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How to Sew a Little Girl’s Pinafore Apron

Learn how to sew an adorable little girl’s pinafore apron with this simple tutorial. Cut list and video included!

little girl's pinafore apron sewing tutorial

Video Tutorial – How to Sew a Little Girl’s Pinafore Apron

The Old-fashioned Pinafore Apron

Pinafores are probably considered old-fashioned or maybe in some circles even fashion forward. But what about practical?

Little girl's pinafore apron with cross back sewing tutorial

It was normal for women and little girls to wear aprons or pinafores while doing house work years ago to protect their clothing. Clothing wasn’t as easy to come by and it all had to handmade. Protecting their clothing by covering up with an apron for house chores was a must to preserve their valuable clothing.

orange floral cross back pinafore apron on wood hanger

In today’s world, clothing is cheeper and way more plentiful, so it is less of an issue if it becomes spoiled. Maybe that is why the practice of apron wearing was lost for the most part.

Also, let’s be honest, most women worked way hard cooking, cleaning and gardening “back then” then they do now.

The Little Apron That Started It All

When I was a little girl, my Nana gave me a sweet little apron. I loved it! Although it is old and thin now, my little girls have worn it to help me in the kitchen.

little girl with an apron and oven mitts

I have wanted to make them their very own aprons for awhile but it was never at the top of my to-do list.

Recently, when I found myself working on food stains in my children’s clothing, I suddenly saw a very practical use for the girls each having an apron of their very own.

The design for the apron just popped into my head and I knew I had to make one for each of them. Intimidated by creating and sewing my own design, I put it off for awhile.

But this winter, I told myself it was time to stop being “afraid of making a mistake.” So I dusted off the sewing machine and just went for it.

The aprons turned out so well. I’m in love with how cute they are. I’ve made several already and have plans to make more.

two little girl's in matching pinafore aprons

And they are saving me time doing laundry! Which might be the best part of all.

Also I don’t mind being old-fashioned, so if aprons are considered old-fashioned sign me up!

List of materials:

Instructions for How to Sew a Little Girl’s Pinafore Apron

Little Girl’s Pinafore Apron Cut List

You will need a yard and a half of fabric for this pattern.

cut list for how to sew a little girl's pinafore apron

Size 2-4

Bib (cut 2) – 7″ wide by 7 1/2″ long

Skirt – 14″ long by 54″ wide

note: make sure to cut the bib and the skirt with the fabric pattern going up and down. You will need to cut the skirt in two pieces and sew them together if the pattern on the fabric is printed going horizontally. This will not apply to all fabrics.

Straps (cut 2) – 26″ long by 3″ wide

Belt (cut 2) – 54″ long by 2″ wide

Size 4-6

Bib (cut 2) – 7 1/2″ across by 8″ long

Skirt – 16″ long by 54″ across

note: make sure to cut the bib and the skirt with the fabric pattern going up and down. You will need to cut the skirt in two pieces and sew them together if the pattern on the fabric is printed going horizontally. This will not apply to all fabrics.

Straps (cut 2) – 28″ long by 3″ wide

Belt (cut 2) – 54″ long by 2″ wide

Size 6-8

Bib (cut 2) – 8″ wide by 8 1/2″ long

Skirt – 18″ long by 54″ across

note: make sure to cut the bib and the skirt with the fabric pattern going up and down. You will need to cut the skirt in two pieces and sew them together if the pattern on the fabric is printed going horizontally. This will not apply to all fabrics.

Straps (cut 2) – 28″ long by 3″ wide

Belt (cut 2) – 54″ long by 2″ wide

Size 8-10

Bib (cut 2) – 8 1/2″ across by 9″ long

Skirt – 20″ long by 54″ across

note: make sure to cut the bib and the skirt with the fabric pattern going up and down. You will need to cut the skirt in two pieces and sew them together if the pattern on the fabric is printed going horizontally. This will not apply to all fabrics.

