Pleated Apron with Built-In Hot Pads

I got to experience one of my favorite things in the world this morning. I showered alone.  While it may not seem that impressive, I assure you it is.  Most days if I want to get clean I have to wait for Thing 2’s nap and there is no way Thing 1 is going to let me shower without him.  But this morning Mike was home and I put on a new movie for Thing 1 and I was alone.  It was glorious!  Hot water, shaving my legs without a myriad of cups all over the floor threatening my teetering balance, and no one peeing on my foot.  Heaven.  

The only thing better than a solo shower is a solo shower (so I’m all squeaky clean) followed by clean sheets.  Freshly cleaned sheets are my favorite thing in the entire world.  More than chocolate, more than sleeping in, more than everything except the boys.  Our bed has a fitted sheet (the hardest sheet to fold…ever!), pillows, and a comforter with duvet cover.  Mike doesn’t believe in flat sheets.  He thinks they are silly and pointless.  It’s one less thing for me to wash when sprucing up the room so I play along.


So…I finally broke out the sewing machine Mom got me for Christmas.  Sew excited!  Hehe.  I had found the tutorial for this apron with built-in hot pads on Pinterest.  What a brilliant idea!  I needed an apron and I’m always trying to figure out the best thing to grab the handle of my cast iron skillet with.  No, I don’t have a hot pad handle cover…yet.  I’m sure I’ll be making some new hot pads, ours are scuzzy looking, and a handle over with my extra Insul-Bright.
I’ll be showing you a few of my pictures with Destri‘s instructions and a few of my beginner notes.  I highly recommend you head on over to The Mother Huddle for the full tutorial.  I’m a novice sewer at best and Destri really makes this tutorial super easy with step-by-step pictures.  If I can make this apron, I’m sure you can too!  I think this apron would be really cute with solid coordinating fabric for the waistband and hot pads too.  Next time I’ll try that out.
hot pad apron 11
Pleated Apron with Built-In Hot Pads
from Destri at The Mother Huddle
1 yard of fabric
All your sewing stuff:
Insul-Bright insulated lining (or any brand of heat proof lining for use with hot pads)
Coordinating thread
Cut these pieces from your yard of fabric and lining:
Two 4” x 45” pieces  (if using coordinating solid fabric, cut these pieces from solid)
One 20” x 45 “ piece
Two 8” x 8” pieces  (if using coordinating solid fabric, cut these pieces from solid)
Two 7” x 7” pieces from the lining
You can add another layer of Insul-Bright to make it more heat proof.  You will want to cut out four pieces of the lining instead of just two.  Then stack two together for the first  step.  I have found one layer to be plenty!  I have even had a lot of people email me saying they just added white hot pads they had bought, now they’re thinking.  So if you don’t have Insul-Brite, there’s another option!
Start with a 7 inch piece of lining and place on top of the wrong side of an 8 inch fabric piece.
Fold the edges over and sew the lining to the fabric.  Then sew an X from corner to corner through the center of the square.  One side of the lining will be exposed…that’s okay, don’t fret will cover it up later.  Repeat with the other two pieces.
{Don’t forget to cut off the white edge on your fabric, if it’s present.  

I forgot and lucked out.  
The edge of my potholder was tucked into the apron and my oops was hidden.}
Now press the 20 x 45 inch piece in half with the 20 inch sides together.  This crease will act as a guide.
{You can leave your fabric folded, like it came from the store, and just cut out 20 inches from the fold.  This way your crease is already there.}
Lay the piece open on a flat surface with measurements (this is where markings on your ironing board comes in handy), or have something to measure with.  On the 45 inch side that will be the top of the apron, make a mark 6 1/2 inches from the center crease on each side.  Fold each of these marks to line up with the center crease forming a 3 1/4 inch fold on each side and pin. 
Four inches from the crease now, forming a box pleat, fold fabric under 1½ inches as shown and pin.  Repeat on the other side.
Now make a another pleat 1 ½ inches from the last one, also folded under 1½ inches as shown, and pin.  Repeat the same process on the opposite side making it mirror image.
Your two box pleats should measure about 4 inches on top.  Press the pleats.
This is how it should look after you have pressed and pinned.  It helps if you make sure the folds underneath are pinned so when sewing they don’t get folded the wrong way.
Now sew a basting stitch along the top with a ¼ seam allowance, go slowly!  You want to make sure the folds are laying as they should underneath.  Serge or zigzag the edge.
{I didn’t serge or zigzag any edges at any point.  I used my pinking shears to cut the fabric to prevent unraveling.}
Now fold the other three sides over a ¼ inch and press.  Then fold over ¼ inch again and press for a nice clean edge.
{It really is worth taking the time to do this.  My apron edges look very professional.}


Tuck the hot pads under the folds in the corners and pin, then sew around the three sides.  Make sure you catch the hot pad in the stitch.
Take the 4 x 45 inch pieces and sew two of the short ends with right sides together as shown, making one 90 inch long piece.  Serge or zigzag this edge.


Double fold and press the sides as you did on the body of the apron, and just fold the ends over once and press.
Lay the strap along the top of the apron with the right sides together.  Make sure that the middle seam of the strap is centered with the center of the two box pleats as shown. Unfold the edge that lines up with the top a ¼ inch and pin to secure.
Now sew the two together with a ¼ inch seam allowance, just along the top of the skirt.


Then fold the strap up as it will be when finished and sew along the entire perimeter of the strap. You can now pick out the basting stitch that is peaking out.


Fold the ends over and sew as shown.  It will make your ends look pretty.
{Double check which direction you folded the first corner down so you don’t have mis-matched tie ends…unless you’re into that sort of thing.}
Last step!  You want to tack the pad to the apron so that it doesn’t want to get all floppy on you.  I tacked mine with a small zig zag stitch, back stitching a few times at the center of the pad.  It wouldn’t hurt to add a little patch of fabric in between the apron and pad where you tack it.  Just a little reinforcement.
**Update** I added a second tack at the top loose corner, or you could use heat-bond. With the second tack you can slip your hand underneath kind of like a glove!
{I added the second hot pad tack for non-floppiness and like it.}
It only leaves a little speck on the front.
You’re done!!!!


Now get cookin’!  If you have a gas stove be sure to hold the apron away from the flames with your other hand.


Thanks so much to Destri and The Mother Huddle!


  1. says

    OMG!!! Sooo cool! I'm going to make one too…. oh wait.. I don't sew hehe I have a sewing machine.. I just need to figure out how to thread it. It's an antique!

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