I recently made this DIY flannel apron using a men’s shirt I found at a thrift store. This easy upcycle project has quickly become a favorite of mine. I wear this apron daily!
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Easy Apron Upcycle
I’ve adapted this post from my original blog, Designers Sweet Spot. Enjoy!
I love aprons. I always wear one when I am in the kitchen and I have found that they make great gifts! They are so handy and have saved many shirts from serious stains. However, I am not much for the lace and frills that you find on many aprons. Sometimes a girl feels more comfortable in flannel than lace, you know? Inspiration struck immediately when I spotted this Duluth Trading flannel shirt in the thrift store.
This men’s shirt was an XXL but I loved it and I knew I could find a way to refashion it. Duluth Trading makes a great quality product and I knew this piece had lots of life left in it. Because of this, I knew it was the perfect candidate for my next upcycling project. This DIY flannel apron was the result and I’ve worn it almost every day since.
I began by pinning a piece of bias tape to the shirt while it was on the dress form. I knew I wanted to remove the arms, shoulders and also the upper back of the shirt. Next, I pinned the tape on the shirt into the desired design, then removed the shirt to cut it.
When cutting a ready-made garment, it generally works best to match and pin seams together. Start by folding it in half matching side seams, neck, shoulder seams and also the hem. It is important to be precise in this step so that you end up with two exact copies of your design. Cut the shirt along with the bias tape, leaving 1/2″ seam allowance on all sides.
I also cut the shirt down the center of the back to make the sides of the apron.
Here is my first DIY flannel apron from a men’s shirt! I love it and I know I will be using this pattern again in the near future.
Tips & Tricks
For the neck area, I left the collar intact and cut away the shoulders, upper back and back yoke. I removed the Duluth label at the back of the inside collar and stitched it onto one of the breast pockets. I love reusing “designer” labels as it makes a homemade item seem so authentic and genuine.
The raw edge of the shoulder and underarm areas were finished on the sewing machine with a 1/4″ rolled hem. The bottom hem of the original shirt was left intact.
I used the leftover sleeves (and upper back parts) of the shirt to cut 2 1/2″ strips for the waist ties. I got 4 or 5 long pieces from one sleeve which was enough to make the ties.
Sew the strips together into 2 long ties, mine measured 30″ which was long enough to have them cross in the back and tie in the front. Fold in half lengthwise with right sides together, sewing across one end to secure. Turn right side out and press. Attach to the back corner of each side of the apron. Double stitch for maximum strength.
The last step was to take a small dart over the bust on each side near the armhole area. My dart was about 1/2″ on the double at the widest point, then tapered down to nothing over a 3″ area towards the pocket. Even with the plaid design, you can barely tell it there. This little step makes up for the differences in male/female anatomy while also keeping the armhole area from being too baggy.
That’s it! An easy project you can finish in an afternoon while also refashioning an old men’s shirt!
Speaking of refashioning, this book has been on my wishlist for a while! I love upcycling as many of our old items as I can!
Looking for another upcycling project? Here are a few others you will also enjoy:
Don’t forget to Pin this post for later!