Straps (cut 2) – 30″ long by 3″ wide

Belt (cut 2) – 54″ long by 2″ wide

Step 2 – Sew Bib of Apron

  • Place bib pieces right sides together. Sew seam across the top with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
how to sew the bib
  • Turn right sides out and iron the seam flat.
  • Next iron edges of the straps pieces 1/4″ under on both sides, as well as the end that will not sewn to the bib. Then iron both straps in half right sides facing out.
iron the straps for the apron
  • Place both straps on either side of the bib. The raw edge (not the ironed edge) of the straps should be at the bottom of the bib. Tuck sides of the bib all the way into the ironed folded straps and pin in place.
pin the straps in place on the bib
  • Sew both straps to the bib, keeping close to the edge of the fold (1/8″). Make sure the back of the strap is in place while sewing.
  • When you get to the end of the bib, back and forward stitch a few times to strengthen seam.
  • Continue to sew all the way around the edges of the straps.
sew straps to the bib
continue sewing straps all the way around
attaching straps to the pinafore apron bib
pinafore apron bib completed

Step 3 – Sew Skirt of Apron

  • If your skirt is in two pieces, this will be the time to sew them together. Line up seams making sure your pattern is going the same direction. Once the skirt is gathered, the seam will be almost invisible. Sew a french seam to keep the raw edges hidden.
  • Iron the edges of the skirt 1/4″ under and then 1/2″ under again to hide raw edges. Sew sides.
  • Iron bottom hem 1/4″ under and then 1″ under again. Sew 1/8″ hem.
sewing side seams and hem of pinafore apron
  • Mark center of skirt with a fabric pen. Sew a gather stitch across the top of the skirt.
  • Pull the bobbin threads to gather the skirt to around 18″ inches. Tie off threads to make sure the gathers stay put. Iron gathers flat to make it easier to sew to the belt
sew a gathering stitch

Step 4 – Sew Bib to Skirt of Apron

  • Pin skirt to one of the belt pieces making sure to line up the centers. Sew in place with 1/4″ seam allowance.
attaching belt to the skirt
  • Then pin second belt piece to the opposite side of the skirt and sew in place with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
attaching second belt piece to skirt
  • Use a sew ripper to pull out any of the gathering stitches that are showing below the belt line.
  • Next pin the bib to one of the belt pieces right sides together making sure to line up the centers. Sew in place with 1/4″ seam allowance.
pin pinafore bib to the skirt of the apron
  • Line up belt pieces right sides together and pin in place. Sew around the edges until you reach the skirt again on both sides.
sew the belt seams together
  • Turn the belt pieces right sides out using a long stick or scissors. Iron belt pieces flat.
attached bib to the skirt of the apron
  • Iron under the raw edges of the belt that are still exposed and pin in place. Carefully stitch together making sure the back side is positioned correctly.
closing up the belt to finish the pinafore apron
little girls pinafore apron laying on the wood table

Step 5 – Cross the Back

The apron will work just fine without this last step, but adding the cross back to the apron is such a cute detail.

To create the cross back try the dress on your little girl. Pin the straps on the back inside of the belt at a good length for her. Stitch in place. If she grows you can alway rip out the seam and lengthen it.

sew straps to create the cross back

Button option – I don’t have a button foot for my sewing machine but another option would be to sew three button holes on the ends of the straps and sew a button onto the belt. If I get a button foot for my machine I’ll come back and update this post to show you how to do it.

Completed Apron

That’s it. Now invite your little girl into the kitchen for some cooking and baking. Encourage her to wear her beautiful apron for meal time to save on laundry.

finished pinafore apron with cross back

And be prepared to want to sew several more for her because they are so cute.

Other Homemaking Blog Post

Simple Ways to Add Beauty to the Dinner Table

Simple Daily Chores for Young Children

Homemade Alphabet Canvas Sign

Pin How to Sew a Little Girl’s Pinafore Apron for later

learn to sew a little girl's pinafore apron with this simple tutorial

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26 Comments

  1. This is such a cute apron! I made two and they turned out so well. The pattern was easy to follow and really is a fabulous design. Thank you so much!

    1. You are so sweet! I’m so glad they turned out well for you! I always hope my tutorials are clear and understandable. So thanks for letting me know!

  2. Beautiful pattern! I made one for my 3 yo for Christmas and am about to make a second for my 8 yo girl. Do you know the finished dimensions of the various sizes? I’m trying to decide which size to go with for my older daughter. Thanks!

