50+ Free Apron Patterns You Can Make

If you’re looking for that perfect free apron pattern to sew, you’ve just hit the motherload with this treat from my personal collection that I’m happy to share with you!

Vintage-Style Pink Half Apron Tied At Back

Below you’ll find three pdf booklets to download that are packed full of vintage tutorials and delightful designs, all for free! The vast majority are easy sewing patterns that can be tackled just fine by a beginner but you’ll find some crochet projects too.

Make one for yourself and another as a gift for a friend!

As you review the different styles offered, you’ll notice that many contemporary and modern aprons are actually modelled after these gems and simply tweaked a bit for a more up-to-date touch.

Fabric can be anything you have on hand and these were made with a wide variety of materials measuring a yard or two: chintz, cotton prints, muslin, toweling, denim, etc.

The sizing is pretty much a “one-size-fits-all” affair and needs no real adjustment (other than maybe a lengthening or shortening of the waist ties at the back if necessary) but if you’re an expert seamstress, it shouldn’t be too difficult to make something more fitted in the body, tailored at the waist or a skirt length adjusted to better suit personal preference.

Select a basic model and glam it up with a frilly lace trim, pretty patchwork at the hem or down each side, even a strip of embroidery at the waist or pocket openings can make all the difference. I included one tutorial with potholders stitched into the bottom corners of the skirt for easy access (pretty clever).

For a simple DIY, recreate a retro farmhouse version (which I just love) by first stitching assorted fabric scrap prints together into a large enough piece (aka crazy quilt style) that can then be cut out in the the required template shapes. Use lengths of rick rack or ruffled, thin lace sewn at the seams to pull it all together while offering a very kitschy, but pretty effect.

Retro Farmhouse Half Apron Sewn In A Crazy Quilt Style

These are the workhorses that tend to last for years and years, doing a fine job of protecting garments while cooking in the kitchen and hiding stains very well.

Tipnut’s Free Apron Patterns {Vintage Collection}

I’ve scanned, re-typed and organized over 50 retro goodies then organized them into separate eBooks for you to download (each are in pdf format). Most of the projects collected here are for women but there are a few options for men and kids too.

Please Note: The files are quite large so they may take a few seconds to load.

First up is a whopper with over 30 pages and consists of the half style (ie. skirt only).

You’ll find fun and funky retro options (including one that converts into a sunbonnet), glamour fashions for serving cocktails and entertaining, a few made from handkerchiefs (consider how fat quarters could be implemented here), a cute petal design, one with pot holders in the bottom corners (ideal for baking) and practical styles suitable for homemaking.

The second is 27 pages and features the full style (ie. includes top bib that straps or ties behind the neck and sometimes offers a longer skirt), there are some pretty nifty ideas in this bunch too!

You’ll learn how to sew one by converting a men’s size shirt, a few smock examples, sweet mother and daughter sets, a couple tutorials for bath towel versions (for bathing baby) and some that show you how to transform an old dress into a practical household garment. That’s not all though!

The third is smaller at only 8 pages but it’s still a great one to scoop up! There are a few for men (Gardener’s and Cook’s), fun play costumes for girls (a nurse, tea serving and cleaning house), a good Father & Son set (BBQ) and a small number of crochet designs.

General Directions For Working With Grid Formats

It was common in the 1940’s and 1950’s for companies to publish their projects in a grid format so that folks could easily create their own at home by following a diagram printed in a book or magazine (DIY pattern making). This technique effectively cut down on distribution costs while also more conveniently made their craft projects available to homemakers which in turn would help make them devoted customers.

If you’re unsure how to work with them, here are the basic instructions from one of the original tutorials:

Grid Layout
  1. Rule a large sheet of paper into one-inch squares.
  2. Rule the diagram into small squares. We have printed guide lines on the diagrams that have curves to enable you to rule off the right number of small squares. Simply take a pencil and ruler and extend the guide lines right over the diagrams. Note illustration at right.
  3. With pencil draw the diagram onto the large sheet square-by-square.

[Update: 2023 – corrected missing files issue]

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    • Maureen

    I am a little nervous about downloading large files, and I am intimidated by some of the complicated (to me) instructions. That said, I am about to dive in for some new ideas. I have made over a dozen aprons using one pattern and instructions for a patternless apron. I wanted to share my favorite place for apron fabric: thrift store sheets, curtains and tablecloths! They are super affordable, mixing and matching is creatively satisfying, and I feel great up-cycling the fabric into a fun gift for someone.

    • Pamela

    Thank you so……much for apron designs! Just got new machine and taking up sewing again. I wanted to make aprons first for gifts! I’m thrilled!

    • Belialdi

    Wonderfull work. Thanks for the time and dedication. As a french maid uniform fan, aprons are a must have.

    • Mina

    This site is a wonderful resource, full of unique aprons and other patterns you can’t find elsewhere! I’m super excited to make a few of these aprons, but I gave a question…maybe a stupid one. So I have to “Create” my own pattern using grid paper and copying the printed pattern onto it? Or is there a way to print the patterns to correct size? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

    • Claudia

    These books are absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much for putting them together. I remember my mom & grandma wearing some of these & I have always loved them. Now that I am finally starting my craft business, I now have some of the patterns that I have been looking for. You are super! Do you happen to have any patterns for vintage lingerie? Have been looking everywhere & no luck yet. Thanks again!

    • Colleen Gleason

    Thanks you for all your aprons patterns. I was able to find the one my husband’s grandmother made.

    • Di Shuker

    Hi I am looking for the download of the full apron section , I am not having any luck at all ! I particularly what the yellow/green retro one with the two sizes , that is her favourite style !
    My sister makes this type for our local market , but unfortunately she has lost everything in a Cyclone we have just had , including about 40 apron , sewing machine and her collection of fabric !
    I would appreciate a reply so maybe can get her back sewing again
    Regards Di Shuker New Zealand

      • Tipnut

      Hello Di, I’m sorry you are having trouble! I’m not sure what the problem is though, I’ve checked the link for the full apron pdf and the file is downloading fine on my end. What happens when you click the link?

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