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Monday, February 23, 2015

A Sunny Apron & Chef's Hat Tutorial

When I was a kid, I had my very own child's size apron and chef's hat that I would wear whenever I helped my mom bake or cook. Although my mom kept essentially every item from my childhood, I can't seem to find my apron and hat among my things in storage.  Since Ella has been wanting to help me cook and bake more, I decided it was about time that I make her some proper kitchen attire!

After only about an hour and a half of sewing, Ella finally has her very own Sunny Apron and Chef's Hat to wear when she is my sous chef.

This set was so simple to make and took hardly any time to sew. Plus, I used fat halves from this very appropriate fabric collection, Tea Garden from Blend Fabrics, to make both pieces.

Here's how you can make your child his or her own Sunny Apron and Chef's Hat, too! Just follow my tutorials below. And while I'm mentioning tutorials, I want to give a big shout out and thank you to Anne Weaver at Craft Gossip for featuring my tutorials often. Anne and Craft Gossip have done so much to help bloggers and readers alike--you help spread our projects to a wider audience and in return, more people enjoy our craft!


First of all, I printed out my FREE sewVery Sunny Dress pattern (download it HERE through my Craftsy affiliate link) and made a few slight modifications to the main panel to create this child's apron that includes two large pockets across the bottom.

I did not take step-by-step photos of the changes, but they are pretty easy to make without any visual. Also, construction of the apron is very basic and is described in detail below. To see a full pictorial of the Chef's Hat construction, see below.

Sunny Apron Tutorial

  1. Print out the pattern pieces for the dress front and tape them together. This will be the apron.
  2. Deepen the pattern neckline slightly (by approximately 1/2" - 3/4") and the armscye by about an inch.
  3. Cut from fabric two of the apron--one for the front and one for the back. For a size 7, I made the length of the apron be 18". If you use a larger cut of fabric than a half yard, then add an inch or two as desired.
  4. Cut 3 strips of fabric 6" wide x 22" long and fold/press like double fold tape. On two of the pieces, fold in one end. Topstitch all edges on all pieces. These are the tie straps (with the finished end) and neck strap.
  5. Cut one piece of coordinating fabric 12" x width of the apron bottom. This is the apron pocket.
  6. Fold the apron pocket in half (wrong sides together) so that it is now 6" tall x width of the apron bottom. Topstitch across the folded edge.
  7. Find the center of the apron pocket either by measuring or folding the pocket in half and finger pressing.
  8. Match the bottom of the apron (right side) to the long raw edge of the apron pocket. Pin in place. Sew along the center of the apron pocket to secure it to the apron and to create two pockets.
  9. Take the two tie straps and place the raw edge flush with the raw edge of the apron approximately 1/2" from the bottom of each armhole. Baste in place.
  10. Place the raw edges of the neck strap flush with the raw edges of the shoulder. Baste in place.
  11. With right sides together, place the apron back on top of the apron front being sure to have all ties and the strap in the middle of both pieces of fabric. Pin the front to the back on all edges.
  12. Sew around the entire apron using a 3/8" seam except leave a 4" opening for turning the apron right side out either along the bottom or on one side.
  13. Clip the curves without cutting through the seam and then turn the apron right side out.
  14. Press well and then topstitch around all the edges (the opening for turning will be stitched closed in the process).
The neck strap will be too long, but you can adjust the fit by running one of the tie straps through the neck strap and then tying a bow in the back. 

Now, onto the Chef's Hat. I wanted this chef's hat to have a flexible fit and be easy for my daughter to put on by herself. Since I recently acquired some 3" wide elastic, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to use a small piece of it.

By using this wide elastic in the back of the hat, the rim fits snug and comfortably on both Ella and myself. The measurements provided in the tutorial below should fit a child or adult with a head circumference of 21" - 22". If your child's head is smaller or larger, then adjustments in the hat band and elastic lengths will need to be made.

Chef's Hat Tutorial

  1. Take a 17" x 17" piece of fabric and fold in half (now it's 8.5" x 17") and fold in half again (now 8.5" x 8.5").  A slightly larger square of fabric may be used, but remember to adjust the radius before cutting.
  2. With the square facing you, the folded edges should be on the left and bottom. Using a ruler and fabric marker, measure and mark a 8.5" radius from the bottom left corner toward the outer raw edges of the square. Continue to measure and mark 8.5" from the corner toward the top left and bottom right corners. 
  3. Freehand draw a curve by connecting all the marks. Cut along the curve.
  4. Unfold the fabric. You should now have a circle that will become the top of the hat.
  5. Baste two rows of stitching around the edge of the circle. The first row should be 1/4" from the edge, and the next row 1/8" from the first row. Leave long tails of thread at each end and do not backstitch.
  6. Create gathers by pulling the bobbin threads for each row. 
  7. Take a 7" x 15" piece of coordinating fabric and fuse a piece of lightweight interfacing of the same size to the wrong side of the fabric. Fold the fabric in half with wrong sides together along the length and press. This will be the hat band.
  8. Cut a piece of 3" wide elastic to be 6.5" long.
  9. Open up the hat band and fold it right sides together along the pressed seam. With the elastic sandwiched in between the right sides of the fabric, sew the short ends of the elastic to the short ends of the band using a 1/4" seam. Flip the band so that the fabric is right side out. You should now have a continuous hat band (circle) formed by the fabric and the elastic.
  10. With right sides together, pin the raw edge of the hat band to the gathered edge of the hat top. Do not pin the elastic to the hat top! Adjust the gathers as necessary until you have an approximately 7" to 7.5" length of the hat top that is not pinned to the fabric hat band.
  11. Take an 8" long piece of double fold bias tape, fold in the raw edges by 1/4" and then from the wrong side of the hat, pin one edge of the bias tape to the hat top.
  12. Sew to the exposed gathered edge of the hat top and then fold over the bias tape toward the right side of the hat to cover the gathered seam. The folded ends of the bias tape should slightly overlap the ends of the hat band.
  13. Now sew the fabric edge of the hat band to the hat top. Finish the raw edges with a serger, zig zag stitch, or other method.
There you have it! The perfect kitchen combo for your little kitchen helper!

Have FUN sewing!


  1. It turned out so cute and looks really easy, too!

    1. Thanks! I now need to make her a pot holder with your tutorial!

  2. These are adorable! I may have to make them for my grandkids!

  3. Cute! Every little cook needs an apron and chef hat.

  4. Cute! And an elastic back for the chef's hat! How smart is that!! I've got a Craft Gossip post that links to your tutorial here:
    Thank you thank you thank you for the shout out! That was an amazing surprise. --Anne

  5. Thanks for the great idea of how to keep the front of the apron in place. I'm an adult and have the same problem with aprons that have a non adjustable neck strap.

  6. Adorable! My kids love wearing aprons when helping me bake cookies!


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