Picture of How to sew an adjustable chef's apron
This tutorial teaches you how to sew a chef's apron. As far as aprons go, it's pretty basic. What is different about it is the way the neck adjusts. Instead of strings that tie behind the neck or a neck that adjusts with a D-ring buckle, this one uses a single long tie that slides through casings at the armholes. You pull on the ends of the ties to slide the apron up or down as needed for each wearer.

Why this style? Because it's the style I like and it's easy for kids to adjust on their own. D-ring buckles have a way of coming undone when you least want them to. It's hard for a little kid to re-thread the end of the tie through them and a pain for their parents to do it for them. It's also easy to tie your hair inside the bow of tie-behind-the-neck aprons. If you're bald, this isn't really a problem but if you're not it hurts just as bad as back in second grade when that jerk Craig McKenna grabbed your braid as you were rounding first base during kickball.

"But a casing is hard!"

No, it isn't. Don't be a nancy. This pattern has only four pieces, three if you cheat and buy bias tape for the tie. Really, it is crazy-easy to make. You can use cute fabric to make a hostess apron or use matching fabric to make a parent-child pair of aprons. Use denim or a masculine print and you've got a great Father's Day present for the dad in your life. Add a pocket if you want, add rick-rack or trim or a heart-shaped lace pocket. The look of the finished apron is up to you. Be creative!
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arielanine6 years ago
I followed the tutorial to make my mom a christmas present, it turned out great!
compwalla (author)  arielanine6 years ago
It looks terrific! Glad she liked it. :)
jordanpaige made it!1 month ago
This is how mine turned out :-)
DonateLife1235 months ago

Thank you so much! I'm going shopping tomorrow for the fabric to make a couple of these (the closet full isn't enough). My aunt is staying with us for a month following surgeries and she loves my chef's apron. Somehow she has managed to make it to retirement without owning an apron. The only change I will make is adding a loop to the front to hold a dish towel. She remembers my grandmother having an apron with a sewn on towel when she was a child. I'd rather be able to just change the towel as needed.

I just completed my first one for my cousin's 5-year old grandson who likes to help out in the kitchen. I made it from camo-patterned flock-backed vinyl to make it "boyish" and easier to clean. I had to be careful not to melt the vinyl, so I finger pressed the seams instead which worked well....and he can grow along with it without growing out of it!

Maramas made it!8 months ago

Thanks for the great tutorial, it was very clear and easy to follow. The only problem I encountered was totally my own fault - I used a fabric that had text on it, hence had a specific directionality, and I was almost done sewing when I noticed I'd cut it out upside down. I "solved" this by cutting just below the curved casings, flipping that bottom rectangle over, and sewing it back on. Then I cut the pocket out sideways, so it can be read for every direction. Yes, that's totally what I meant to do, completely on purpose. ;)

SallySew9 months ago

I never saw an adjustable apron until my sister in law showed me hers. I made a pattern from hers and made two. Not bad. But I like the sleeve on yours better. Thanks for sharing!

delavega4 years ago
I needed an apron pattern for a project I am doing with a bunch of teenage girls who are learning to sew. I made my sample apron yesterday and it turned out great. BTW, thank you for your creative writing style. (you sound like me) It made me laugh, especially when I was about to complain very loudly,  I would continue to read and LOL!  Thanks for the comic relief , you made this experience fun. 
From: a person who hates to sew.
I agree completely! Thank you for not only using proper spelling, grammar, etc., but also making it an interesting read.

I'm going to make this apron in a custom size for my boyfriend. He's a XXL and doesn't like how small store aprons are.
I've made this apron about 5-8 times and it comes out great everytime. I'm now trying to make a reversible apron and I think I'm gonna use this as my basic pattern:) thanks so much
justinefx2 years ago
i am a wayyy beginer sewer, im going to attempt this today! -- but how do i pin this ?
lediva3 years ago
havent made this but is in my to do list. A mother & daughter set I think! Love your choice of fabric just gorgeous:)
kbrooks33 years ago
Love of FSM! LOL. Personally, I like the IPU, but to each her own. Great tutorial, BTW.
c_bluesky5 years ago
Thank you for this tutorial. I rather like your teaching style -- clear, to the point, and no bs.
sarahfish5 years ago
 great project, great inst!

Also, first time I've seen the tape maker, wow, all the time I've wasted doing it by hand!!!  So cool!
kaleevt6 years ago
I made two of these aprons for Christmas and the recipients loved them. I made one change that cut project time to 20 minutes! Cut 2 apron panels for each apron. Pin right sides together and sew together leaving 5 openings as follows: 1.25" at each end of the apron top; 1.25" at the top of each straight edge after the curve, and 3" on the bottom hem. With a needle and thread, handsew the fabric around the first four openings down so that the edge is smooth. Turn the apron out through the gap on the bottom. Topstick the channels for the adjustable tie from one end of the top opening to the corresponding end of the opening after the curve. This allows a sturdier, self-lined apron that better protects their clothing if you are using lighter weight cotton (I used leftover cotton from my quilting stash to make two children's aprons this way).
smilemeg6 years ago
This was a great tutorial! It was really easy to follow and really helped a novice sewer like myself! The apron I made came out great! I'm giving it to my dad for Christmas!! Thanks so much!
2Marbles6 years ago
Excellent! I finished it last week, and will take pictures as promised! You made this sooooo easy! Thanks for the Christmas gift idea!
compwalla (author)  2Marbles6 years ago
Yay! Can't wait to see it. :)
JennasMommy6 years ago
Love it! This is one of the most well written tutorials I have ever get an A++. Thank you so much for adding the PDF download, it makes my life as a TUT-junky so much easier ;). I can't wait to make one of these for my toddler to go with her new play kitchen! Thanks ~Mary
artmule6 years ago
l love the print to that fabric