This DIY garden apron is a quick and simple project made from upcycled jeans. The apron is handy for working in the garden, around the house, and even as a vendor’s apron.
As some of you know, I LOVE to recycle, especially a pair of jeans.
There are so many fun things you can make with denim. At the end of the post, I’ll give you some other project ideas where you can use a pair of recycled jeans.
You can get fancy and edge the bottom of the apron with bias tape, which is really easy to do, or you can just leave it and finish the edge with a serger or even just use a little fray check.
If you want to make your own bias tape that has prints or different colors, I have a tutorial showing you how to do that.
When you make your bias tape, you can use fun, colorful prints you’ll never see in a fabric store.
Garden Apron Instructions
1- Take your jeans and cut off the pant legs.
Cut straight across just below the crotch seam. ***** If your pants have a front pocket hanging lower than the cut, fold the pocket so you don’t cut it.
After cutting off one pant leg, fold the pants in half and use the cut leg as a template.
Don’t worry too much about straightening the edges; you’ll line that up later.
DON’T THROW AWAY THE JEAN LEGS! Please put them in a tote with all your other jeans scraps for OTHER FUN PROJECTS.
2- Cut out a section of the front pants just below the waistband.
On that left side, take your scissors and cut across just below the waistband, not into the waistband, but over about two inches, and then cut straight down towards the edge of the pant leg.
3- On the zipper side, you’ll cut away the extra fabric around the zipper.
Take your scissors and cut around that area so it looks like this.
4- To square off the bottom of the apron
Fold the pants in half and cut a parallel line straight across, leaving the length as long as possible.
Make sure you don’t cut into the pocket. Fold it up out of the way while you make the cut.
5- Finishing the garden apron bottom:
Open up the apron at the center back seam. There tends to be a little triangle piece of fabric that may stick out; just cut that off.
I like to round the corners, especially using bias tape. You can also leave it square if you want.
Cut a curved rounded edge on one corner, then fold it over and use that as a template to cut the other side.
6- Pinning the bias tape:
Place the apron wrong side, facing up. Open up the bias tape, and smooth it out.
Fold the top edge of the bias tape over about a half inch, and then apply the RIGHT SIDE of the bias tape with the fold just below the zipper tab and clip it in place. I LOVE THESE LITTLE FABRIC CLIPS.
You can use the clips or pins to apply the bias tape all the way around, or can just apply the tape and sew as you go.
Do not cut the bias tape to length quite yet. You’ll do that in just a minute to make sure that you get an accurate fit. (It’s not a good thing if you cut it and then find out you cut it short).
When you get to the other side, measure just below the waistband then ADD 3 inches in length just to be safe and give you some wiggle room.
7- GARDEN APRON Bias Tape Application
Using a straight stitch, go to the sewing machine, and sew the bias tape to the apron.
Bring the needle down just to the RIGHT of the crease in the bias tape. Don’t sew in the crease.
That’ll give you a little more playroom with your bias tape when you fold it around all the fabric. The beautiful thing about bias tape is it’ will curve and work well around the curved edges.
Backstitch and sew all the way around. TAKE YOUR TIME, especially around the corners, stopping and starting as you need.
And if you mess up, go ahead and use your seam ripper and undo that portion that didn’t work out too well and adjust and re-sew.
Bias tape is really fun to work with. It may seem a little intimidating, but it’s really fun once you get used to it.
Adding bias tape adds character to your projects, especially if you have some fun prints to work with.
When you start to get a little closer to the other end, you can leave your needle down and then cut the bias tape to the length that you need.
Fold it over again ½ inch, and then cut it off there, make sure that that fold is just below the waistband. Finish and back stitch.
8- Top Stitch Bias Tape
Flip it over and topstitch. Use a regular straight stitch. When top stitching, I increase the length of the stitch to a 3. It gives a better-looking topstitch.
Fold the folded edge of the bias tape over the previous stitching so it covers that, and sew along the edge., just inside the fold of the bias tape. (about 1/8 inch from the left side. Make sure to catch the edge.
Take your time around the corners, and then when you get to the other side, top stitch over that folded edge.
9- Garden Apron Pockets
Let me show you what to do with the pockets if they are too long.
Not all pockets are going to be this long. Take the pocket and see how much you need to cut off so it doesn’t hang lower than the bottom of the apron.
Take your scissors and cut a curve angling off to match the side of the pocket. Sew a regular straight seam using a ¼ inch seam allowance. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
Finish off the edge using a big zigzag stitch. This will keep the pocket from fraying.
Do that with both pockets.
10- Garden Apron Closure
Let me show you how to apply the elastic to the waistband.
I recommend trying on the apron and seeing how long you need to make the elastic.
Once you have the length, take the elastic, fold it in half, line up the edges of the elastic, and stick it through from the front to the back with the edges lined up.
Secure it in place and sew along the edges of the elastic using a big zigzag stitch. I like to go back and forth a few times to ensure it is secure.
So that’s all there is to it. Grab a pair of jeans, some elastic, your garden tools, and whatever else you need to shove in a pocket in the garden, and have fun sewing!