1/31/08

Country Cottage Apron Instructions


Well gosh, this picture came out blurry. Sorry. Anyway, you get the picture. I'm too tired to go take another shot!





This was a fun apron to make, and I didn't even need a PATTERN! Here's how you do it:












You'll need: 1/2 yard for top piece, 1/2 yard for bottom piece, 1 yard for trimmings and belt ties. Anything else is just from scraps.

I like to make a template with tissue paper. With the iron setting on VERY low, the very lowest, press the tissue paper flat and then fit it to your body to figure out where you want your apron lines to go.


Fold the tissue paper in half and make a sketch of the shape you want. Cut it out - and you've got your pattern!

Now cut TWO pieces with that template - a top and bottom piece.






Here's what my shape ended up looking like. Because I've saved my tissue paper pattern, I can now duplicate this apron as much as I want.









APRON TIES:

With your contrasting fabric, fold it LENGTH-wise. You want three strips of the full yard's length. So you'll take the longest part, fold that in half, in half again, and again until you are able to cut straight lines out of it.

After I cut my three strips, I had enough left over to cut two little strips, which will be my trim and ruffle edge.

Stitch all three pieces together, end to end, press seams open, creating one long, enormous belt.










Fold the belt in half, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER. Press down flat to make sewing easier.

Starting in the middle of the belt, sew all the way around the raw edges, leaving a 2-3" opening so you can turn it inside-out.

Make sure to give yourself plenty of room around your seams so your fabric doesn't fray. I ended up stitching a 5/8" seam (the line just to the right of the presser foot, whatever that is) and then zig-zagging beneath that all the way around. My fabric started to fray and I need it to be sturdy!

Once you have it all stitched, turn the fabric right-side-out through your little opening. Iron the belt carefully. To get my corners pointy, I dropped a mechanical pencil (without the lead) down to the ends and used that to gently push out the fabric to a point. Worked pretty good!

POCKET: (optional)

If you're NEW to sewing, SKIP THIS PART. If pockets don't freak you out, keep going!

Cut two pieces of contrasting fabric in whatever shape you want. I used an Ikea cheese grater for my oval template!

Because I'm using a circular shape, I stitched once around close to the edge to secure the fabric. I stitched again, more carefully this time, just above that with a 5/8" seam allowance.


Clip close to the edges and since it's circular, carefully make cuts around the whole thing, without cutting your stitching. This will help the curves to curve!







RUFFLES: (optional)

Pocket ruffle - approximately 8 inches long
Bottom ruffle - 1-yard length, should already be cut. See "ties" cutting above.

For the pocket ruffle, I wanted the edges to be stitched from the inside, so I stitched them right sides together, leaving an opening in the middle to turn them right-side-out. (just like we made the belt tie)

Stitch, clip edges, cut corners tight, turn right-side-out, press flat. Don't worry about the bottom opening.

To make it ruffle, sew two running stitches (long stitches) without back-stitching, leaving long pieces of thread.

Then pull the top two long strings until the fabric starts to gather - continue carefully until your ruffle is the length you need.

Notice that I didn't do this ruffle the "inside-out" way - like the pocket ruffle. I wish I had. However, I ended up turning the edges under and stitching them down. You don't want the raw edge to be exposed and start to unravel.

For pocket ruffle:

Trim the bottom edges of the ruffle to prevent bulk. Pin between pocket pieces, top stitch pocket shut.







Now you can top stitch your pocket in place. It's easier to determine where you want it when you put the apron up against you.









Almost DONE! Now you can assemble the apron!

So with the bottom piece RIGHT side up, pin your ruffle in place. It's easier if you straight-stitch it onto your bottom piece before you pin the top piece on. You don't have to make it fancy, just stitch close to the edge to hold the ruffle in place so it doesn't slip all over - and so you don't have to pin and re-pin.



Make sure your ruffle does NOT get stuck in the side seams. Since I didn't do the "inside-out" ruffle method, I cut my ruffle right at the side seam, tucked it under and stitched the edge down so it wouldn't fray.

If you're not careful about the two side edges, your ruffle can get caught in the corner turning. You don't want that! The only exception is if you have a rounded bottom apron, where there aren't corners to turn.

With right sides together, stitch the apron sides together. While you're making your way around, make sure you sew ABOVE your ruffle stitching. Remember when you made running stitches to gather the ruffle? Those will show up if you don't stitch high enough from the bottom. Just look to make sure how far up you need to sew before rounding the turn.




Press everything down nice and neat. ALMOST DONE!










Turn the waistband under twice, press down.

Finding the center of both the apron and the belt ties, pin in place starting at the middle of the apron. Make sure you get the very bottom edge of the tie and the waistband pinned down together (back shown here).

Because I didn't hand-stitch my belt tie hole (where I turned it right-side-out), and because it's in the MIDDLE of the belt, my top-stitching is going to seal that shut, as well as the turned under waistband. So with the belt side up, carefully top stitch the belt to the waistband, making sure you are catching the waistband underneath.

Because I like the look of top stitching, I went ahead and started at one end of the gigantic belt, and stitched the whole thing all the way around. You don't have to do this, but just make sure you stitch the opening where you turned it out.

Top-stitch around the apron, as well. Make sure you catch the very bottom edge where the fabric and ruffle meet. It makes everything look finished.






















And now you're DONE! Not that painful, eh?!

14 comments:

missliss5 said...

Oh-my-gosh! You've done it again! Another absolutely gorgeous creation and incredible instructions for people like me who need detailed info! I totally love your apron!

Chris & Sarah said...

very cute! I think I'll make one for myself! :)

adorable pearsons said...

That apron is so adorable! I just love it! I am a little worried with my sewing skills but I just may try to bust one out :)...or should I say stress and sweat one out! You do such a good job with picking adorable fabrics as well.

Charyce said...

Abby,
Thank you so much for this tutorial! I actually love your pattern more than the one you posted from another site. Now, you SAY that this is simple, but coming from you that could mean anything- since you are queen of all you do!
I am going to take a swing at it though!
Thanks again for sharing!

momof3crazykids said...

Wow, how cute is that! I love it. I might just have to try to make one of those. I am no good at measuring though. We'll see if I can do it.

Katherine said...

I'm going to try this tomorrow! I am not the best seamstress so I really appreciate this tutorial! Thanks for all your detailed info. I'm really excited.

Katherine said...

I just finished the apron and it turned out great. Your directions were very well written. Thanks for inspiring me!

coryshay said...

I definitely gotta try this one!

Aimee said...

I've been trying to find the perfect tutorial for an apron for my MIL (who likes to wear half aprons, but up over her bust), and I think you've provided it! A few gathers, and this will be exactly what I need. Thanks so much!

Carole said...

Very cute!

lindseyjayne said...

How wide are the strips you cut for the belt and ruffles? Eyeballing, it, it looks like your belt is about 3 inches wide and the ruffle about an inch and a half, but I thought I'd check to make sure?
thanks!

Abby said...

Hey Lindsey-I don't know if you'll get this or not - but these instructions aren't the best. The Quick & Easy apron ties are actually easier! About the width measurements - you're probably right - I have NO idea the dimensions. This was one of my first apron tutorials and it was a while back, so way to eyeball it!

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rachelthehairguru said...

Thanks for this posting. I made an apron for my mother for Christmas using your guide. It turned out great. Thanks again :)