    1. I’m sorry I didn’t see you message sooner. You loose about 2 – 2 1/2 inches in the skirt length and about 1 inch the bib. These aprons sizes are pretty versatile. Hopefully I’m not answering too late.

  3. I’m almost done making one right now, but I modified it to add ruffles to the straps for my 15 month daughter’s Alice in Wonderland costume. I still need to attach the skirt, but I am loving it already! Thank you for sharing this!

  4. Question: if I don’t want the straps on the bip, and just replace them with two neck ties, do I have to add the width of the bip with the amount of inches from the straps? Or can I just leave it off? Please explain

    1. I would add extra to the bib as it might be a bit narrow if you didn’t. Try adding 1 1/2 inch to the width of the bid. Let me know how it goes. -Laura

  5. Such a cute pattern that I will be making for my 3 yo Granddaughter’s birthday. I would like to make an adult size for her mother as their birthdays are a couple days apart. Do you by chance have any demensions for an adult apron like the girls sizes? Thank you for sharing this pattern.

    1. I have not posted dimensions for an adult size. I have been asked about it several times though, so it sound like a post I need to write! I’d suggest measuring an adult size apron and seeing if you can figure it out from there. Hope you aprons turn out great!

  6. This is my first time sewing something like this and your instructions were so incredibly thorough and helpful. The final product is so absolutely cute and I am so excited that I made it. Thank you!!

    1. I love hearing comments like this. It’s so encouraging and I’m so happy for you. There is such a sense of accomplishment when you finish a sewing project!

  7. Hi My daughter is making this for her GCSE textiles. She has to embroid and decorate the skirt and there is just too much for the time she has to do it. How many inches can we get away with cutting off the apron so it is not as full but goes to the side? Any ideas would help. Thanks

    1. You could probably cut the skirt down to about 30 inches across. It will still have some gathering but not too much. Hope her project turns out beautiful!

  8. Love this pattern! Made if for my two year old daughter to go with her kitchen Santa is bringing her for Christmas! This is my very first sewing project (other than the basic sewing projects in high school many years ago 🤪) and for the most part it turned out wonderful. Hopefully it’ll be something she can pass down to her daughter one day. Now to figure out how to make a matching one for myself haha

    1. Great Job! I’m so glad it turned out! I have plans to put together a post for an adult size. I’ve been asked about it many times. Hopefully in January I can put together a tutorial for a matching adult size.

  9. Just made for my 9 year old to go with the prairie dress she asked for for Christmas. I did add button holes for adjustable straps! I can’t wait to see it on her!

  10. I made this apron for my niece and my husband said it looked like I bought it! It was such an easy pattern to follow! Thanks for making this. I plan to make more.

  11. Hello there, fantastic work, this is a beautiful choice of cut and fabric and I love how well you presented each step both in photos and in the video. I was so excited to find this because it’s not that easy to find such attention to detail. I really wish you had more tutrorials, you’re very good! ❤️ I will be making this apron for my daughters! Greetings from Germany, Angelika

    1. Thank-you so much for your sweet comment! I’m so glad you found the tutorial helpful. I am hoping to post some more tutorials soon. Thanks again! -Laura

  12. Hi,
    What age child does your smallest pattern fit? I’m wondering if I need to size down for a 24 month-old.
    Thank you!

    1. I would say to just use the 2-4 year old pattern. Kids grow so fast so even if it is a little big, it will fit before you know it.

  13. I love how feminine this sweet apron is. I am relatively new to sewing – just know the basics. But I want to make an apron for my daughter and I think I can do it by following your video. My daughter is older though. Size 12/14 how would I adjust the size? I’m sorry if that is a silly question.
    Thank you, and God bless!

    1. I would probably cut the bib 9 x 9 1/2 and the skirt longer, maybe 24 inches long. Cut the straps at 32 inches long. You will probably need to increase the length of the belt as well. If that is hard do do in one piece you could always cut the belt piece at 18-20 inches and the cut and sew the ties separately and then add them to the belt piece. I hope that makes sense. I’m planning to make an adult apron tutorial soon and will do the belt and ties that way instead.

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