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18″ Doll Apron Pattern – FREE

on Mar 16, 2012 in accessories, Blog, sewing, tutorial | 3 comments

After working on the Adjustable Aprons pattern samples for Exclusively Quilters, it dawned on me that your Kitchen Helper may have their own Kitchen Helper who would enjoy a matching apron. I’m happy to report a FREE pattern/tutorial is here, just for you! This mini apron will fit 18″ dolls including the American Girl and My Generation Dolls. This pattern includes adownload-able pattern template piece (pdf) and the construction directions in full photo style. Remember, at the end of this post, you can always click the “print this post” option.

Ready to go?

Adjustable Apron – 18″ Doll Pattern


Fabric scrap measuring at least 9″ x 12″
Contrasting fabric 1 1/2″ x 12″
42″ Ribbon which can be between 3/8″ – 7/8″ wide
Rolled hem presser foot
Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide (optional)


Download the pattern piece in pdf form here. Print. Make sure the 1″ guide square is one inch. Ok, good-cut right on the black lines, all seam allowances are included.

Cut template

Step 1- Hems

Switch to the rolled hem presser foot on your sewing machine. Which one is that?? It is the one with a curved arch right at the center. That arch helps guide the narrow 1/4″ of fabric into a tiny 1/8″ (or less) fold under the sewing machine needle. Here are some pictures from google images.

Apply the rolled hem to the diagonal edges and the longest, lower edge of the apron. Why Rolled Hem?? Because we are working on a much smaller scale with less fabric. Rolled hems are also less bulky than larger folded hems and look professionally finished. Give ’em a try!

Rolled Hem Presser Foot

Finished Rolled Hem

On the shortest top edge of the apron, apply a 1/2″ hem. Do this by folding 1/4″ of fabric towards the wrong side, press, then fold it again 1/4″. Stitch the hem from the wrong side. This will make a double folded hem and offer more stability to the neckline.

Fold and press once


Fold again, press, and stitch to hem the neckline edge

Step 2- Make/Apply Ribbon(s)

Next, press the diagonal, hemmed sides 1″ towards the wrong side. Do NOT sew them yet. We are pressing them in order to give us a guide line as to where they will fall when the garment is finished. This is done so you can go crazy with the trims or ribbons on the front and not have the embellishments go into the “arm” area. So, press.

Press Diagonal Sides

Working with the contrasting strip of fabric, fold it in half, lengthwise matching the WRONG SIDES of the fabric. Sew along the length, on the cut side, using a 1/8″ seam allowance.

Fold wrong sides together

Use a 1/8″ seam allowance

Press the custom made ribbon with the small seam centered on the back. This will be completely concealed on the finished apron.

Seam pressed to fall at center back

Position and pin the ribbon 1/2″ from the finished lower edge of the apron. Of course, you can add any pre-made satin or grosgrain ribbon or trims at this time to the front of the apron. Stitch the trim(s) in place. Edge-stitching is used to secure the ribbon in this tutorial.

Ribbon Position

Edge Stitching, using the seam guide to help

See the markings on the sewing machine in the photo above?? That is my Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide helping me line up the lower edge of the apron at the 1″ mark. Lined, up at the 1″ on the left-hand side and then the 1/2″ mark when sewing the other direction on the right hand side. Neat trick, right?

Step 3- Finishing the Hems

Trim the ribbons to be the same length as your apron. Apply a double folded hem, as you did in the neckline, to each right and left side of the apron.

Hem Sides

Fold the diagonal edges back into place. These are folded wider, at 1″, to provide a casing or tunnel for the apron strings/ties to travel through. Pin the fold and stitch right on top of the rolled hem stitching line. It is very important to sew from each edge of the apron itself, even if you aren’t sewing through the diagonal fabric. This will create a nice continuous line from the front of the apron.

Pin the diagonal edge

Continuous stitching line, past the folded fabric

Step 4- Insert Ribbon or Apron String/Ties

Last step! Using the 42″ length of ribbon, or perhaps a custom made “spaghetti strap” style ribbon, place a large safety pin in one end. Push the safety pin through each right and left casing. This is a good step to teach your Kitchen Helper as the ribbon may come out of the casing during the “dressing”.

Push ribbon through casings with a safety pin

Ok- that’s all. Place the apron on the doll, cross the ribbon in the back and tie it in the front. Ta’da!

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