Recycle with Embroidery – Denim Skirt to Apron

Take a look through your local opportunity shop, and you will find some amazing bargains.  I love re-cycling clothes to make new combinations, and love the prices that can be found at these stores.  When I found this skirt, it had a mark on the back that would have been difficult to work with, however this apron project was quick to make, and will make a fantastic gift for the caravan enthusiast you know.


  • Denim skirt – I found a great denim skirt at my local opportunity shop for this project, and paid only $6.50 for it!
  • Scraps of fabric from your stash for applique
  • Embroidery thread to match your fabrics
  • TearClean© Tear-Away stabiliser
  • Crusin’ Caravans Collection by Julie Hall Designs
  • Cutie Applique Cars Collection by Julie Hall Designs
  • Squeeze Embroidery curve tip scissors by Julie Hall Designs
  • Sewing thread to match your skirt
  • Bobbins filled with embroidery thread
  • General sewing implements
  • Printed templates of your chosen designs on vellum
  • Re-positionable mounting spray (I use Elmers)
  • 1 metre contrasting fabric for the frill and sash


  1. Take your skirt and press with a hot iron.
  2. Using sharp scissors cut up the side seams of the skirt.  I like to cut after the seam, so that the pocket stays easily intact.
  3. Decide how long you are going to make your apron, with the skirt folded in half, trim away any excess fabric, curving the sides as you go.
  4. Load the two designs onto your embroidery machine; I have used Caravan 6, and Car 5.
  5. Print out your templates onto vellum paper, and roughly cut around them.
  6. Use a small amount of Elmers re-positionable mounting spray on the back of the template, and take the time to place each template carefully onto the skirt.  Once you are happy with your positioning, hoop your fabric, and stitch out each of the embroideries.
  7. Once the embroideries are complete, remove from the hoop, and trim away all excess threads and stabiliser from the back.
  8. Measure around the skirt from waistband to waistband.  This will be the measurement you will use for the frill. (my measurement is 136cm)
  9. Take your contrasting fabric, and cut into 7” (18cm) strips to go around the skirt, from waistband to waistband twice.  (for me that will be 272cm)
  10.  Join the strips into one long strip, and then fold in half.  Press.
  11.  Turn your sewing machine onto the longest stitch length (for me it was 5mm), and stitch two rows of stitching along the exposed edge of the strip, leaving a long tag of thread at each end.
  12.  Find the middle of the strip, and pin to the middle of the skirt/apron.  Pull the two thread tags to begin gathering the fabric.  Ensure that the fabric is evenly gathered as you go along, and pull the gathering to make the fabric evenly gathered to the end.  Pin all around.
  13. Stitch the gathering to the skirt, using a 2.0 – 2.5mm stitch length.

  14. Overstitch the seams you have just sewn to stop any seams unravelling.
  15. Top stitch the frill to the back of the denim to ensure that the fill is always sitting nicely on your apron.

  16. Using the last of the contrasting fabric, cut two 7” strips, and fold in half with right sides together.  Stitch and turn through to create your apron strings.  Turn under the exposed edge and stitch closed.
  17. Pull each of the apron strings through the belt loops, and knot together.  At the edge of the denim part of the apron, stitch the apron strings to the denim.

Your funky, cool apron is now ready to show off to family and friends.



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