Free Tutorial and Pattern: The Kid’s Work and Play Apron

Free Child's Reversible Apron Pattern and Tutorial by Once Upon a Sewing Machine

I have always had a place in my heart for aprons.  They can be useful, like keeping one’s clothing clean during eating or cooking.  They can be fun, something with deep pockets to carry treasures in.  When my children were starting school they took one to keep at school to cover their “school clothes” during painting and other  messy projects.   One of my first designs was an apron with pockets for children.  I knew it needed deep pockets and I knew that I wanted all the seams enclosed so that it would take the abuse of many washings and wearings.

Today we are sharing this completely reversible apron with you.  It’s basic and simple construction make it a great beginner project or a quick sew for an experienced sewer. This apron will need one yard of main fabric, one yard of contrast fabric and 2 D rings.

Lets begin:

Download the Pattern HERE. Cut on the outside of the gray rectangle and join up the coordinating half circles to assemble your pattern.

I like to prep all my small pieces before I actually sew the apron.  It makes the final construction much easier.

Sew at 3/8″ seam allowance.

Neck Straps

Your neck strap consists of 2 pieces:  a short one and a long one. They can be made in either main, or contrast fabric, or one of each,your choice.

Fold the  shorter strap right sides together (RST) and sew  along the long raw edge.  Sew the longer strap RST along one short edge and the long raw edge.  Clip corners, turn, press. Set them aside.

Free apron tutorial

Waist Ties

You will have 2 main pieces and 2 contrast pieces. Sew one contrast and one main tie RST leaving one short end open.   Repeat for the other tie.  Clip corners, turn, press. You’ve made reversible ties, Set aside.

Child's apron tutorial


Next we will sew our pockets together. You are going to construct one main pocket and one contrast pocket. Take the 2 main pocket pieces and sew RST  around leaving a 1 inch opening on the bottom to turn.  Repeat with contrast pocket.  Clip corners, turn and press.

Free child apron pattern

Before you turn it will look like this.

Childs apron tutorial


Now you have all the pieces of your apron.  Ready for the next step?


Pocket Placement:

Pocket placement is a little bit of an individual preference.  I like my pockets a little closer to the curve of the body.

Measure 2 inches down from the top edge of your apron body, then center your pocket between the side seams.

apron tutorial


Start with the apron piece in the main fabric and the pocket in the contrast fabric.

Stitch around both short sides and the bottom.  When you stitch across the bottom make sure you fold in the 1″ raw edge you left open for turning. You will topstitch that opening closed.

Now we will divide our pocket into 3 openings.  Measure in 4″ from each side of your large pocket and mark. These will be your pocket divisions.  This will give you 2- 4 inch wide pockets on each side and about a 6 inch pocket in the middle. Following those lines sew from top to bottom.

diy childs apron

If you prefer you could divide the pocket evenly into 3 sections, but I like to allow one bigger one for that special stuffed friend or baby who may need a little more room.

Repeat for contrast apron piece and main fabric pocket.

Putting It All Together:

Are you feeling great?  We are almost finished.  The rest is simple.  Pin and stitch.

Grab the small pieces we prepped in the first steps and your main fabric apron.

Begin with the short neck strap. Run the strap through both D rings and fold in half.

child apron pattern free

Line up raw edge of the strap with the top raw edge of the apron bib, pin 1/2″ from the side of the bib.  Match the raw edge of the long strap with the top raw edge of the bib, pin the long neck strap to the opposite side of the bib also 1/2 inch from the edge.

apron tutorial

When your apron is done it will look like this.

Apron tutorial

Now to attach the ties.  Pin one tie on either side of apron edge as pictured with right sides together. Baste all in place.

waist ties

Remember your straps are reversible. Double check you have them positioned correctly. They will look like this when your apron is complete.

Free apron pattern

Now pin both contrast and main apron right sides together matching raw edges, being careful not to catch any ties or the neck strap in the seams.  All of your straps should be sandwiched inside.

Sew around the entire outline of your apron leaving a 2 inch opening on the bottom to turn.  Trim corners,  clip curves and turn.  Press.  You are almost there!

Turn under your 2 inch opening at the bottom and top stitch along the bottom edge.  This will secure the opening you used to turn your apron.


Place on your favorite child and whip  up a batch of your favorite cookies.   Or maybe you have a budding artist.  No worries about paint all over the good tee shirt.  Easy enough to sew up and have one for school, one for grandma’s house and one for home!

Apron pattern free!

Reversible apron pattern

We hope you enjoy our Work and Play Apron. Thanks for following us.  We are excited to be moving forward on our journey and would love to have you join us so you don’t miss out on the upcoming patterns and tutorials.  You can find us on Facebook, Pinterest, or on the Blog.


Happy Sewing,


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