Commercial Apron (blank) Makeover

©Tracy L. Chapman & Sew Thankful Inc. February 2009. All rights reserved.

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Materials required:

  • 1 commercial “bib style” poly/cotton twill apron (no pocket on the bib).
    • I purchase mine commercial apron blanks in 3-packs from our local SAMS Club. At the time of my purchase each 3 pack of aprons was well under $15.00. Check your local SAMS Club for availability.


  • One piece of 11” x 7” contrasting pocket novelty fabric
  • Coordinating or contrasting thread, as desired
  • Scraps of fabric for whimsical appliqué, if desired
  • Velcro (Sew in or Velcro Fusion), if desired for adjustable neck strap


Press the piece of 11” x 7” novelty fabric so that it is flat and crisp. Fold in half with right sides together so the resulting piece is 5.5” x 7”. Begin at folded edge–using a .25” seam–stitch down one 5.5” side, pivot at the corner and continue stitching approximately 2 – 3 inches. Stop & secure thread, leave approximately 2.5” inch
opening along bottom raw edges, begin stitching again, pivot at corner, stitch up the other 5.5” side as shown below.


Carefully clip corners & press bottom seam allowance back on both sides as shown below.


Turn pocket right side out through opening in bottom edge. Gently push out corners, smooth & press flat.

Prepare apron for positioning pocket by folding the bib in half vertically. Match bib side edges and top edge, press center fold to form a positioning (fold) line. Fold & press pocket in half for pocket positioning (fold) line.

Open apron and lay bib flat. Open pocket and match pressed (fold) lines, as shown below. Use the top-stitching line on the apron bib for pocket top edge placement OR if your apron does not have top stitching, measure approximately 2” from bib top edge so that the pocket is centered and aligned across the bib. See image below.


Top stitch pocket to apron bib. If a pen slot is desired, mark a line 1” parallel to the pocket top stitching line, see below. Stitch pen slot, secure stitching at top and bottom, clip thread tails.


Make an adjustable neck strap, if desired:

Fold bib and neck strap in half vertically to find center of the neck strap. Cut at center point.


Fold raw edge of each strap over .5 inch. Use a wide zigzag and satin stitch along raw edge on each strap end to secure well.


Place and apply Velcro to ends of the neck strap—be careful to turn one strap so that when the Velcro is applied, the straps simply overlap to attach and do not have to be twisted in order to secure the Velcro.

HINT: Apply the stiff/hard side of the Velcro to the outside of the strap that faces up (or AWAY) from your neck. Apply the soft side of the Velcro on the inside of the strap that will face down (or toward) your neck.




Apply a floating appliqué motif if desired.

If your novelty fabric has a large focus shape/image, consider applying a floating appliqué on your apron. Simply cut out the shape. Determine where you want to place your floating image. Apply using your favorite fusible web product; finish edges with satin stitch or zigzag.


Enjoy your new apron!


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6 Responses to “Commercial Apron (blank) Makeover”

  1. I have taken this a step further and used the aprons with the pockets. If you remove the pockets you can then embroider on them, name, business, funny sayings,etc. Then sew them back on. It only takes a couple minutes to rip out the seams and change the whole attitude of the apron! It is a wonderful idea and thanks for posting it!

  2. Diana {Feit} says:

    I think this would make a great gift for those BBQ Chef’s in our lives.
    [I’d use animal prints or outdoor scenery panels for those]

    Members of my Lions Club wear these aprons at our community service projects. We have our club name printed on the chest. The heavy cotton protects our clothes and we also have two great big pockets to use as well. [Yes I’m proud to be a member of Lions International]

  3. Carole Jaques says:

    What a wonderful idea! Now it has turned on a light bulb for me, but I must ask your help and that of your readers. I would like to make an apron like this that would be helpful to a first-time mother. I am not familiar with all the new gadgets that moms need now, however. It’s been many years since my children were babes. Can someone help design pockets, hooks, whatever that would make this very convenient for a new mom and make it a “must-have” gift? Thank you for all you share with us, and I look forward to seeing what can be done with this!

  4. Barbara Dolezal says:

    Thanks you so much for your apron update pattern. I have been wearing these blah aprons for so long. Now I can add some pizazz to mine and also make some for friends who will be as tickled to wear theirs as I’ll be to wear mine. Of course I’ll check out your web site for sewing materials in the days to come. You are so appreciated. God bless.

  5. Patty Smith says:

    Great update done to the apron I am going to use this idea for some aprons we will be making for our local Hospice for their fall/winter craft sale. Thank you I look forward to new ideas from your newsletter and blog.

  6. Darlene Chun says:

    Just thought this was such a fast, fun and easy way to makeover an apron with your young kids or grand children (I have 5). Let them pick out the material and it becomes very personal. You can even add costume jewelry and make PRINCESS APRONS….(smile) Cause don’t you know…PRINCESSES love to help bake in the kitchen.(giggling)

    In this bad economy; in which we all live, it is very kind of you to give of yourself and offer free projects to us all. And to know; they are a well-made, project/pattern, because you have made it, first hand.

    We are all, SEW THANKFUL, for you.

    My prayers and blessings to you and your family for a very long and prosperous, happy and healthy life.

    Darlene Chun and Family

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