How to Sew Apron Ties — Aprons make great gifts for the whole family! #HolidaySewing #ChristmasGiftIdeas

Here we see the front of Simplicity kitchen craft pattern number 2691. It includes an apron with a single pocket, a table runner, and placemats. The discussion on that accompanies this image offers advice for making aprons as Christmas gifts, including ideas for fabric to purchase for apron making and where to buy aprons as Christmas gifts.

Maybe you’ve been thinking about sewing an apron for each of your family members as Christmas gifts, or even to use at Thanksgiving, when the whole family is visiting.

They don’t take long to make.

Simplicity apron pattern number 2691 is a simple pattern to follow. It comes with a table runner and placemats, and although it was published in 2009, it’s a timeless shape and design.

What most people struggle with are those apron ties, so today I’m going to give you some quick advice about making the apron ties even easier than what the pattern package and instructions may suggest.

Take a look at my Chelly Wood doll below. See the apron she’s wearing?

In this photo, the Chelly Wood doll (a Spin Master Liv doll) wears a tiny Barbie-sized apron (made using a free pattern from, while holding up Simplicity Apron Pattern 2691 that includes a table runner pattern and a placemat pattern.
Please visit for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

When I create an apron for a Barbie or similar sized doll, I use folded ribbon or double-folded bias tape all along the edges of the apron. Have a look at this one, for example:

This image shows a handmade apron for 11 to 12 inch fashion dolls like Barbie, Liv Dolls, Queens of Africa and Poppy Parker. The apron has three front pockets, a ribbon that ties the apron in the back, and a snap closure at the neck of the apron. The fabric of the apron is a pink checkerboard while the pockets are a solid pink fabric. Visit for the free printable sewing pattern and tutorial video showing how to make this doll clothes sewing project using our free printable PDF sewing pattern.

Now compare this to the Simplicity apron pattern number 2691 shown at the top of this page. The neck tie area of that apron is very similar, but instead of using ribbon or bias tape, the folks at Simplicity are creating their  apron ties from contrasting fabric.

Why would you bother making apron ties from scratch, when you could buy bias tape that does the same thing? You can see what I mean in my video about making an apron for dolls (see video just below this helpful photo):

In this photo (which bears the watermark for we see the side of an apron where a sewist is applying ribbon to create ties for the apron. The sewist has curved the ribbon around the raw edges of the apron's fabric and is using a whip stitch to secure the ribbon over the raw edge. The ribbon is being attached to the part of the apron that goes from the breastbone to the the underarm area, and the ribbon extends from the breastbone upward, to form the ribbon around the apron's neck. The same ribbon extends from the underarm area to outward at the apron's side, to form the ribbon tie at the back of the apron.
Please visit for free printable sewing patterns for making clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

To see how I applied ribbons to the Chelly Wood librarian’s apron, revisit this video:

Now for a doll, silk ribbons are perfect because they add shine to doll clothes (which children love), but I’ve made human-sized aprons with ribbons and found them to be less effective than bias tape because they’re slippery. This makes the apron come undone while you’re wearing it.

Instead, I recommend using Wrights Double Fold Quilt Binding (7/8″W x 3yds) in a color that matches (or nicely contrasts) your apron fabric. The cotton/poly blend fabric that bias tape is made from will be less slippery and will hold the ties closed better.

Also, bias tape doesn’t shrink when you wash it, so you’ll find your apron ties won’t look wrinkly or weird after washing the apron.

I do, however, recommend that you pre-wash your apron fabric before cutting out your fabric in the apron’s shape.

To learn more about bias tape specifically, you might want to look back at this video:

Now let’s talk some more about your apron’s fabric.

If you’re wanting to make people-sized aprons for the whole family for Christmas, choose fabric that suits the individual and/or the occasion. Here are some ideas:

Hopefully those fabric links will give you lots of great ideas for your apron-Christmas-gift projects. And remember, if you buy your fabric using one of the links I provide in this blog post, you help support this website and all of its free printable PDF sewing patterns for doll clothes and craft projects!

Most of the patterns I display and talk about here on are also available for sale on eBay. However, if you’ve never purchased a pattern on eBay before, it’s a good idea to read the article I wrote called, “Tips for Buying Used Doll Clothes Patterns on eBay.” It will save you time, money, and will likely prevent buyer’s remorse.

Today’s blog post was a re-post of a similar article I wrote and posted here about two years ago.

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Chelly Wood and the website are not affiliated with the pattern company or companies mentioned in this blog post, but Chelly finds inspiration in the doll clothes designed by these pattern companies. To purchase patterns from Simplicity, McCall’s, Butterick, or other pattern companies shown and discussed in this blog post, please click on the links provided here. These links below the “Disclaimer” section do not help raise money for this free pattern website; they are only offered to give credit to the company that made these patterns.

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