How to Create a Retro Cocktail Apron

comments (5) July 8th, 2015     

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JenniferSauer Jennifer Sauer, contributor
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When making a retro-style apron, opt for bold colors and fringe trim (middle) or a quirky vintage map tea towel (right).
Interface your ribbon.
Back ribbon and interfacing with another ribbon.
When making a retro-style apron, opt for bold colors and fringe trim (middle) or a quirky vintage map tea towel (right).

When making a retro-style apron, opt for bold colors and fringe trim (middle) or a quirky vintage map tea towel (right).

Photo: Sloan Howard

I can't think of anything cuter and easier to stitch up than a perky cocktail apron a la Lucille Ball. It makes a great accessory for entertaining (what a conversation starter!) or the perfect unique gift -- all for under $10 and less than half an hour of your sewing time. All you need is a vintage tea towel in a quirky print and a length of wide ribbon to give this waist-hugging cover-up a modern twist.

What You'll Need:
Vintage tea towel
2-1/2 yards of 2-inch-wide ribbon (or bias strip of fabric)
1 yard of 2-inch-wide grosgrain ribbon (for backing)
Lightweight fusible interfacing and iron
Sewing machine
Hand needle and thread

Step 1: Prepare the tea towel
Before you begin, you may want to gently launder your tea towel. Treat any stains (visit Sdahq.org for more info); then soak in water and mild soap (Linen Wash or Orvus). Rinse, dry flat; then press using a press cloth.

Step 2: Interface your ribbon
From each end, trim about 4 inches of your ribbon, cutting on a diagonal and set aside (these pieces will be used in Step 5.) Cut a strip of interfacing the width of the tea towel just shy of the ribbon width. Center the interfacing on the ribbon and fuse with your iron.


Fuse interfacing in place, centered on the wrong side of the sash.

Step 3: Back sash with another ribbon
Cut a piece of grosgrain ribbon the width of the tea towel, plus 1 inch. Press under 1/2 inch on each short ribbon end, and pin it centered on the back of the interfaced ribbon. Topstitch along one long edge.


Add grosgrain ribbon to the backside of the sash over the interfacing and topstitch top edge.

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Comments (5)

katrinehomeblog writes: hi,love this idea of using up vintage linens into adorable aprons. thx. for the tips. Such cute fabrichttp://www.katrinehome.com/
Posted: 11:20 pm on January 24th
chaosbarbie writes: If you want patterns made from real vintage aprons, I found some at http://www.neighborhoodfruit.com/aprons

I tried to make one and it was so easy!

Love your idea with the vintage tea towels too!
Posted: 8:33 pm on November 20th
Eternal_Clouds writes: thats so cool love it
Posted: 8:57 pm on March 8th
jkblu58 writes: great way to use up vintage tablecloths
Posted: 9:37 am on November 11th
Shawnee101 writes: This is so neat thanks for the great idea!!!
Posted: 4:48 pm on September 10th
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