Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ruffled Apron Tutorial

Need a last-minute Christmas gift? These sew up pretty fast!

You'll need about 1-1/2 yards of solid fabric, and three 1/8 yard strips of coordinating fabrics. You'll also need just a bit more of one of those fabrics to make the straps.

First up, I used an already existing apron as my guide. With tailor's chalk, I traced the shape on the fold.

I made my corners straight. You'll need 2 of these large pieces.

Cut 'em out!

Next up, make the straps. I cut my neck strap at 23 inches long by 3 inches wide. The waist strap was 70 inches long by 3 inches wide. I then used my nifty bias maker tool to iron them. If you don't have one of these, you would just fold the fabric in half and iron, then fold again to the ironed crease, and iron again. 

For the long waist strap, I folded the edge in a triangular shape, and then sewed it shut.

Next, I made my ruffles. There were cut to 40 inches long by 5 inches wide. I made three of them in coordinating fabrics. First, I folded over and ironed the hems on the short sides.

Next, I folded and sewed the hem on one of the long raw edges.

I then changed the foot on my machine to a gathering foot. If you don't have one of these, you could also use a long basting stitch and just pull the thread tight. With the gathering foot, I simply sewed along the long raw edge, and it gathered the fabric up to form a ruffle.

After repeating this process with the other two ruffles, I switched back to my standard presser foot. Grab the long waist strap that only has triangular edges. Find the center of the strap and match it with the center of your top ruffle. Sandwich the top ruffle inside the strap. Pin it in, and sew the entire length of the strap closed.

Find the center of your apron, and match it with the center of this waist strap. Pin it to the front of one of the large apron pieces. I then pinned the other ruffles below this top one just to get them distributed evenly. 

For the top ruffle, simply sew across the waistband, at the top edge and at the bottom edge, but stop stitching about 1/2 inch from the edge. 

For the other two ruffles, sew a straight stitch across the raw edge, stopping about 1/2 inch from the edge. Go over the raw edge with a wide zigzag stitch. 

Now it's time to sew the neck strap. You should sew the entire length of the neck strap closed. Then, pin it to the top front apron piece, matching the raw edge of the strap with the raw edge of the top. Make sure there is about 1/4 inch between the side of the strap and the edge of the apron. Also, make sure there are no twists in the neck strap. Sew them down, and go over with a zigzag stitch if you like.

If you have an embroidery machine or some other embellishment you'd like to add to the top, now is the time.

It's almost done! Pin the ruffles, waist strap, and neck strap well inside the body of the apron. 

Pin it right sides together with the other apron piece. Sew around the edge of the apron, leaving the top edge open. 

Turn the apron right side out through the top edge. 

Press the apron and sew a top stitch around the edge, stopping and starting again above and below each ruffle.

Give it away to make someone's Christmas a little brighter! :)

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