Back to School Sewing Patterns Free Patterns Sew-along Sewing Tutorials Sewing Videos

Free Pattern, Tutorial and Sewing Video – Cross back apron for adult and kids

January 29, 2013

The final post fo Back to School sewing month, as promised, will be a free sewing tutorial + patterns + video. The project I have chosen is a cross back apron!

The cross back apron is brilliant because it has no straps, snaps, velcro etc. Kids will not need any assistance in tying straps because they can get in and out of it easily. It was so quick and easy to do that I made 4 already! Two in cotton for “cooking” at home, and two in waterproof plastic for art class.

Before I move on to the pattern, I would like to give credit to this Japanese sewing blog ぬいものちくたくwhich first shed light on how a back cross apron is made. I was a little confused over the last step because there was no details so I decided to make one for myself and include a full sewing video and tutorial on how it is made. The pattern on the website linked above was too small for my kids though, so I drafted one out from scratch using my own measurements. Fortunately, as the apron is meant to be loose fitting, the same size could fit both my 4 and 8 yr olds well. The only difference is in the length of the apron which was a little long for my 4 year old but just nice for my 8 yr old.

One of my readers once wrote to me asking for a similar pattern for an adult size. Apparently there was a website that offered a free pattern for adults but now it leads to a broken link, so I’ve drafted one in adult size  and included the PDF pattern below.


Updated 19th March 2018 : The Cross back apron is now available in multiple sizes! Adults XS-XL and Kids 2-12. They are now available for purchase at my PDF pattern store –

The New patterns not only include the Original version of the Cross back apron, but also a new version that is reversible and made with straps. The new version is made without using bias tape so those of you who hate sewing bias tape can opt for that option too!

Prefer the free version? Yes it is still available!

Click here to download the free version from my PDF pattern store –

The PDF pattern for the kids apron is made up of 9 A4 sheets of paper pieced together in the above sequence.

The PDF pattern for the adults apron is made up of 16 A4 sheets of paper pieced together in the above sequence.

And last but not least, here’s the sewing video! (I used a scaled down version of the pattern so that everything can be captured on screen)

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  • Reply Joeycraftworkz January 29, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Lovely video. Is there supposed to have any sound?

  • Reply Maider from Masustak Eguzkitan January 29, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing these awesome tutorial and pattern. The apron is super cute!

  • Reply Fay Roberts January 29, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    The video tutorial is great – it makes the whole process seem very straightforward. I will definitely be having a go at making a couple of aprons for Mother’s Day (which is in March here in the UK). I am also looking forward to your promise of more tutorials this year. Thank you very much for all your hard work.

  • Reply Deb Mattson February 1, 2013 at 3:07 am

    Thank you for the pattern!

  • Reply Sophie March 29, 2013 at 7:29 am

    thank you so much for posting this. I’m a potter and have been looking for a pattern for this type of apron for ages. They’re perfect as you can just slip in and out of them without having to fiddle around with ties. Fantastic!

  • Reply Treasured Patterns May 24, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I scooped your post on
    Needle and Hook Patterns
    and Pinned it here Needle and Hook Patterns

  • Reply Maria V. August 1, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I love love love your idea, your pattern and you color choices… I’ve decided to use your pattern but assemble it like this site suggests … … (i.e.: attach the straps and then sew on the bias tape in one continuous strip) THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH FOR SHARING!

  • Reply Natalie September 24, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Thank you for this pattern and for the instructions. Can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply Barbara Norman October 17, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I love this apron and have been looking for a pattern like this for some time now. I’m fairly new at sewing but found it easy to make this reversible by sewing right sides together leaving the bib open. I then turned it out, tucked the straps into the bib top and top sewed it!

    • Reply Rebecca Yeep March 26, 2016 at 7:14 pm

      Hello Barbara
      I am v rusty with sewing and would love to make this dress lined. I have researched how to do this but to no avail. Do you have a visual teaching tool on the process you described above, or perhaps more detailed explanation for us dummies! From what I’ve read there are many others in my position.
      Many thanks
      Rebecca – London UK

  • Reply Mathurine January 24, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Thanks a lot for this beautiful pattern ! It’s just fantastic to sew and wear !

  • Reply Heather Woollove February 2, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!!!! I LOVE this pattern and the (3) aprons I’ve sewn from it so far. You are amazing! I love how you ‘translate’ this project into easily accomplished ‘bites’ and your ‘easy print out’ patterns are THE BEST!!
    Warmly–Heather Woollove
    Here’s Part 1 of the first one I made!

