Dotties Apron Tutorial Tips

Welcome to my tutorial tips post! If you have purchased the tutorial, thank you for you support!

apron tutorial

My Retro-apron tutorial seems to be popular, and therefore I get lots of emails through Etsy with questions about the tutorial itself, as well as other apron-related stuff.
So, I have compiled some helpful tips here for you, and I might even update as new questions are answered, or as I find new things to add that may help you to make the cutest-ever aprons!!

The PDF tutorial and pattern is a complete tutorial for sewing a Dottie’s Diner circle skirt diner waitress apron, with a heart-shaped bib and a pocket. This is my official instruction booklet for my best-selling apron that I wrote myself. I have made and sold a ton of these aprons in my Etsy shop, and this pattern can be used to make aprons to sell in your Etsy shop as you please, or anywhere you may want to sell online.

As of now, I have changed the pattern and made it really simple to print the pattern pieces. All pieces will fit on a standard sheet of printer paper, in sections, so that you can print and tape them together. I have gone to the trouble to make it really simple for you. Because I care

If you have experience with the following techniques, and you have at least a few years of sewing under your belt, you can probably get through this apron pretty easily.
•             Sewing bias tape around a curved edge
•             Sewing bias tape to a heart-shaped edge, with a pivot point
•             Stay-stitching around a curved edge, clipping curves
•             Attaching a curved edge to a straight waistband

•             Main fabric, for the top shorter skirt, and bib: 1 1/4 yards
•             Accent fabric for the under skirt, and ties:  2 yards
•             Bias tape, double fold double wide: 3 packages
•             Ric Rac:  1 package
•             Purchased ruffles for bib: 1 yard
•             A basic sewing machine
•             Scissors
•             Measuring tape
•             Thread to match your fabric and bias tape

Q: Can I use this apron tutorial to make aprons to sell in my Etsy shop?
A: Sure why not. I love it when I get pictures of completed projects too; so please send me a picture of your finished aprons. If you are selling your aprons, let us know, I will post a link for people to see!

Q: How do I print the large pattern on several pages on my printer?
A:  I have the pages set up for easy printing. Each PDF will print on 1-6 pages- then you will arrange the pages and tape them together. No need to re-size or anything, the entire pattern will print true-to-scale.

Q: What if I can't find my digital download PDF that I purchased?
A: This link should explain how to find your files, if you purchased from my Etsy shop.

Q: What size is the pattern?
A: I made the pattern for a size small to large, with an average waist of 26 inches. I also included instructions on how to determine waist diameter and easily make changes to fit your waist.

Q: I see your pattern listed several times in your shop, with different “cover” photos; are they the same pattern with different pictures?
A: Yes, they are the same. The reason I do this is to attract people who may not realize they can make a large variety of colors and combinations from my one pattern.

Q: I see a size XL as well- how different are the sizes/ what is the difference in the two patterns?
A:  The XL pattern has a larger waistband, and the skirt pattern pieces have a larger circle opening for the waist; therefore the length has been adjust a little bit longer. The bib is the same in both patterns because it seems to fit any size. I have tried making the bib larger for larger busted women, but it just does not look right, so the heart-shaped bib is the same size no matter what pattern you buy. If you look at the thumbnail images of the curvy-sized models in the XL pattern listing- you will see the heart shaped bib fits them just fine, and it has not been adjusted from the regular sized pattern at all.

Q: What if I want both pattern sizes?
A: If you want both pattern sizes, use coupon code 2PATTERNS at checkout (in my Etsy shop) for 30% off entire order. Please only use this code if ordering both patterns.

Q: My waist size is a little more than 26”, will this fit me?
A: Yes, all you need to do is add a few inches to the waist by making the opening (hole cut-out for waist) a little bit larger.

Q: How do I sew those straps onto the bib correctly!
A: There seems to be a lot of drama about sewing the straps onto the bib. I agree it can be a little weird. I will try to explain right now.

Hi Guys- so, after a particularly snarky review on my apron pattern, I went a looked at my instructions again. Maybe my instructions were a little hard to understand, so I’ll explain here, in the context of the blog, so that if you are still confused you can comment and I will reply.

OK, so to attach the straps to the bib, after cutting the bib and straps per the pattern, and sewing the straps/turning right-side out; you will want to lay the straps on the back-side of the bib, exactly as shown in this pic.  

Notice how the straps are pretty much straight, with an ever-so-slight angle towards each other near the bib bottom. This is so that when the straps are turned up; they will lie beautifully on your shoulder and kind of hug your neck.   If you would like, you could also just make them straight/parallel and it will still work fine. I think the person who left a meanie review must have been using a sharper angle, and I confess when I looked at the pattern there are some markings for where to place the straps that would be screwed up. I have since changed that.

If you would like the new bib pattern, here is a link. This is a free PDF download, please respect the pattern, that is all I ask. thank you! The bib pattern prints onto 3 pages; 1, and 2 are the bib and page 3 is the instructions for taping together and other stuff.

After you place your straps in the correct place, and clipped the excess flush with the bib edge, you can pin them in place as shown. Then you will attach your bias trim all around the edge of the two bib pieces, catching in the straps as you go.

this is the back side
Then you will lay the bib front flat on the ironing board, pull the straps up straight (or with a slight angle towards neck), and iron the crap out of everything. Make everything lie flat, and obey you!

this is the front
At this point you can turn the bib over, and add ric rac around the edges. Make sure you sew the straps to the bib again while in the “up” position, so that they always know where they are supposed to be.

Does that help at all?


  1. Nice tute! Hope you sell a ton of these:)

  2. Hi there - loving the pattern but having problems with the mini waitress apron. Specifically how to cut it out? You recommend using a piece of fabric 10" x 14", then folding in half and using the waist cut-out pattern. I'm very much pre-coffee but can't get my head around this. Any chance you could help me with a little further explanation? Many thanks, Liz

  3. I don't understand from the pattern how to attach the band to the skirt and bib?

  4. Ok so I may be a little useless on computers, but I cannot get these patterns to print to scale?
    I am from the UK and am fully aware your A4 is different from ours?!
    Your pattern is fab but I cannot get around this? The 15" is measuring only 9" unfortunately?
    Please Please help... I don't want to have to measure out and change the entire pattern myself as I know I won't be accurate enough, which was the whole idea of purchasing your pattern to begin with.

    Thank you