The Nae Nae Apron tutorial

Welcome to Tie One on Me week here on Craftiness is not Optional and At Second Street! Get ready for some apron inspiration this week. 😀

When I thought about what I wanted for my apron, I knew it had to have some pleats. I love me a good pleat. 😉 And it had to tie in a bow. and be teal and red to match my kitchen.  Ok, so I didn’t really think about all those things ahead of time, but I ended up with a pretty cute apron in the end.

My sister wanted to steal it, so that’s a good indicator of cuteness! This is my sis Janae, by the way. She was kind enough to model for me, isn’t she a cutie? I also named it after her cause she helped me brain storm ideas and work out the pattern. (Nae Nae is Sadie’s nickname for her, and Rory and I have taken to calling her that too, or Nae if we’re really lazy and leave out a syllable)

We had fun with our little photo shoot in a cool alley near our house. Although one of my neighbors did come out to see what the dogs were barking at. He was afraid someone was tagging his fence.

Kind of awkward to explain to him that we were just taking pictures….of an apron….I didn’t mention my blog, didn’t want to freak him out any more than necessary. 😉

I just love how it curves up in the back-very flouncy, and booty enhancing. haha! It ties with a bow behind the neck.
ok! so here we go for the Nae Nae apron!

Get the full tutorial after the jump!

You’ll need:
1 yard main fabric
1 yard lining or muslin fabric
3/4 yard fabric for neck straps and pleats
1/2 yard fabric for waist ties
1/2 yard lightweight interfacing (optional, for waist ties)
sewing stuff (scissors, pinking shears, rotary cutter, pins, etc)

First I made my pattern by using an apron I had-but curving up at the back like so. I hope this pic helps!
Then I cut out two pieces of the pattern on the fold, one of your main fabric and one of the back. (i used some unbleached muslin.)
Next we’ll cut out some strips of fabric for the pleats, straps, and ties.
For the straps (your 3/4 yrd cut) cut two pieces 3.5″ x 26″.
From the same fabric, for the pleats, cut 3 pieces, selvage to selvage x 6″ wide. Your 3/4 yd cut should be just enough.
For the waist ties, cut two pieces 6″x selvage to selvage. (usually that’s 42-44″)
First let’s make the straps. Fold in half lengthwise-and starting at one end, sew in from the fold, and then stop, pivot your foot, and sew down the long side with about a 3/8″ seam.
When you’re done with that on both straps, trim around the corner and end like so.
Then, turn right sides out by pushing the sewn end into itself. I use a chopstick to push it the rest of the way through.
Then iron that well, with the seam to the side like the picture shows.
Next cut some interfacing for your ties if you would like to-I used the little package and cut some 6″ strips with my rotary cutter-it made it a cinch!  Then using the instructions, iron it to the back of your fabric. (this usually entails using a pressing cloth and your iron-easy peasy)
Then fold the ties in half lengthwise as well, and sew in from the fold too, this time at a slight angle, then continue down the side. Do this for both ties.
Turn right sides out with your chopstick and press well.
Now for the pleats. First, sew all your strips together on the short ends so you have one long strip. Then, press the seams open, and then fold the whole thing in half and iron for a crisp edge.
Now, using a ruler and marker-start marking a little line along the raw edge every 2 inches.
For each pleat, bring two of the lines together, press, and pin.
like so.  Keep going til you have done the whole strip.
But wait! When you get to a seam like this:
Just tuck a little extra underneath so the seam is hidden. No biggie! It’ll look the same from the front. Just start marking from the edge of your pleat.
Ok, NOW keep going til you have done the whole strip.
Then baste it along the edge like so.
Now we’ll put the whole thing together!
Lay out your back piece and pin your straps in like so, about 1/2″ from the sides. (you’ll take the pins out later and re pin once your other piece of fabric is laid down on top)
Then on the sides, pin your ties in, again 1/2″ from the top-make sure your angled ends are facing the same way.
then lay your pleats right side down along the curved edge. The top there will look a little messy-just make sure it angles out so that you’ll catch the raw edges when we sew it up.
Then lay your fabric right side down on top of the whole thing and pin around it well, make sure to re- pin the straps and ties!
Then starting at the top, sew across for a few inches, down the swoop, and then to the curve. (1/2″ seam allowance)
You’ll want to use a larger seam allowance (5/8″ for me) around the bottom curve-just make sure you enclose the basting stitches for the pleats.
Leave a space on top open for about 8-9 inches for turning purposes.
Trim around the seam allowances with your scissors or pinking shears.
Then turn the whole thing right side out through that space on top.
Press around all the edges well. Lotsa steam! Press under the top where the hole is and pin it together.
Then starting at the bottom of the swoop, sew a top stitch about 1/8″ from the edge, and continue up and over the top, sewing the hole shut, and then continue around the apron. 
TAda! all done! 
Ok, I lied. I went back and added in a little box pleat in the middle of the top of the apron-pinched about a half an inch on either side and then sewed it down. It helped it fit a lot better. You can kind of see it below-click on the picture to enlarge it. 🙂
 Now you have a flouncy, fun apron!
hooray! 😀