  • Reply stephanie February 28, 2014 at 3:10 am

    I have been looking for this pattern forever! Thanks so much for posting.

  • Reply TrueHawaiiBlue~jamie March 12, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Thank you! Very clear. Cute apron, comfort style.. I shall try!

  • Reply jessi April 3, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    thank you so very much for this pattern, will e making one of these for my daughter & am currently modifying the pattern to be an apron dress for me! so simply, so gorgeous…thank you for both the pattern & the inspiration. I look forward to perusing your blog more soon…love!!

  • Reply Susie April 7, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Thank you for such a clever way to show
    Project in small scale. Very helpful!

  • Reply Ann April 17, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Thanks so much for extra clear instructions, have made two in the last few days as Easter presents. I dyed a pair of cotton curtains forest green with Dylon washing machine dyes and have bound each with striped fabric, they look great.

  • Reply Ann May 7, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Thank you so much for this tutorial – I’ve been coveting an apron for myself and my sister and will be trying your fabulous tutorial asap!

  • Reply maggie June 26, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Thank you so much I have been searching for a similar pattern to this for ages will definitely have a go and the site is so easy to move around and down load thank you again

  • Reply Carolyn July 6, 2014 at 3:26 am

    Thanks for this pattern. My daughter and her friend have started a catering business and they wanted to wear this type of apron made of linen for their “uniform”. We saw lots of images on the internet for what she was looking for, but no instructions or patterns. I’ve just completed one in no time and it just what they have been looking for. Thanks.

  • Reply Ann September 17, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Thank you so much for this my Mum has just come out of hospital after breaking her hip and cant carry anything so this apron with a pocket on the front will be ideal for her to transport stuff from room to room using her walking frame. My sister is a Chef and she has also requested I make one for her too!

  • Reply cslegona October 16, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Wonderful and intelligent video -wish your hand was out of the way a bit more – really wanted the detail, but really great still. Thank you!

  • Reply lindy October 20, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I found a similar apron and have been searching in vain until I found your site. Thank you for the download pdf and even more, thank you for the tutorial video. I am a visual learner and rarely read pattern instructions… and when I do find them confusing. Watching you put it together give me confidence that I can do it! <3

  • Reply Cross back Apron {} | Crafty Planner October 25, 2014 at 1:41 am

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  • Reply Patty November 3, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Love this pattern. I lived in Japan & brought home a “mamasan” apron with sleeves, square neck and two ties in back. Have you made such a pattern? I’m anxious to make some for family & friends.
    Thank you kindly!

  • Reply Patricia November 24, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    Very helpfull pdf and video !!! The result is amazing, i will make for all my friends about one !! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and your passion… From Greece, many greatings !

  • Reply Mink December 9, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks for this pattern and such a clear tutorial to go with it – this it the perfect apron for my son (he struggles with ties due to disability).

  • Reply Elizabeth December 14, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I made this apron for my four year old niece,Momoko,after watching your tutorial and downloading the pattern.I decided to make it reversible as I had four lovely fabrics and could not decide between them! Lovely,simple project sewn last night, shipped today! Thanks! Love your site!

  • Reply Nina December 23, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this. So professionally done too. I am so grateful. x

  • Reply Allison December 27, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Hello! Wonderful job you have done on this tut! I am a newbie to sewing and I was wondering where you got those awesome clips to hold your fabric in place. Could you please tell me their proper name and where you got them? Thank you again! Great job

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books January 5, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      Hi Allison,
      These are from Clover and are called Clover wonder clips. I bought mine from Japan but you can purchase them from Clover Wonder Clips, Red, 50-PackAmazon or even I use them all the time!

  • Reply Cross Back Apron for Adults - What's Cookin', Doc? January 19, 2015 at 9:59 pm

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  • Reply Maria February 18, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Thank you!

  • Reply Claudette March 6, 2015 at 12:14 am

    I stumbled across your beautiful website today in search of a Japanese apron. Thank you so much for the patterns and the free tutorial.

  • Reply Japanese Style Cross Backed Apron | Il Magpie' miscellanea di s March 12, 2015 at 3:37 am

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  • Reply Lindat April 3, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Thank you for sharing-I love piñafore aprons. I lost my old one so yea!!

  • Reply Ute April 9, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Thank you so much for this pattern and tutorial.
    Today i show my first apron from it on my blog.

