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Vintage Green Day: In the Kitchen - A Cafe Apron Tutorial

Us vintage gals have a thing for vintage tablecloths, fabrics, hankies and especially vintage pillowcases. Fess up, how many vintage pillowcases do you have? In honor of our own "Vintage Green Day" ( In honor of Earth Day) We've invited the lovely Lee-Ann from WhoopsieDaisies to share her simple tutorial for making a cafe style vintage pillowcase apron.


This one is made from two vintage pillowcases. They are so much fun to use because of the unique embroidery work you find on each one.

Materials Needed:

  • 1 Vintage Pillowcase
  • 2 6"x19" pieces of fabric for pockets
  • 2 2 1/2"x about 40" pieces of fabric for ties (can use upper portion of pillowcase)Vintage Trim - Rick Rack or Ribbon
  • White Thread
  • Sewing Machine and/or Serger
  • Straight Pins
  • Iron
  • Rotary Cutter and Mat
  • Transparent Ruler
  • Scissors

1. Press your pillowcase using your iron and spray starch.
2. Determine the length for your apron. (Mine is 21") Add 2 1/2" for the waistband. Using a rotary cutter and transparent ruler, cut across your pillowcase.
3. Determine the width of your apron. (Mine is about 33" wide) Flip your pillowcase over, and cut a slit down the middle. Lay it out flat on your cutting mat and cut to the desired width being careful to center the motif.
4. Hem the sides by serging; zig zagging; or turning under 1/4", press, turning under another 1/4", press, then stitch in place close to the folded edge.
5. At the top of your apron, turn down 2 1/2" towards the back for the waistband and press.

Step 1

6. Open back out and turn under 1/4" along the raw edge. Press back down.
7. Using rotary cutter and ruler, cut 2 strips of fabric for the apron ties 2"x about 40" (twice the width of your pillowcase works great!).
8. Press under 1/4" on the 2 long sides and 1 short side of each apron tie. Press under another 1/4" on the 2 long sides.

Photo 2

9. To avoid bulky tips on the apron ties, fold the material back out and trim the corners. Fold the short end to make a pointed tip and press. Stitch around the apron ties close to the folded edge.

10. Insert ties into the sides of waistband. Pin in place. Stitch all the way around close to the folded edge.

Photo 3

Photo 4

The basics are done - now it's time to embellish!

11. Cut 2 pieces of fabric 6"x19" for pockets. Fold with right sides together and press. Stitch around with 1/4" seam allowance - Be sure to leave about 2" opening (to turn right side out).

12. Trim the corners and turn right side out. Press well. Stitch opening closed.

Photo 5

13. Pin pockets in place. Stitch around 3 sides close to edge.

Photo 6

14. To create smaller pocket sections, stitch down the center of each pocket.
15. Add desired trim along the bottom using a straight stitch.


Congratulations! You're done!

Looking for an easy, affordable and recycled gift? We think these DIY aprons would be perfect!

Thanks so much Lee-Ann with us. Please take a minute to visit her lovely shop Whoopsiedaisies on Etsy.


michelle johnnie

Love it! I'm linking!

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