DIY Apron and Potholder

Learn how you can protect your clothes and hands with this apron and potholder, fashioned in a mix-and-match style.

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Photo by Danielle Atkins

While it’s great to select fat quarters for a project, sometimes you get your hands on a collection rather than random singles. If you’ve got a grouping of fat quarters with a common theme or color, then this is the perfect project for you.

It should be noted that there’s a fine line between a “mix-and-match” design, and one that’s too crazy to look at. The finished project will look more pleasing to the eye if you place larger, bolder prints on the base of the apron, and use smaller prints for accents.

Before you start cutting, arrange and rearrange your fat quarters as many times as you need to, in order to make sure you have the best layout for your apron.

Apron Assembly

Note that in the following instructions, “vertical” cuts are parallel to the 18-inch side of the fat quarter, and “horizontal” cuts are parallel to the approximately 22-inch side.

Tools & Materials

• Fat quarter for base (A)
• Fat quarter for sides (B)
• Fat quarter for bib and pocket (C)
• Fat quarter for sashing (D)
• Extra-wide double-fold bias binding, to secure gathers (1⁄2 yard)
• 1 1⁄2-inch grosgrain ribbon (3 yards)
• 1-inch-diameter buttons (2)
• 1⁄2-inch-diameter buttons (3)
• Coordinating thread


1. Cut fat quarter B in half vertically for apron sides.

2. From fat quarter C, cut a piece 11-1/2 inches long by 17 inches wide for the bib, and a piece 6 inches square for the pocket.

3. From fat quarter D, cut two pieces horizontally that are 4 inches long by the full width for the apron sashing, and one piece 4 inches long by 11-1/2 inches wide for the bib sashing.

4. Arrange the B pieces on either side of the A fat quarter. With the right sides facing, sew them together with flat-felled seams.

5. Make a 1-1/4-inch hem on each side.

6. With the right sides facing, sew the two full-length D pieces together along the short edge. (This is now the center seam of the apron sash.) Press open the seam allowance.

7. Fold the apron sash in half with the long sides together and the right sides facing, and sew the short sides, checking to make sure the finished width will equal the finished width of the apron at the bottom hem, and making any adjustments if needed. Trim the excess fabric from the corners, turn right-side-out, and press.

8. Fold and stitch the short sides of the remaining sashing piece, as you did for the apron sash. (This is for the bib.)

9. Make a 1/2-inch hem across the top of the 6-inch C piece. Press under 1/2-inch seam allowances on the other sides.

10. Pin the apron pocket into place, and topstitch on three sides.

11. Fold the C bib piece in half vertically, with the right sides facing, and sew around three sides — both long sides and one short side. Trim the excess fabric from the corners, turn right-side-out, and press.

12. Lay the sashing on top of the apron, right sides together, and line up the raw edges of the apron with the raw edges of the apron sashing. Sew them together, going through the bottom layer only of the sashing.

13. Turn the sashing down, and press it. Press under 1/2-inch seam allowance on the other side of the apron, and pin it into place so the sashing encloses the raw edges. Topstitch it into place.

14. Attach the bib sashing as you did the apron sashing.

15. Gather the top of the apron to 16 inches wide, and use the double-fold bias tape to enclose and secure the gathered edge.

16. Cut off 30 inches of ribbon to serve as the neck-band. Hem both cut edges. Pin it into place at the top (sashed) edge of the bib, and topstitch.

17. The remaining ribbon will be the waistband. Find the center top of the apron, center bottom of the bib, and center of the waistband. Stack the pieces — apron on bottom, bib in middle, waistband on top — aligning the centers, and pin them in place. Topstitch through all layers along the bottom of the waistband, and then topstitch the top of the waistband to the bib.

18. Sew the large buttons to the top of the bib, and the small buttons along the top of the pocket.

Matching Potholder

Use either coordinating colors of fabric, or leftovers from the apron, to make a matching potholder.

Tools & Materials

• Fat quarters, different colors or designs (2)
• Therma-Flec
• Bias binding, optional
• Coordinating thread


1. For the bottom piece, cut one 9-inch square of fabric from one fat quarter.

2. For the top piece, cut two pieces 2 inches by 9 inches from the same fat quarter, for the sashing. Then cut one piece 6 inches by 9 inches from the other fat quarter, for the center.

3. Cut one 8-inch square of Therma-Flec.

4. If a hanging loop is desired, cut a 7-inch length of bias binding, and topstitch the outside edge to enclose the raw edges.

5. With the right sides facing, sew the sashing pieces on either side of the top center piece. Press the seam allowances toward the outside.

6. With the right sides facing, pin the top piece to the bottom piece. If using, fold and insert the loop near one corner, between the pieces, with the raw edges aligned.

7. Sew three sides together through all layers.

8. Trim the seam allowance, clip the corners, turn right-side-out, and press, folding the seam allowance of the opening to the inside.

9. Insert the Therma-Flec square, with the batting side toward the top.

10. Sew the opening closed.

11. Topstitch along the sashing seams to keep the batting in place.

Mary Beth Temple is an author and designer of knitting and crochet patterns. She’s also the owner and lead designer of the pattern line Hooked for Life. This article is excerpted with permission from her book Fabulous Fat Quarter Aprons (Spring House Press).