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This project is a great way of giving a too-small skirt a second life as an apron. Here, I’m using a kids’ size 16 skirt I found at Salvation Army.

First, assemble your materials: a cotton or cotton-blend skirt without an elastic waist, pins, a hand-sewing needle, scissors, a seam ripper, 1 package of 1-inch-wide bias tape in a coordinating color, and thread to match the bias tape. Also, you need a sewing machine, and a tailor’s measuring tape.

Turn your skirt inside out. Using the seam ripper, gently cut the stitches attaching the zipper to the skirt. Remove the zipper and save it for another use.

After removing the zipper:

Once you’ve removed the zipper, you’ll see that you’re left with a seam that goes about halfway up the back of the skirt. Apply your seam ripper to this seam, too.

After cutting the rest of the seam open:

Now you should be able to open the skirt out, like this:


Finish the sides of your apron-to-be by sewing down each of side of the seam you just opened up:

For the next step, set your skirt aside and pick up your measuring tape. Measure your waist, and remember the number. Take this number and add 30 to it. I.e. if you have a 28” waist, 28 + 30 = 58 inches. Cut a piece of bias tape this length.

Finish each end of the bias tape by tucking the raw edge under and sewing down:

Lay your skirt out flat and carefully pin the bias tape along the top edge, like so. Make sure the center of the bias tape is roughly centered on the middle of the skirt, leaving a nice long tie at each end.

Finish pinning:

Start at one end of the bias tape, and sew along its edge all the way along the top of the skirt. It’s important to sew not just where the bias tape overlaps the skirt, but also along the “tie” part as well. Repeat this for the bottom edge of the bias tape, as well.

Now you should have something that looks pretty much like an apron, complete with ties. The last part is the easiest and the best—add the bow!

Cut two pieces of bias tape, one 11 inches long, and one 3 inches long. Sew a simple line down both edge of each piece, like so:

The ends are going to be hidden, so don’t worry if they look a little funky. Obviously, I wasn’t too concerned.

Fold the ends of the 11” piece around so they meet in the back.

Set the 3” piece, right side up, over the middle of the 11” piece like a cross:

Fold the ends of the short piece around to the back. Thread a hand-sewing needle with matching thread, and use a few quick stitches to secure the pieces together.


Now, find a place to add it along the waistband of your apron. I chose a spot where my stitching got a little funky—the bow provided the perfect cover-up. Hold it in place with your thumb and give it a few more quick stitches to tack it in place.

All that’s left is to try it out!

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