October 11, 2011Retro Ruffled Apron – A Tuesday Tutorial – Part 2
Two weeks ago, at the end of Part 1 of this tute, I left you with a couple of pieces which are to be the waistband/tie of your apron, the main panel of your apron, and a loooong strip of ruffle. Well, I am back, to help you assemble the rest of these into an apron!
To start, grab your main apron panel and your strip of ruffle. You’re going to pin and sew the ruffle strip around the side and bottom edges of your main apron panel. Once you’ve done that, you’re going to want to seam finish and press. However, don’t press the seam open as you normally would.
Instead, press both layers of seam allowance together towards the main panel of your apron as shown above, and the ruffle outwards. I prefer to seam finish both layers of my seam together, just to make this step a little easier. This is going to help your ruffle stand out nicely away from the main panel of the apron.
Once you’ve done that, back to the sewing machine, and topstitch the seam allowances down. Now, we can put this part of the apron aside for a moment. Grab the two 7-1/4″ x 39″ pieces that you cut, and sew them together along the 7-1/4″ side. Press this seam open.
Now, from the centre of your band, measure out and make a mark 15″ in each direction. This will result in a centered marked area 30″ wide. Grab your main apron panel again. We’re going to gather the top side of your main panel. Run a long gathering stitch along the top of the printed panel only. Don’t run this stitch on the ruffle portion. Pull your thread and gather the printed panel so that the panel and the edges of the ruffle fit within this 30″ section. Pin and sew.
Once you’ve done that, fold your band over, right sides together. You’re going to pin and sew your band, but you’re not going to sew the section where the main panel is. I’ve marked with a pin in the picture above how far I am going to sew to, this will be the same on both sides. Pin and sew, clip your corners, and turn the sides of your band inside out.
After that, back to the ironing board again! Flip your apron over, and press the seam allowance from where you joined the main panel to the band up towards the band. Then, on the unsewn portion of the band, turn under 5/8″ and pin and press.
Back to the sewing machine, where you’re going to topstitch all around the edge of the band, including the area by the main panel that was previously unsewn. This will close that area up, and hide all that seam allowance.
Back to the iron one last time, give your apron a good press, and that’s it, you’re finished!
Some suggestions to make your apron your own – you can customize this to fit any size. I like my apron to wrap the most of the way around me, hence the 30″ measurement. if you find this is too big or too small for your liking, you can adjust it as needed. Same with the length of the ties. The one I made actually has really short ties, as I prefer to literally not have a baby hanging from my apron strings! You can easily make the overall size smaller to make it work for a child, as well.
You can always add a pocket or two, leave off the ruffle, make your printed portion shorter and add a contrasting stripe at the bottom, add some hand or machine embroidery to really jazz up your apron, or maybe make your apron from a vintage embroidered table cloth that might be stained or otherwise not totally usable – the options are endless!
I hope this will inspire you to whip up a few aprons of your own! As always, if anyone has any questions, leave them in the comments, and I’ll help you out. And I would love to see any pictures of aprons made from this tute!