Make an Apron Using Tea Towels – Part 1 of 2


Hi, I’m Jenny, from the Missouri Star Quilt Company, and we have a fun project for you to make, out of a Tea Towel. We have this little Tea Towel here, and we are going to turn it into this darling apron right here. So, lets go over to the cutting table, and I’ll show you how to do this.

OK, the first thing we need to do with making our Tea Towel apron is to pick a Tea Towel. There are all kinds of choices available to us there are even these darling vintage ones with the stripes on either side. Some of them are even multi striped. Aren’t those cute? Make a really cute apron.

So, for this demonstration we are going to use the yellow Tea Towel, because it will be bright, and sunny, cheery. Good for your kitchen. Now the first thing you’re going to do is take it over to your ironing board and iron it directly in half lengthwise, so, you have a nice, crisp, ironed seam right here. Then you’re going to open that up and you’re going to make sure that your tag is up here at the top. Now from the center front, we are going to measure out 4” on either side, and mark it with a pin. So, we’ve got our 4” line there, and we’ve got our 4” line here. Now you take it from the side, and you’re going to go down 10” on the side, and put a mark on both sides. There we go, now we’re going to take this corner right here, and this is the corner that we’re going to press over, and this will give our apron that apron shape that we want.

So, what we want to do is we want to press this with the iron, and make a good, crisp, crease on that. All right, let’s go to the ironing board. OK, so now we have a nice crease on here, and do both sides to your marks. There we go, and then we go back over here. Now for this we’re going to want to take the pins out, because we have our nice crease pressed in. We’ll open this up and you can see that crease right there. What we’re going to do is we are going to lay the ruler so that it overlaps that crease about 1”, maybe 1 ¼”, and we’re going to cut that part off. All right, so here we go with that. All right, so we have this little corner that we’ve removed, and you can see there we still have a nice crease there. What we’re going to do is we’re going to iron this under ¼” just like this, and then this will be folded over and we will top stitch that.

That makes the casing for our ties to go through. So let’s go ahead and we’re going to cut the other side and then we’re going to iron this edge down, so, that we can stitch it. This other side, those rotary cutters will go through anything. All right, here we go over to the ironing board. All right now, very carefully, you just lay that edge over. Just eyeball it ¼” so that you can, fold that over so you have no raw edges, then we’re going to fold that over and that gives us a nice little casing. If you have trouble folding that ¼” under you can make this cut a little deeper, go ahead and do it on this side. Also, be careful because you’re working with the bias on here, and so that can stretch a little bit. I do know that if you use the spray starch on it, it helps eliminate that stretch on that edge.
OK, so we’ve got that down. Now lets head over and sew down this edge to make our casing. OK, so we’re sewing along here just catching that edge. It’s all turned under, no raw edges, and we are making a casing for our strap. You want to remember to backstitch, because this is an end that you don’t want to pull out. We’ll go right over here to the other side. Remember this is ironed under, and we’re turning it over, and we’ll start right here at the edge, and we’re going to backstitch, and then we’ll come forward. You just don’t want those ends to pull loose. We’re stitching right along the edge of that. There we go, and we’ll backstitch again. OK! Now here’s our finished line.

Nice and smooth, now let’s go back over to the cutting table. OK, now we’re going to cut our straps. Actually, this is part of the fun part, because you get to choose a fun fabric that’ll coordinate with your towel. This is fun because you just never know what, you can put all kinds of things on here, and it’s just going to make it really cute. I think you’ll really enjoy this. So, we’re going to cut some 3” strips, the width of the fabric for our straps. Otherwise, you could use a fat quarter for the pocket if you used some straps like a twill tape or something like that, but if you’re going to cut your straps out of your fabric you need to have a width of the fabric, and three makes a nice long tie. If you’re really little you only need to have two straps, but I’m a three strap girl myself.

So, we’re going to go over here and we’re going to cut a piece that’s 8” x 16”. So, that’s the width of a fat quarter. Two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and this is going to make your pocket. We’ll cut it here, we’re going to cut it at the fold and this is going to make us a pocket that’s the width of the towel. It’s probably a little bit longer. I’m going to trim down those, trim those salvage edges off. See how long this is. Just trim that in a little bit like that, and then we need to measure the bottom of our towel to make sure that it’s not to wide for that, because we’re going to make a pocket go across, see that’s a little bit wide. So, we’re going to cut it in just a little bit. I think it should measure, let me check this out, but I think it should measure about 16”. Actually this measures 20” so if your pocket is 16” that would be a good measurement. Yeah, see that’s going to be good.

