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Easy On, Easy Off Apron

Martha Stewart Living, March 2006

Start cooking with this one-size-fits-all apron. It lets you tighten neck and waist strings in a single, fluid motion so the apron can be cinched to fit anyone. To create one for your kitchen, remove the existing ties from a standard apron. Cut ten 2 1/2-inch pieces of 1-inch-wide cotton twill tape for the loops (left) make a 1/4-inch hem at both ends by folding the fabric under and ironing. Pin five pieces to each side of the apron's back, about 1/8 inch from the edge. Machine sew short ends in place. To make the strap, cut a 120-inch length of twill tape, sew a double 1/4-inch hem at both ends, and feed it through loops.

Comments (26)

  • PAchickadee 12 Jan, 2012

    We have been making this apron for year. However, we make a reversible one, using a print for two different holidays. One side might be a Christmas fabric and the other side a Valentine one, etc.

    By making it reversible, you have only to make a straight seam, turn it and do the top and armhole casings. No folding and hemming the bottom. I think our way of doing this is much easier and quicker.

  • lizwm 10 Jan, 2012

    Dear Martha - The instructions seem fairly easy to follow but to be sure I am interpreting them correctly I would appreciate seeing a reverse photo. Upon a quick look at the Idea I figured the tape would be passing down through a casting/tunnel but on reading the article you seem to place 5 loops down each side of the back of the apron - is my interpretation correct? - I think the tape maybe more likely to twist if its not in a secure tunnel

  • Mimiart 10 Jan, 2012

    I was looking for an easy solution to the apron problem for my young art students. The easy adjustability of this with the loops for hanging, solves my problem. Thank you.

  • lilysnana55 27 Feb, 2009

    Thanks to everyone that added great additional ideas to this craft! I love the hanging loop idea and making it from scratch with the casing. I agree that cotton duck is a nice weight for an apron. i may have next years' Christmas gifts all planned!

  • lilysnana55 27 Feb, 2009

    Thanks to everyone that added great additional ideas to this craft! I love the hanging loop idea and making it from scratch with the casing. I agree that cotton duck is a nice weight for an apron. i may have next years' Christmas gifts all planned!

  • BeepBeepAngel 25 Feb, 2009

    If you turn and sew the sides and then thread you string through you will have an appron tht one of pattern companies had out for years. I made mine back in the early 80's.

  • SLReddick 25 Feb, 2009

    Mjboop - Although these instructions are for an already made apron, I found on on this site under the Sewing section - Oilcloth Apron - that would work.

  • Tasnim 25 Feb, 2009

    attach a face cloth to the apron with velcro. now u dont have to look for towl to dry hands after handling wet ingredients in da kitchen. try sewing the seams and leave enough space for the "apron strings" to go through

  • Tasnim 25 Feb, 2009

    an interesting variation on mine was a face cloth attached to this apron via velcro. this way you can wipe your hands in between. my apron was sewn instead of using tape, but had enough room for the "apron strings" to go through

  • mjboop 25 Feb, 2009

    I don't get it -- where's the pattern for the apron?

  • 1Toffy 24 Feb, 2009

    I have worn these for years and little neck adjustment is usually necessary.If making this for yourself measure you from the waist to the where you want it to stop, and allow for the neck to be turned for a hem. If the width of you is narrow then adjust for that in the center front.A dart can also be taken in the center front for chest width adjustments if necesary after it is made.Wearing is generally comfortable and not much gathering was necessary at the waist. Height is adjusted at neck.

  • Mumra1st 24 Feb, 2009

    I have made these for years after attending a serger demonstration where the whole thing was made on the serger in fifteen minutes. Cotton duck is a great fabric as is denim or heavyweight muslin. You make two casings on the side and either use twill tape to make the single tie or make it out of the same fabric. Great for the kids aprons as they grow along with the child. Very inexpensive to make out of 60 inch fabric. As for tightening around the neck when you tie the back tie, I never had a problem with mine. To hang them up - well the ties are so long just loop them twice and the hold fine.

  • ambschri 24 Feb, 2009

    I have a question for those of you who have made this before-- I'm worried that it when I tighten an apron made like this one around my waist, it will also tighten around my neck even after I've adjusted the neck to my liking. Does anyone who has used this have that problem, or does it work better than that?

  • zaftig 24 Feb, 2009

    I personally like "twill" fabric. Twill is a weave, look at a pair of levi's to see how the fabric is woven - that's twill. It comes in many weights but the weave itself is sturdy and doesn't lose its shape much after repeated washing. If you got plain colors you could use fabric paint and add names, flowers, or handprints of kids as designs.

  • KPang 24 Feb, 2009

    the hanging loop is a great addition! i have actually been meaning to make a few aprons for various cooks in the family.. i went to my local fabric store, and they told me just about any fabric will do, but does anyone know a good fabric to use for aprons? i am hoping for a good duty (not too thick) cotton.....

    i will definitely be using this strap concept for my aprons.....

  • zaftig 24 Feb, 2009

    If you hang this apron on a hook by its neck the apron part 'falls down' into a puddle on the floor that's hanging from a really, really long neck strap To solve this problem I also add one loop at the center top of my apron (no ties go thru it) to use as a hanging loop.

  • PhotoGal 24 Feb, 2009

    i had an apron that looks just like this one, a while ago I copied it and made myself another one to wear while gardening (it was heavier material), it's time to make another one, and I certainly will use this idea for adding rhe neck

  • Nicelle 24 Feb, 2009

    This is a great solution for many of us that are shorter or don't need the long neck loop. I always end up pinning or cipping the excess at the back of my neck! I'll be taking on this project for all of my existing aprons now...I do have an adjustable buckle for my craft apron, which is also fabulous. However, this solution eliminates having to buy buckles.

  • ceejay30 24 Feb, 2009

    I have made these for years. They are simple from scratch. The whole pattern would have been better than a redo. That way you have your choice of material. Thanks for the reminder. A good craft for a young girl who is starting to sew on the machine.

  • triac 24 Feb, 2009

    In our society, most would throw something away rather than to revise it into something that worked better for the situation. Maybe one apron that is usable by many different people ! If it isnt right ... adapt it !

  • shyshaie 24 Feb, 2009


    I don't think you could find an apron w/o ties. Though the instructions say to remove the ties from an existing apron.

  • BevLeach 24 Feb, 2009

    Can You tell me were to get the apron without ties, so that I may modify it?

    Wichita, Kansas

  • PixieGrammySheila 24 Feb, 2009

    Sorry all...that comment was meant to go under the "3 Pun Costumes" topic! oops!

  • PixieGrammySheila 24 Feb, 2009

    These "Pun Costume" ideas are so cute and funny that they make even ME get excited for Halloween...and I HATE HALLOWEEN!!!!!

  • nennerb 24 Feb, 2009

    Tink, I believe this idea is mean to benifit those of use whose apron ties are NOT threaded thru a casing but sewn onto the apron. Not everyone has an apron like yours...there are other types of aprons out there...

  • tinkonthebrink 24 Feb, 2009

    I don't understand how this is any different from how the ties thread through my apron now? (My aprons have a single long tie threaded through casing on each side - isn't that standard?)