Tune in tomorrow for Kalleen’s apron tutorial!

P.S. The fabric I used was from my awesome sponsor, Lark Cottons (previously known as Frolic Designs), and is from the Cosmo Cricket Early Bird line. 🙂


  1. This is so cute, Jess! Flirty is the perfect word for it. I love the pleats and the extra long ties. Really fun!

  2. Fabulous. I love it Jess. If I hadn’t just made my own, I would be making this one for sure.

  3. Loooooove it!! 🙂

  4. Your sister is so cute! I love the fabrics you picked, the perfect bow, and the crisp pleats.

  5. The pleats are awesome! What a cute design, Jess. I need one!

  6. Love, love, love, love, love this! I like the way it ties in the front and those pleats are darling! I haven’t made an apron in a while so I think this will be my next apron project. Thanks for the tutorial and the great photos!

  7. Cute!!! I am in serious need of new aprons! My only apron is 7 years old and is covered Christmas trees!

  8. Super cute! I plan on making one for my 70ish year old neighbor out of some 70’s fabric that I have and she loves it! Adding the pleating at the bottom will be perfect!

  9. I love those pleats. Very cute!

  10. Oh what an adorable apron! Your sister is a cute model! Great job I can’t wait to make one!

  11. OMG I thought I was the only one with that nickname!! Gotta love Nae Nae. Cute apron and so fitting for the name.

  12. That is adorable! I love the colors.

  13. made mine a half apron to work in garden will post on your facebook…. the imperfect princess

  14. That is a seriously cute apron!

  15. Love!!

  16. That turned out so darling! I just love the rounded edge in the back. Really great tutorial…thanks for sharing:).


  17. Love it sooo much!, I am almost done my version, can’t wait to show you!


  18. I linked back from my apron post to this tutorial – sew wonderful!


  19. I love it! The flouncyness is fabulous! I’m also totally smitten with your shoes. Super cute! Thanks for another AMAZING how-to, I’ll be linking.

  20. I featured you today! Woot Woot! 🙂 Graat job!


  21. A new follower! love your apron. I am a big apron fan! I have even made aprons for all the kid! thanks for this wonderful tutorial. I have your button on my blog at

  22. I made an apron for MY sister and used your directions for the basis of it! Thank you for another great tutorial!!!

  23. Just wanted to share the apron I made from your tutorial:

    Thanks for a great tutorial!

  24. Courtney C says

    I have looked at 400 apron patterns/tutorials and keep coming back to this one– it is so cute! *But*, I’m barely out of novice territory and am really uncomfortable working without a pattern. If you ever decide to revisit this and upload an accompanying pattern, it would not go unnoticed! 🙂

  25. Jess I love this apron so much – it’s just gone on my Christmas gift craft list!

    I blogged about it too and linked you up – hope that’s ok 🙂

  26. Hello

    I know this is oh so old now but I’m dying to make for Christmas and was wondering if you had approx measurements for the body? Thanks!

  27. I love this apron!!! I think I’m going to make one for myself!!! thank you!

  28. This is a great idea. I made one for my daughter s friend it is simple and very beautiful. Thank you!! If You want I may send you a photo


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