101brett baraDIYsewing 101

sewing 101: gardening apron

by Brett

There’s no rule that says we have to make a mess of ourselves when digging in the dirt, right? Well, maybe there kind of is, but even so, it helps to have all your tools handy while you’re getting dirty. This simple work apron will do the trick, keeping your gloves, seed packets and shears at your fingertips while you work in the garden. It’s super easy to sew using nothing but a few simple straight seams, so even if you’re just a budding seamstress, I promise you can whip this up in an afternoon. And if, like me, you can only dream of the day when you have a place to plant tomatoes, this project makes a great gift for the gardener in your life. Let’s get started! — Brett Bara

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


  • 1 yard sturdy fabric, such as cotton duck
  • 1/2 yard coordinating fabric in a similar weight for the pocket
  • sharp scissors (or a rotary cutter and cutting mat)
  • straight pins
  • sewing machine
  • iron and ironing board


1. Cut the fabric.

Cut the following pieces from your fabric:

For the tie: From the longest edge of your fabric, cut a strip 4″ wide. (If this piece doesn’t seem long enough to tie around your waist, cut two 4″ strips and piece them together to make one long strip.)

For the apron body: Cut two pieces measuring 20″ x 15″.

For the pocket piece: Cut one piece measuring 20″ x 20″.

2. Sew the pockets.

Fold the pocket piece in half with the wrong sides together, and press the fold to flatten it. Place this folded piece on the right side of one of the body pieces, with the folded edge as the top edge and the raw sides and bottom edges aligned. Determine where you would like your pocket divisions to be placed, and lightly draw a line in these spots using a pencil or chalk. Pin all layers of fabric together along these lines.

Sew along the marked lines, sewing through all layers of fabric and backstitching at the beginning and end of each seam to secure.

3. Sew the apron body.

Place the remaining apron body piece over the pocket piece with the right sides together. Pin all layers together around three sides, leaving the top side unpinned.

Sew all the layers together around three sides (the sides and the bottom) with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Trim away some of the fabric from the corners, being careful not to cut too close to the stitching. (This will help you get nice, sharp corners when you turn the piece inside out.)

Turn the apron body right-side out, and press all the seams flat.

4. Make the tie.

Next, fold the strip you cut for the tie in half lengthwise, with right sides together. Pin.

With a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew along the short ends and the long edge, leaving an opening in the center of the tie that is 1/4″ longer than the width of your apron body, or about 19 1/4″.

If desired, sew a slanted edge on the ends of the tie (or a squared edge, if you prefer). Trim away the excess fabric from the corners.

Finally, turn the tie right-side out and press the seams flat. Turn under the raw edges of the fabric along the center opening 1/2″ and press.

5. Attach the tie.

Slip the tie opening over the top edge of the apron body, sandwiching the apron inside the tie’s opening. (The top edges of the apron body should be enclosed between the two layers of the tie.) Pin together.

Beginning at one end of the tie, topstitch close to the edge of the fabric all along the length of the tie.

When you reach the section where the tie overlaps the apron, just keep on sewing.

Sew all the way to the other end of the tie, pivot and continue sewing back along the tie going in the other direction.

When you’ve sewn around all four sides of the tie, you’re done!

Now get out there and plant something lovely!

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  • So cute and so simple! Something like this would come in handy for me as a screen printing apron. I don’t really make a mess of myself when I’m printing, so I don’t need a full-sized apron. But this little one would help keep my tape and pens handy. I love that print you used!

  • This is great! I’ll have to give this a try for sure. And! I have a similar feather/leaf patterned fabric I have yet to use- bonus!

  • Love your site. It’s quite an inspiration! I love this step by step with images instructions. I’m quite new to sewing and this was extremely helpful.

  • Pretty! I like that it’s dainty and not like those big aprons. It’s also a great gift for green thumb friends! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  • Love it. Only change I would make is to add velcro for the ties. I have difficulty with tying behind my back. Lovely fabric as well.

  • Exactly what I was googling for! I’ve been working in the garden all Memorial Weekend and have now realized the great need for an apron! Very cute! I’m off for some material!! :)

  • Great idea. I make garden tool belts from vintage fabrics–quilt them to strudy canvas so my sharp tools don’t poke though the pockects. Then I used reclaimed waist bands from old jeans complete with belt loops and long self-belting ties to keep the apron from sliding down when the pockets are full. If you want a closer look, there are a couple here: http://www.kikisrewinddesigns.etsy.com
    Everthing is prewashed , and really sturdy very dirty gardener.

  • Nice quick afternoon project . . can whip one up or a few for the gardening friends that we all have & know . . . even a better idea – – > make one for a “new to gardening” by placing in a clay pot with a pack of seeds & a few trinkets- trowel, sheers, and hand tools & present as a garden gift.

  • Indeed it is a quick afternoon project! I whipped it up just under two hours! Thank you for the clear cut instructions and pictures! Gonna gift it!

  • Love it! I might add a loop for hanging a tool or two. And maybe wear it backwards since I’m always wiping my hands on the seat of my jeans!

  • Thanks for the fabulous idea. I was wondering what to make for the end-of-the-year teachers’ gifts and this was perfect. My kids and I printed our own design on the pocket to personalize it. Cute and functional. Finishing our gift with a few gardening goodies in the pockets. Thanks Again!

  • I love this. I’m going to make one if for no other reason than to carry my cell phone when I’m wearing pants with no pockets. Thanks!

  • I’m interested in learning how to sew. Would you be able to recommend any particular brands or models of sewing machines? Thanks!

  • What a wounderfull gift to make for my gardening daughters. I am always trying to get something different for them and THIS is it!!

  • Thanks for the tutorial! I just made this in about 30 minutes! Super easy and is going to work great for me as I sell at the farmers market this summer!

  • Thank you, I can always count on your site to find great patterns. I like the picture tutorials, they make a big difference for the visual learner.

  • This is a wonderful tutorial. I’m currently making my second apron, and the owner of the first needs a new one as she wore her old one out! Thank you for such a lovely pattern :)

  • Terrific pattern and instructions, pictures are a big plus. This is just the apron I was looking for when i had my yard sale. Perfect for making change.

  • Just whipped up one of these using some Christmas print fabric from my stash…I work in a Christmas shop decorating seasonal items such as wreaths and centerpieces…now I can keep all of my tools organized! Thanks for the great instructions!

  • I just made my first project and it was this apron. I work in a restaurant and it is perfect to carry all my stuff in. I will now have to make ones that match my outfits.

  • Thanks made a cute little apron for myself, my daughter is next! I did trim about 2.5 inches off the length but that was just because I wanted the pockets closer

  • Thank you this is awesome, having my 5y/o niece draw on the feather portion and going to make a Happy Bday apron for her mom.

  • Lesley

    Super easy pattern. Made it in a couple of hours for a friend going into hospital for a knee op. She’ll be on crutches for a while so it’ll be handy for her to put her i pad, phone, specs, etc into the pockets. Thereafter it can be a garden or peg bag. Put a small loop on it so it can hang up in a cupboard. I also rounded the bottom corners.