

I actually made 2 aprons to start with. The first one worked but needed some tweaking. This one is what I came up with and what I will be showing you how to make. You can also make this a half apron – without the top part if you prefer.

You will need just a little more than 1/2 a yard of fabric, extra-wide double fold bias binding, and ribbon of your choice. I suggest about 5/8 inch wide at least, but it’s up to you! I used a vintage tablecloth I have had for several years to do this tutorial. I had a package of seam binding and the linen ribbon on hand too. If you only have a half a yard of fabric just adjust the length of the lower apron to accommodate the fabric you have. You will need the following pieces cut:

1 – 20×24 inch Rectangle

1 – 12×18 inch Rectangle

1 – 5×20 inch Rectangle

Ribbon – wrap around your waist, double that and add 12 inches (this will go around your waist and back around and tie in front)

1 package extra-wide double fold bias binding

You will need to start with a straight edge. My tablecloth was hemmed but it wasn’t hemmed very straight so I straightened it up using my metal yard stick. {Lower left photo} I drew a line with a pen and cut along the line. I used the selvage edge of my tablecloth as the bottom edge of my apron – I measured 24 inches wide {Top Photo} and made a small snip to mark my width. From that snip mark I measured up 20 inches and made a small dot {Lower Right Photo} I measured up 20 inches on the edge I straightened and marked it. Then from that 20″ mark I measured over 24 inches. See the lower right photo again. See the 2 dots? The one to the right was my first mark when I measured up. The dot to the left is the one that marked the 24 inches from the other side edge. This dot I lined up with the snip mark at the bottom edge, drew a line using my yard stick, and cut on it. That is how I cut a rectangle. If you have a better way – please feel free to skip all this!! You can use the same technique for the 12×18, and 5×20 rectangles if you want.

Now you want to fold your large rectangle piece in half. The 20 inch long raw edges will be lined up together, fold is 20 inches. The 24 inch side is the bottom of your apron. At the top edge of your folded rectangle, measure in 2 inches from the raw edges {Top Right Photo} Now lay your yard stick in a diagonal line from the corner of the bottom edge to the mark you just made. Draw a line along the yard stick. Cut on that line.

Your large piece will now look like this.

Follow the same steps for the 12×18 rectangle – but where you measured in 2 inches from the raw edges you need to measure in 3 inches. Also, the raw edges need to be the 12 inch edges. The 18 inch side will be the bottom of the top piece. Now you need to fold the 5×20 piece in half lengthwise and press. Serge the top edge of your large piece (the bottom of the apron). Also serge the bottom and the top edge of the upper piece of the apron (the one that was the 12×18 inch rectangle to start with) Hem the top of the upper piece. I just pressed the serged edge under and top stitched it down.

Lay the folded edge of the long strip on top of the serged edge of the lower apron piece and top stitch it in place. I double top stitched because I like it that way. Now serge the top raw edges together.

Let’s get going on finishing the side edges of the top and bottom of the apron! I used the extra-wide double fold bias binding for this step. Just encase the side edges of the top and bottom pieces in the binding and top stitch. The lower right photo shows how I fold the bias binding over at the top so I don’t have raw edges of bias binding showing. If you would prefer to hem these edges, that works too. Or you can just serge them if you want. If you don’t have a selvage edge for the bottom of your apron like I did you can encase that in binding too, or you can serge and hem it like you did the top piece of the apron.

Center your upper apron piece on the lower apron piece {Upper Left Photo} Top stitch it on, over the serged edge, just like you did earlier when you put the long folded strip onto the lower part of the apron. Now you are ready to add your ribbon, which will cover the seam you just sewed and become your apron strings. Find the center of your ribbon by folding it in half. Match that center up with the center of your apron – I just eyeball it – you can measure or fold the apron in half to find the center. Lay ribbon on apron making sure it covers the serging/seam, and stitch it on from edge to edge. Your strings should be long enough to go around your waist and back around to the front and tie. If you would prefer that your strings tie in the back cut your ribbon accordingly.

Almost finished!! You just need a ribbon to go around your neck to keep the apron on! Start with a 20 inch piece of ribbon. I recommend using safty pins, pinning the ribbon on the apron at the top corners and trying it on to see how long you want the ribbon. Everyone likes it a little different. Mine ended up about 18 inches long, my daughter’s was shorter. Once you have the ribbon the length you want it, unpin it and stitch it in place, with the ribbon ends to the back side of the apron. I angled the ribbon in towards the center of the apron just a little. Make sure your ribbon is not twisted before sewing the second side on. You should now be able to slide the ribbon over your head, and tie the strings around your waist. Viola! You have an apron to protect you when you are cooking or crafting! And you made it yourself! Bravo!

This apron can easily be personalized just for you. You could add a ruffle to the bottom, or even along the top edge at the neck. You could add a pocket or two to the front of the ‘skirt’ or even a big pocket to the ‘bib’. If you prefer a half apron just skip the steps for the top part. You can lengthen or shorten it to just the length you want too. Embellish in any way you desire!

Karen, thanks again for letting me share this on your blog!

Sew a Fine Seam

Thanks so much Jill!  That is the cutest Apron!  If you want to know more about Jill, you can find her at her blog Sew A Fine Seam, and you can find many of her beautiful creations at her Etsy Shop, Sew a Fine Seam

PS We have a TEAM of young married couples with no kids, friends and friends that are like family helping us out this week.   Let’s just hope they all survive it and we don’t turn the young married couples off from having children of their own!



  1. Catherine

    LUV that crisp white apron with black binding! I think I’ll be making that!
    I’ve actually been playing around with some apron designs of my own–but I’m re-purposing old shirts!

  2. Pam @ Simple Details

    I agree Jill is amazing, she does all that while homeschooling three girls! Love the cute apron, Jill! The fabric reminds me of a tablecloth I have that belonged to my grandma. 🙂

  3. Jennifer @ Dimples and Tangles

    These would be the most wonderful gifts, and what a fun way to use some vintage fabric as an accent! So happy to see Jill featured here!

  4. deborah

    Beautiful aprons! Love the print….and I love seeing my talented sister guest posting here! Excited for you both!

  5. Amy of While Wearing Heels

    I couldn’t agree more, Jill is FANTASTIC. She is just as kind and encouraging as she is creative and talented. This apron is just par for the course for Jill. What beautiful fabric, perfectly executed. Absolutely beautiful.

  6. Jill Flory

    Karen, thanks so much for having me over here – and for all the praise you gave me, I’m very honored! It was really fun doing this tutorial for you!

  7. Liz

    Bravo! And that vintage tablecloth sure makes a cute apron. You are so amazing. I wish I could reach my sewing machine right now. But maybe it’s good that I can’t or my vintage Florida tablecloth might be in jeaopardy!

  8. breida @

    hey! using the vintage table cloth for this is SUCH a good idea! i think that might give me an excuse to buy some of the beautiful cloths i see with the little stains on them. . . you know how much i want things to be BOTH beautiful and FUNCTIONAL – everyone needs a good apron!
    Thanks JIll!!
    And thanks for hiosting, Redoux!


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