    Ute from germany (Flensburg – baltic sea)

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  • Reply Phyllis Statham April 13, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. It is very generous of you. I hope to make an apron for a friend who is painter. She will love this. Just one question; I have read elsewhere that when printing a pattern provided online, that one should check what the exact size of one of the pattern pieces should be, as not all printers print to the same scale at the original. And even being off by 1/2 cm can really through the whole thing off by the time it is done. Could you please tell me the intended dimensions of any one of your pattern pieces? Or am I barking up the wrong tree, so to speak? THanks, Phyllis

  • Reply Megan June 25, 2015 at 2:09 am

    Do you have a pattern in plus size for women ?

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books July 20, 2015 at 9:24 am

      Hi Megan, So sorry but I only have these two sizes for now.

    • Reply Gill April 26, 2016 at 4:36 am

      Megan, I made this today, and am a plus size (20). It hung like a sack off my size 8/10 daughter! I needed to piece in a 4″ extension on the length of the straps otherwise it’s fine and dandy and I love it!

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  • Reply becky November 29, 2015 at 1:11 am

    How much fabric does one need to make the adult size?

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books December 3, 2015 at 9:32 am

      Hi Becky, it’s stated on the pattern PDF, you will need 2.1m of fabric. 🙂

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    • Reply Rebecca Yeep March 26, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      Hi I’m keen to make a lining for this and to wear as a dress. I am a bit rusty at sewing and can’t find any info on how to do this. Have checked with helenscloset as referenced but to no avail 🙁 Any guidance from anyone much appreciated. THANKS !!
      Rebecca – London UK

      • Reply Gill April 26, 2016 at 4:33 am

        I have commented below that I really don’t see how an adult could wear this as a dress, there is no back skirt wrap ( see the photo of the little girl) ! However as a dress for a toddler with matching diaper cover/ knickers it would be sweet. To line it, just cut out the pattern in the two fabrics, sew them right side to right side, leaving the top of the straps and bib piece not sewn. You might need to clip around the curves to help it turn through nicely. Turn the apron right side through and insert the straps to the bib top . Turn the edges in and stitch closed. No bias binding needed. I hope that helps.

  • Reply mualla şahin December 22, 2015 at 7:11 am

    thank you

  • Reply Doris January 11, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Hello I just made a cross back apron modeled after your pattern then I read here that I cannot sell my aprons made with the pattern? I would love to sell these in my etsy store. I would give credit for the pattern. I am a small sewist and have been looking for an uncomplicated cross back apron.

    May I sell my works? What should the credit line say?

    Thank you

  • Reply Helma January 12, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    I have downloaded your pattern for the adult apron for which I have been looking for years! and have just finished making it. FABULOUS. so very easy Thank you so very much 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Reply Ally January 22, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Love it!, I want to make one for my niece. I see the PDF uses A4 paper. What to do? I am in the U.S. and see the pattern prints to the very edge. Can I make up the difference by overlapping or butting up against the next piece?

    • Reply Julia April 1, 2016 at 3:45 am

      I’m really wondering this too. I love this pattern, but I’m not sure how to convert A4 to regular U.S. paper size.

  • Reply aina February 9, 2016 at 12:29 am

    Thank you for posting this. My kids need apron for their cooking & art class. Instead of buying ready made, they demand to use their thomas & friends fabric.

  • Reply Beth March 20, 2016 at 2:28 am

    I have wanted to make this apron for a long time. Thank you for the pattern and tutorial. I want to make the pattern for plus size friends how do I make the pattern bigger?

  • Reply Saturday Antics | Darned if You Don't April 3, 2016 at 6:03 pm

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  • Reply Teri May 17, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Did I miss something? I cut out the 5 pattern pieces, but only used the front, sides, and facing. I didn’t use the piece that connects to the side top. I read the instructions and watched the video and didn’t see this piece being used.
    This could be why my apron didn’t fit.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books May 18, 2016 at 9:07 am

      Hi, you need to connect the pattern pieces for side + side top, they make up one pattern piece. I did this to save paper, because otherwise I will need to extend the pattern sheets by another 3 sheets of paper just to fit the entire length of the side pieces. There is a remark – “join to apron side” on the bottom edge of the Side top piece, and on the corresponding top edge of the side piece. Hope this makes it clearer! 🙂

      • Reply Teri May 18, 2016 at 9:36 am

        Ok, that I didn’t understand, but I did end up taking the facing apart, attaching that piece to the apron side, then sewed it back together. In the future I will attach the pieces of pattern before cutting out!!
        Thanks for the reply and the clarification.

