I’m attracted to any fabric with a cool print. This often includes vintage sheets and pillowcases at thrift stores and rummage sales.
I’ve made half-aprons from pillowcases before, and I’ve come up with several patterns for them. For this one, I cut the pillowcase in half and made two aprons out of it. This is also a good way to go if one side of the pillowcase is stained. (Hey, people drool in their sleep.)
I recently made four pillowcase aprons and donated them to co-worker and Go! columnist Nikki Overfelt to sell at the Great American Bake Sale she put on to benefit Share Our Strength. I made three of the aprons using variations of this pattern.
About 2/3 yard coordinating fabric
Iron & ironing board
• Open the seams on the pillowcase, including the hem. Decide how much of the fabric you can use — often with vintage pillowcases, the hem is less faded than the rest. If this is the case, you’ll want to cut the hem off. On this pillowcase, the crease from the hem was faded, so that’s where I cut.
• Cut the pillowcase in half. You should end up with a rectangle around 30 inches by 20 inches.
• Cut your coordinating fabric for the back of the apron to the same size as the pillowcase.
• Cut two strips for the ties that are 4 inches wide by 30 inches long. You can go longer on the ties, but I wouldn’t go any shorter than 24 inches. The ties can be cut from your pillowcase extras — the side you’re not using or the hem — or the coordinating fabric.
• Fold one strap in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press. Then fold each raw edge to meet the crease and press. At one end, fold over about 1/4 inch to the inside and press. Fold the tie along the original crease and press. This should give you a 1-inch wide strip. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam along the long edge and the folded-in short edge. Repeat for the other tie.
• Lay the coordinating fabric right side up. Position the ties 1/2 inch from each of the upper corners on the side seams. Lay the pillowcase fabric right side down on top and pin layers together.
• Sew around the edges with a 1/4 inch seam, leaving a 5- or 6-inch turning hole along the bottom edge.
• Flip right side out, pushing out the corners and smoothing the fabric. Press.
• Topstitch around all edges with a 1/4 inch seam, sewing the turning hole closed. Press again for good measure.
I didn’t add a pocket to this apron because I didn’t want to cover up the pattern on the pillowcase, but if you’d like to add one, it can be added at the end. Decide what size pocket you want and cut it out. Press the edges to the back 1/4 inch. Fold the top over about 1.5 inches, press and topstitch. Pin the pocket where you want it and topstitch with a 1/8 inch seam around three edges of the pocket (not the top).