Now what we’re going to do is we’re going to sew ¼” all the way around the outside of this and leave a little opening so that we can turn it, because that’s going to make our pocket for this apron. So, now I’m going to go over to the sewing machine, and we’ll do that! Make sure your fabrics are right sides together, and then you’re just going to sew ¼” all the way around, and then when you get down here onto the bottom part of your pocket, just stop and move forward about 4”. Make sure your fabrics stay lined up, and start again. That leaves you a place for turning. There we go. I’m just going to finish all the way across the top. Now before we turn I like to clip my corners to make less bulk. So I’m just going to clip these corners off like this, and then I’m going to clip these two strings that are in between my pocket, or my opening I mean. Then we’ll just flip it around, poke it out as best as you can with your fingers. We have some great little tools here called, The Purple Thang, that we use a lot for that. I’m going to use my scissor right this moment. Not generally advisable, but if you’re really careful you can do it. There we go, see how sharp those corners look. You can also pull them out with a pin if you’re really careful. You just don’t want to snag your fabric.

All right, now we’re going to go over to the ironing board, and we’re going to press this flat, and we’re going to fold up this little seam right here, and press that down so that when we top stitch it, we’ll just top stitch that right to the thing, and we won’t have to do any hand work on that. So, let’s go over and iron this. OK, so now we want to fold this up. Make sure this seam stays pretty straight in there, and we’re going to iron that down. Iron the top piece over it. Then it’ll just lay on there so nice and you won’t know that there’s a little hole in there. OK, now the next thing we need to do is top stitch a couple of rows across the top. This is mostly just for looks, and we’re going to do that before we attach this to the apron.

posted: All, Aprons, Accessories & Clothing, Beginner Quilting Tutorials, Browse by Skill Level, Intermediate Quilting Tutorials, Other Projects & Ideas, Product and Tool Demonstrations and Reviews, Product Demos, Quilt Projects, Tea Towels | tagged: , , , ,
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  • mamak

    When you go to the shop, how much yardage would you want to get for the pocket and “2” piece strap?

    • Sarah

      You will need a 1/2 yard of fabric to make the pockets and straps!  Good luck, and have a ton of fun!!

      • june

        Love it will be having ago today thank you

  • Silly Sister

    Love it!

  • barbara grabowski

    I cannot find Missouri Star Quilt Company’s tutorial on Jacobs Ladder.  I do not find your new format as easy to find anything as your OLD one. 

  • Inemax

    Not sure what Im doing wrong but I cant get the video to work on either part 1 or part 2, but do find the written instructions are very easy to follow.

  • Garlynda

    Cannot get the part 1 of 2 to print the transcript – have tried everything would you please send to me at  Thanks so much.  We love your tutorials and have enjoyed sharing with out quilt guild.

  • Aaajmem

    Just love making these aprons!!!!

  • Ellen Prince

    What a BRILLIANT tutorial 🙂  Guess what all the girlies in the family will be getting this year as a gift 🙂   I do have one question though.  I know this is going to sound stupid, but what size are tea towels in the US?  Some things are different between countries.  I guess I could just look for ones that are long enough….derrr….. hahaha   Thank you again ladies for a wonderful tutorial xx

    • Natalie

      Hi Ellen, 
      LOL! Our tea towels measure 20.5″ X 29.5″ I hope this helps! 

  • Marie Barker

    I have become a HUGE fan of your tutorials!  You explain things very well and really show every step – along with tips on pitfalls to avoid and key points to remember.  Thank you for this.  Your tutorials have helped me realize that I can do these projects too!  I can’t wait to have my order of items from your shop at my fingertips!  

    • Sarah

      Thank you for your comment!  I am so excited for you to start quilting!  You are going to just love it!  Good luck to you and if you have any questions,  please call or email us.  We’d love to help!

  • Mollyserkin

    I love all your tutorials. I made this apron for me and for friends as gifts. This is a wonderful quick gift idea.

  • Linda

    Fantastic idea, love how quick it whips up. 

  • jrhelge

    What would be the measurements for a child’s apron? Thanks, love your site!

  • Alice

    Thank you for the apron tutorial. I made some for autions for some of my charity donations. Love your tutorials. Keep them coming!!!!

  • Margie

    Enjoyed the tutorial. To make it easier to get a really nice finish for the pocket, sew around except for about three inches back-stitching at each end. Then lengthen your stitch quite a bit and sew the 3 inches closed. Pull the top and bottom fabric apart and iron the seam open, then pull out the thread. Turn pocket as normal and you’ll find that the open space seam allowance is neatly folded back and has a nice edge. It takes just a little extra effort, but the finish is worth it.