Sewing with Thicker Fabrics: A Gardener's Apron Sewing Tutorial

Our rainy spring means lawns and gardens are abloom!  And what better sewing project (and a quickie gift, if you've got a gardening friend) than a gardener's apron?  This easy sewing tutorial will walk you through how to make this apron, plus a video how-to. 

I love my apron. I'm not so great in the garden, but I wear mine in my studio to keep those pesky things that just disappear (phone, extra clever clips, a pencil) on hand.  

This apron is a quick project--you can finish it up in an afternoon, making it a great last minute housewarming or birthday gift.  Let's get started!


  • 1 yd of heavy fabric (canvas, denim, twill, upholstery fabric) cut into 2 20" x 15" pieces and 4" by the length of your cut (44", 55" or 60")
  • 1/2 of contrast fabric (for the pocket) cut into 1 20" x 20" piece
  • Teflon foot (sold in our 32 piece set)
  • marking pen
  • matching thread

I'm using my Teflon foot for this project, because this foot smoothly glides over thick fabrics, like canvas, which sometimes can be a little sticky.  This Teflon foot comes in our 32 Piece Set. 

Teflon Presser Foot

Here is a video as well

1. Cut your main fabric into two 20" x 15" pieces and one 4" x fabric width (depending on whether your fabric is 44" or 55" or 60" wide and the waist circumference, you may need to piece your fabric together).

2. Cut your contrast fabric into one 20" x 20" piece.

3. Fold your pocket fabric in half, wrong sides together, and top stitch across the top.  This creates a crisp fold.

4. With your marking pen, mark your pockets.  I choose 3 pockets and marked every 6.5".  Line up your pocket piece with one of the apron body pieces.  Stitch down the marked lines, and bartack or back stitch at both the top and bottom. 

5. Place the second apron body piece on top of the body piece with the pocket, right sides together.  Clip the two sides and bottom together and sew with a 1/2" seam allowance. Leave the top open.

6. Clip the corners and grade your seams.  Turn the apron right side out, and press.  While not necessary, I like to edge stitch around the perimeter of the piece to give the apron body a nice crisp edge.

7. To make the strap, fold and press your long strip in half lengthwise.  Sew the short ends. Find the middle point of your strap and mark it with a pin.  Do the same with the apron body.  Match the two pins, and then mark the edges of the apron on the strap (again with pins). This doesn't have to be precise, and the opening can be larger than the apron body, but not smaller. Sew the long side from the short end to the pins. 

8. Clip your corners and grade your seams.  Turn the strap right side out.  (and yes, this is tricky.  Perhaps the fiddliest part of this project). Once your strap is right side out, press it, and press in the seam allowance of the middle part (that's not stitched).

9. Place the apron body into the strap opening (you may need to re-mark your middle points on both pieces)--make sure the apron body is snuggly inserted to the top of the strap.  Pin, and then edge stitch from the short end of the strap all the way around, across the apron body, to the other end of the strap and then go back.  

10. Snip your loose threads and VOILA, you've got a beautiful gardener's apron!

gardeners apron


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2 Responses

Janet Palmer

Janet Palmer

June 01, 2023

What size needle do you use when you sew on thicher layered fabrics. Such as potholders and the hanging towels with the potholders attached? My business is Aprons by Janet Palmer



June 01, 2023


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