Fitted Apron Top

Happy Monday Prudent Mamas! We have a special treat for you today. Jamie from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom is here to kick off our week with The Fitted Apron Top. The thing we love about this top is that it’s light and airy, which is perfect for escaping the summer heat. I’m hearing the words ninety degrees way too much lately. Since June gloom is clearly on its way out, let’s get to sewing up a nice and cool Apron Top.

While you’re adding this tutorial to your to-do list make sure to also add in Jamie’s Halter Dress for a little girl, the Draped Shawl Cardigan for you and the Barbecue Chicken Pizza Recipe for the family. There’s something for everyone!

Check out the full Fitted Apron Top tutorial after the jump…

Fitted Apron Top

Hi Everyone! My name is Jamie from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom. I am so happy to be able to share my Apron Top Tutorial with Prudent Baby’s readers! My blog is all about sewing, crafting and fun family recipes. I would love for you to stop by sometime and see some of my projects.

I love the simple and sweet look of an Apron-style Top in the summer time. I’ve wanted to make one for a while and finally put aside some time to figure it out how to do it.  The Apron Top came together so quickly that I wanted to share the tutorial.

Here is the back view.  So adorable, I love the little fabric loops!

My daughter had mentioned she wanted me to make her something purple.  Luckily, I hit Hancock fabrics on the right day last month and most of their cottons were 50% off.  I thought she would really like this butterfly print, so I grabbed a yard, plus a few others.   I also really appreciate it when I find gingham fabrics that are already printed on the bias.  (Saves me effort and money!)

Materials needed to make your own Apron Top:

  • +/- 3/4 yard of fabric
  • well fitting t-shirt for tracing
  • ruler
  • fabric marker
  • iron
  • paper to trace the pattern (I like to use freezer paper)
  • scissors, plus any other basic sewing supplies you might need


Step 1:  Making a basic bodice pattern.  (once you have this basic pattern, you will be able to tweek it to create many different tops and dress)

To create the basic bodice pattern, grab your t-shirt and trace it on to the paper.  This will give you a basic shape you can tweak for different looks.  Adjust the neckline height as shown below in red.

Fold the pattern in half and cut it out from one side. (This way the pattern will be symmetrical.)  Hold the pattern up to your child and mark where you want the straps to be.  If the straps are too wide, they will slide off her shoulders…  (You can see my orange marks on the pattern below.)   Fold the pattern in half again and cut along the new marks.

Now, make a copy of this pattern and put it in a safe place for future tops and dresses.  ( I used this same pattern on my Sweet Sundress Tutorial and have a link to print the pattern there, so if your child wears a 4/6, you can use my pattern.)

Step 2:  Modifying your basic bodice pattern for the Apron Top.
Measure your child around her chest.  Divide that measurement by 2 and subtract 1.5 inches. Then add back .25 for seam allowances.  This will be “Measurement A”, and is how wide your folded bodice pattern should be.

Fold your basic bodice pattern in half and trace it on a piece of paper, adding to the width as shown in the picture below.

Cut out your bodice pattern.  I wanted my bodice to be shorter, so I cut an inch off the bottom.  (Actually, I just folded it, you can kind of see the fold line.)  If you choose to shorten your bodice like I did, be sure to leave at least 1/4 inch for the seam allowance.

Step 3:  Cutting the fabric pieces.
-Cut out 2 bodice pieces using your pattern.

-For the straps, cut 2 pieces 40 inches by 2.5 inches.

-For the bodice bottom, hold the top bodice piece to your child and measure down how far you want the apron top to go. Add 3/4 inch to this measurement for seam allowances and this will be “Measurement B”.

To calculate the width of the bodice bottom, multiply your “Measurement A” times 3.  (If you want a fuller top, cut the bottom bodice “Measurement A” by 3.5.) Cut the width of the bodice bottom, “Measurement A” x 3 and cut  the length to “Measurement B”.

(Example: for my 5 yr old, I cut mine 31 inches wide by 13.5 tall)

-Cut 2 small pieces 2 inches by 4 inches for the back loops.

Step 4:  Sewing the shoulder straps and back loops.
Fold shoulder straps in half long ways, right sides together.  Sew along one end and down the side.

Turn the strap right side out and press. Grab the fabric loops and press both as shown.

Sew along the open side on both strips.

Step 5: Assembling the bodice top and lining.
Lay out one bodice piece, right side up. Line up the raw edges of the straps with the raw edges of the bodice top 3/8 inches from the edge. Pin in place.

Line up the fabric loops, looped side in, 1 1/4 inch from the edge.  Pin in place.

Sew the straps and loops securely in place, a little less than 1/4 inch from the edge.  Back stitch a couple of times.  Trim any uneven edges so all raw edges are even.

Lay the 2nd bodice piece over the 1st, right sides together. Sew along the edges as shown, stopping 1/4 inch from the edge.

Clip the inner corner and flip the bodice piece right side out. Press the seam edges flat.

Step 6:Attaching the Bodice Bottom.
Grab the bodice bottom.  Hem both sides by folding over 1/4 inch, press, fold over another 1/4 inch, press again and sew a straight stitch, right along the edge.

Next, determine which side of the bodice is the front and which side is the lining. Fold the bottom edge of the lining in 1/4 inch, and press. (Lining only)

To gather the top edge of the bodice bottom, change the stitch length on your machine to the longest setting.  Sew a straight stitch along the top, 1/4 inch from the edge.  Pull on the bobbin thread while holding the fabric.  You should be able to slide the fabric down.  Keep sliding the fabric along the thread,  gathering the fabric of the bodice bottom until the gathered width is the same width as the bodice top.

Next, right sides together, line up the gathered edge of the bodice bottom with the raw edge of the front piece of the bodice top. Pin in place.

Sew right over the gathered edge. Remove the pins and finish this gathered seam edge with a serger, pinking shears or a zig zag stitch on your machine.

Fold the lining back down over the gathered edge.

Press the gathered seam flat, with the seam pointing up.  Pin the lining edge in place from the front side and top-stitch the bodice top from the front side.  If you miss any of the back folded edge, you can do a simple whipstich to secure the edge.

Step 7:  Finishing the bottom edge.
The measurements I gave you at the top include 1/2 for a folded hem. To make the folded hem, simply fold the edge over 1/4 inch, pres, fold over another 1/4 inch, press again and sew along the folded edge.

Since I used 2 different fabrics, I wanted to bind the bottom edge in the contrasting fabric.

To do this, cut a strip of fabric 2 inches tall by the width of the bodice bottom plus a couple of inches (just to be safe…)  Iron and fold the same way you did the fabric loops.  Then sandwich the bodice bottom between the folded fabric, pin and sew. Tuck in the side edges for a finished edge as shown below.

And you are done!

If you make an Apron Top with this tutorial, please come back and post a picture in the Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom flickr group or Facebook page.

For a little extra detail, I made 3 rolled flowers and just pinned them on.

Leave a comment if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them for you!  Make sure your blogger setting is set so I can reply directly to you.  Don’t know what your settings are?  Read about it here.

If you like this project and want to see more, consider following my blog! That way you wont miss anything and I would love to have you!  You can subscribe using the Google Friend Connect widget, through a reader, or signing up via email. Just click on one of the icons below:

This post is sponsored by Disney Baby. We’ll be joining the Disney Baby blogging team next month, and look forward to sharing these kinds of stories (projects/ideas/etc) with you over there! Stay tuned for more details!




i love this. i would make it for my sister but it’s not simething she would wear (though i wish she would).
did you make the shorts too? if so, would you be willing to share the pattern?


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