I don't know about you but if I'm going to wear an apron, I want it to be half size so that I can take it on and off easily without having to go over my head. I also want it to be somewhat absorbent so that I can wipe my hands on it. Lastly, my husband always teases me that I carry things around and set them down random places - so having some pockets would be a huge plus. I saw a couple of cute patterns for half length aprons online but then I had a great idea...why not make the apron from a kitchen towel? So I bought a pack of kitchen towels on Amazon and started figuring it out.
For this project you need two kitchen towels that are the same color (if you don't want pockets then you only need one towel). To make the straps, I used some leftover quilt binding. If you have any leftover double fold quilt binding, it will work perfectly! Otherwise you can cut a strip of fabric and fold it in half, then open it and press the edges into the middle seam (just like double fold bias tape). I didn't really measure the length of the strap. I just wrapped it around my waist and back to the front and tied it in a bow. Then I cut it to length based on the final size. Once the strap is cut, pin or clip it to your towel with the towel centered on the length of the strap. The towel should be inside the quilt binding so there is a folded edge of the binding on each side of the towel.
Sew a straight stitch starting in the middle of the towel and going out to one end of the strap. Then start from the middle again and stitch to the other end of the straps. Fold over the edge of the strap a quarter of an inch and secure it with a zig zag stitch (or if you have a serger you could serge the edges instead).
At this point you're done with the basic apron and straps. it's time to decorate it and/or add pockets. Take the second towel and add some embroidery. I wanted to do a kitchen appliance/cooking theme. I bought three embroidery applique patterns from an Etsy shop called Sew Cha Cha (click the link to check out their shop, I'm not affiliated I just searched for the patterns on Etsy).
On my towel, you'll notice that I sewed the patterns with the nearest finished edge of the towel beneath the designs. However, if I made this again, I would actually do the reverse and sew the designs with a finished towel edge at the TOP of the designs (you'll see why in a minute)
Since there's no need for the pockets on this apron to be precise, I just eye-balled the spacing on the designs assuming there was one design per pocket and three total pockets. You could also hand stitch some appliques on of your own design. Or just do some embroidered text (or a monogram) or maybe even fabric paint. Whatever your skill is and you have on hand - just keep it simple for yourself! After you have the three designs done, you are going to cut the towel in half on the long side.
After I cut mine in half, I had to fold the top edge over and stitch it down so it doesn't come unraveled (if I had a serger I would have serged the edges). BUT...remember what I was saying above? If you sewed the designs with the finished edge of the towel at the TOP of the designs (instead of the bottom like mine) then your unfinished towel edge would end up getting sewn into the inside of the pockets and your pockets would have a nice finished edge. Next, on the towel piece that you just cut, I picked out the seams at the end (you'll see why in a minute). Then put that piece face down on the BACK of your apron and stitch across the bottom.
Don't stitch up the sides (by my hand in the pic above). Just at the bottom. Then flip your pocket piece around to the front to hide the edges/seam inside the pocket. In the picture below, I'm still holding open the part that I ripped the seam open so you can see where that is. It is the same on both ends of the pocket piece.
Now take the ends of the pocket piece (shown under my fingers in the pic above) and wrap it around to the back of the apron. Sew a straight stitch down the side, along the bottom (just another top stitch) and up the other side. Then sew a straight line between the designs on the pocket to make the separate pockets.
That's it! A quick apron that will hold whatever you need to set down, you can wipe your hands on it and you know it's machine washable! What a great inexpensive gift you can easily whip up in a couple hours. You can probably do it faster if you do simpler embroidery on the pockets too!