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Published Apr 19, 2022

We don't really have a "pottery fashion" section on CAN, but perhaps we should considering all of the great handmade aprons I have seen potters wearing over the years. I have been wanting to make one of my own for a while (especially since there is a fabulous fabric store near my house), but I am not the most experienced seamstress, so I haven't made it happen.

But in the Ceramics Monthly archive, Lindsay Scypta and Jeni Hansen Gard give a little apron making tutorial that has made me realize that even I have the skills to make myself a custom apron. In today's post, Lindsay and Jeni share their approach to simple studio apron making. –Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor

handmade aprons

We both love color and pattern and we have found every way imaginable to infuse our day with it, from our art to our wardrobes. One thing that was missing from both of our studios was the perfect apron to keep us clean. Lindsay has always preferred to protect her clothes from the clay and Jeni has ruined far too many washing machines with clay-laden cloths. So we set out to make handmade aprons for ourselves for cleanliness, practicality, and for a pleasurable studio accessory. Those first handmade aprons we made have long since been pushed to the back of the rack and each new season and discovery of new patterns and endeavors seems to warrant a new apron. This is a short guide to making a very simple apron using one you already have as a template. We hope you, too, will take to the adventure of apron making!


Do some investigation, decide what you like in an apron (longer or shorter, split leg, half or full, etc). For simple apron making, lay down your fabric on a flat surface, place the pre-existing apron on top, and trace the desired shape with a light mark using a fabric pencil (1). Cut around the edge, leaving an extra ½–1 inch of fabric around the outline to account for the seam line. Repeat the process for the inside or liner fabric (2–3). This adds thickness and durability and helps keep you dry.

Making Pockets

Decide what kind of pocket you want and where you want it to be placed. Think about what tools you want to put in the pocket; this can help you in determining what size and where you chose to place it. Cut out two layers of fabric for each pocket. Pin the fabrics together (using the quilting pins) with the print side (right side in sewing terms) facing inward and sew along the edges leaving the top of the pocket open (like a pillow case). Flip the pocket inside-out, revealing the print. Fold under the raw edges of the fabric and iron to flatten. Pin along the edge and sew, containing the pocket in itself. Set aside the liner fabric and pin the pocket onto the top layer (4). Sew the pocket onto the handmade apron, making sure to leave the top of the pocket open (5–6).

Waist and Neck Tie

For a simple waist and neck tie, you can use ribbon. For a more complex tie, you can use fabric. For the waist tie, cut two strips of the same fabric to approximately 3 inches wide and 20 inches in length. For a belt-style waist tie, use one strip of fabric that is 3 inches wide and 60 inches in length. This should be adjusted depending on your size and preference. For the neck tie, cut two strips of the same fabric to approximately 3 inches wide and 45 inches in length. Fold the strips in half lengthwise with the pattern on the inside. Iron flat and sew along the edge, closing off one end of the strip. This end will be used to tie the apron together. The open end will be used to flip the strips inside out using whatever means necessary. A wooden dowel can help do the trick.


Lay both fabrics of the apron together with the print inside (right side). Place your waist tie appropriately and secure it with pins. Pin both the front and inside layers of the apron together, leaving the top of the apron open (7). Using your sewing machine, sew the apron together starting at a top corner and working your way down and around to the opposite top side corner. Make sure you leave the top completely open (like a pillowcase). Flip the apron right-side out. At the top of the apron, fold under the raw edges of the fabric and iron them to flatten. Place the neck tie and pin to hold it in place. Sew across the top, enclosing the handmade apron and securing the neck tie at the same time (8).

**First published in 2014.