How To: Christmas Apron

There's a story behind this apron - back in July I went to my favorite good will store in VT, SEVCA, and discovered that they have a sewing section! They had big bags of different fabrics grouped together, and I scored a whole bag of Christmas fabric for $2.00. Last week I really wanted to make a tree skirt, but I couldn't find a good pattern out there (anybody know of any???), so I decided to make one up myself. So, it needed to be a circle, and I started drawing and soon realized that math was in order. Thanks to the freedom of Brown's open curriculum, I haven't taken a math class since high school. But Adj and I put our heads together and did all of these calculations about the circumference of the big circle and inner circle and how many panels of different fabrics I would need in order to complete the circle. Confident in our calculations, I started cutting the panels out. After about a half an hour, I realized that we were way off, and decided to abandon the tree skirt idea for another day. Instead, Adj and I decided that the panels I cut out would look great as an apron - yeah, an apron! A pretty, math-free apron!

Anyways, the moral of the story is - get out there and find a grab bag of lots of fun fabric at your nearest good will store, and make a lovely apron! Oh, and never ask Adj and I to figure out a math problem. Yikes!

Good Will Grab Bag Christmas Apron

You will need:

Scraps of Christmas-y fabric, at least 24” long and 6.5” wide for the front and pocket

¾ yard of fabric for the back, bias, and strap

Paper to make your pattern out of (I used my go-to pattern maker: the JC Penney flyer!)

Cutting mat and rotary cutter


Thread (I recommend red or green!)

2” Bias Tape Maker (will make it faster, but can do without it)


Sewing machine

1. Make your pattern for each of the triangular-ish panels. I drew a shape on the JC Penney flyer that is 24” long, 6.5” wide at one end, and 1.5” wide at the other.

2. Use your pattern to trace and cut out five of those shapes – you can use five different fabrics, or choose only a few to work with. It’s up to you! Iron your panels and set them out to determine the order you want them to be in.

3. Sew the panels together. Start at one side and pin two panels right sides together along the long 24” side. Sew with a ¼” seam allowance.

Add the next panel, right sides together, and repeat until all five are sewn together. Iron the seams flat.

You might notice that the final shape is really skinny on the top and much wider on the bottom – don’t worry, we’re going to shape the top of the apron in the next step.

4. Measure down from the middle of the top of the apron 6.5” and mark a line straight across all five panels at this point. Use your cutting mat and rotary cutter to cut along this line. This will leave the body of the apron to measure 17.5” straight down that middle panel.

5. Use the top piece that you just cut off to make the pocket. Pin the two ends right sides together and sew ¼” seam down the edge.

Turn the tube right side out and flatten it however you would like so that three or more of the panel patterns are showing. This piece forms the pocket on one side and the pocket lining on the other.

Use your cutting mat to even out the tops and bottoms; it will form a triangle-ish shape that is reminiscent of the apron itself, only upside down! My final pocket measured 5” tall, 5 ¾” wide on top, and 3” wide on the bottom.

6. Next, make the bias tape that will form the perimeter of both the apron and the pocket. Cut a 2” wide strip of the contrasting fabric at least 85” long. (You’ll probably need to attach a couple of strips together to make a strip this long.) Use the iron and bias tape maker (or just fold the fabric) to make the .5” wide bias tape. Make sure you have some good music playing, because this will take a few minutes and a little patience.

7. Wrap the bias around all four edges of the pocket and sew 1/8” all around the inside edge.

8. Place the pocket wherever you want it on the apron. Pin and sew around the sides and bottom (3 sides) 1/8” from the outside edges.

9. Now you’re ready to cut out the back of the apron. Place the front of the apron on top of the back fabric with wrong sides together (as in, how the final apron will look). Trace around the edge of the apron, and cut out the back.

Pin together around all four sides (still wrong sides facing each other) and baste stitch around so the two sides are attached.

10. Attach the bias around the sides and bottom of the apron (3 sides), sewing 1/8” seam.

11. Make the apron strap. Cut a 3” wide x 70” long strip of that contrasting fabric (same as back and bias). Again, you might need to attach a few strips to make a strip this long. Fold the strip in half long-ways (so it’s 1 ½” wide) and make a crease with the iron (barely visible in this photo). Unfold and iron ¼” under on each side of the crease, so in the end it will be 1 ¼” wide (again, barely visible).

12. Attach the strap. Find the center of the strap and the center of the top of the apron. Line them up and begin pinning the strap so it sandwiches the apron (just like with the bias tape. Continue pinning the ends of the strap so you’re ready to sew along the entire length. Start on one end of the strap, sewing 1/8” seam to close the end of the strap, the side, attach it to the apron, and continuing on to the other side and end.

You’re done! Be prepared to bake some Christmas cookies in style!

More recycled projects to come - any requests?


  1. Turned out really cute!!

    I wonder if you just cut an outer circle the size you want and take a measuring tape so
    you could mark the middle and make a enter
    circle with a ball-bearing compass or a cup
    for that matter to measure your inside circle.

    Maybe One Pretty Thing has a tutorial.
    Look under search.

    I just use a piece of red material that
    dd was going to throw out. I've even wrapped
    mine with a old lace table cloth in the passed.

    God Bless You and Yours!!!

  2. PS. As for measurments of each piece make marks on your enter circle first and take a yard stick maybe and draw a line to each outer circle. Do this first in small scale to see if it will even work. You could cut one of the lines from the outer circle to the enter to make the opening so you can wrap it around the tree easily.

    God Bless You and Yours!!!


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