  • Reply Patti May 23, 2016 at 5:25 am

    I am also wondering about the A4 paper since all I have access to is the standard 8 1/2″x11″ paper. I know the A4 is a little more narrow and almost 3/4″ longer. Can you please help with converting the pattern? Or will it not make enough difference to matter in putting the pieces together? Thank you so much for helping with this. And thank you for the free pattern and video tutorial! It’s awesome!

  • Reply lolottecoud May 29, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you for this tutorial.
    Here is my first one :

  • Reply Mel C. June 5, 2016 at 7:55 am

    I printed the pattern out and pieced it together. I made a “try out” on some inexpensive poly/cotton. I love it. I’m about to make another out of this lovely 100% cotton eyelet material. Thank you for making this pattern available. It’s exactly what I’ve been hunting for these past few years.

  • Reply rene June 22, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Hey, what size woman will this pattern fit? I am excited to try, but I am not sure about your sizing? Can you help please?

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books June 24, 2016 at 9:08 am

      I drafted this pattern so long ago I can’t quite remember! I reckon it should fit a range of sizes as it is loose fitting, I’m usually a size M, so I think anyone from size S-L should be able to wear it comfortably.

      • Reply Rene July 6, 2016 at 8:26 am

        Thanks, I made it, worked out perfectly! Love it. Now everybody wants one! lol

  • Reply Petit tablier | Marmaille et talons hauts July 6, 2016 at 12:57 pm

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  • Reply Barbara July 20, 2016 at 3:25 am

    Thank you so much for this great pattern! A quick question…when printing the pattern, do I set it to print at ‘actual size’ or ‘fit’ in the print menu? This is for standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper. I have printed it and cut out the pattern pieces but I want to make sure it is correct before I cut out my fabric. Also, it looks like your seam allowance is between 1/4-1/2 inch. Is this correct?

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books July 29, 2016 at 8:17 am

      You should print it at actual size, but it sounds like your paper is Letter size, so maybe you can use fit to paper. The thing is, the aprons are meant to be free size so a little difference won’t matter. My seam allowances are usually 1cm, so that’s slightly under 1/2 inch.

  • Reply Anna July 25, 2016 at 11:52 am

    I just finished the adult apron and it turned out great. Thank you so much!

  • Reply Gossip December 21, 2016 at 9:08 am

    I want to make the burp colths but don t understand where the sew three pieces togeter comes from. I was going to put my flanneltogether with the tery cloth and sew. is ther more? reall like your site, thanks for sharring ~~~

  • Reply Oni February 16, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Hi- Thank you for emailing me this pattern so quickly. Please would it be possible to give pattern measurements like Nani Ito on her free pattern making page? This way I could simply draw onto the cloth and save printing paper as I don’t have a printer at home.
    Thank you again.

  • Reply María Gómez March 2, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Thank you for sharing!!!! Gracias por compartir!!!

  • Reply Ana April 3, 2017 at 4:51 am

    me gustaria saber, el patron adulto, en que talla está al descargarlo. Gracias.

  • Reply JOCELYNE June 18, 2017 at 4:44 am

    merci pour ce tutoriel et ce patron si gentiment partagé.

  • Reply dolores June 20, 2017 at 5:06 am

    je ne sais pas ou recuperer le pdf ,je suis allez sur le lien que vous m’avez envoyer ,il m’envoie sur votre blog mais ensuite je ne sais pas ou le recuperer,merci de votre aide

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  • Reply Anna October 4, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    I’ve been wanting to make one of these aprons for a couple of years now and have just found your site – so excited! Guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow??? Just wanted to express how pleased I am to have found a pattern.

  • Reply Ella Freeman December 16, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Hi – a couple of things. How do you cope sewing with your arm through the machine? Really, you should try guiding your cloth in at the front with your right hand and using your left hand at the back. Much simpler and you can control any ‘fabric drift by adjusting your right hand. Second, a bias binding foot would be great for this project. I have a photo of mine but can’t see where to load it. It looks like a very small cream horn tin. I can’t wait to make your pattern. Just downloaded it today. Thank you.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books January 9, 2018 at 8:02 am

      Lol… I don’t know why. Maybe because I’m right handed? Old habits die hard… I have been sewing this way ever since I started! Yes I should try a bias binding foot!

  • Reply Anna March 15, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH. The appron is beutiful and awesome!

  • Reply Isabel February 2, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    Thank you very much for sharing this pattern.

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