Ruffled Half Apron
- Exterior fabric: Fat Quarter (approx 30" wide x 18" long) "Spooky Cookies"
- Lining Fabric: Fat Quarter (approx 30" wide x 18" long) black Kona cotton
- Ruffle & Waistband: 2/3 yard solid orange Kona cotton
- matching thread
This ruffled half apron sews together pretty quickly! The trickiest part is gathering the orange ruffles. Go slowly and you'll be great!
Let's start with cutting our pieces!
- Ruffles (you need 2 strips that we will join together later): 3.5" x WOF (width of fabric)
- Waistband (you need 2 strips that we will join together later): 6" x WOF
- Exterior: I recommend 30" wide x 18" long. For this tutorial I cut 20" wide x 15" long and I think it should be wider (I am pretty petite to begin with and I think it's too small on me). For a rough calculation, I would do:
hip measurement divided by 2 times 1.25 (i.e. 40" hips = 25" wide apron) BUT it's always better to have a bigger apron, right? Keeps more clean. ;)
- Lining: same size as your exterior fabric
Join your duplicate solid orange strips together to create long strips (only match the same sized pieces together, do not sew all 4 together). Match two ends together and sew with ~1/4" seam allowance. Press the seam open.
Take your ruffle strip (the 3.5" wide piece), fold the edges together hot dog style and press with your iron. You should now have a long piece 1.75" wide with two raw edges on one side and a fold on the other.
Now is the tricky ruffle part. If you're already comfortable with a particular way of gathering, go ahead and gather your long strip. Make sure your end result is still long enough to wrap all the way around 3 sides of your apron.
To make the ruffles, set your machine stitch to the longest length. Run a line of stitching a little less than 1/4" from the edge of the raw edges. DO NOT BACKSTITCH. You'll want to break up the stitching so it's easier to gather (I prefer 4 lines- just sew until you're about 1/4th through the strip, cut, sew another 1/4th, cut, etc). To gather, hold either your top or bottom thread and pull the other. You should see the fabric start to come together. Keep doing this (you may need to push the gather down your thread) until the whole strip has a ruffled look. It doesn't need to be as gathered as my picture- I had to stretch this out to get it on my apron. :D
Round the bottom 2 corners on your exterior and lining fabric. I just found a cereal bowl and used that as my guide. :)
Now we're going to pin the ruffle on your exterior fabric. It only goes along 3 sides (not the top). You'll end up stretching/letting out a lot of the gathers as you go along. I centered the seam on the orange (from when we joined the 2 strips) at the bottom center of the exterior fabric and then pinned moving out towards the sides.
Baste your ruffle in place (1/8" seam allowance)! Now pin the lining on. NOTE: if your lining has a print, make sure the right sides of the exterior and lining are facing and the ruffle is sandwiched between them. Sew your lining on, but only sew along the ruffles! Use 1/4" seam allowance (or wider depending where your gathering stitches are).
Clip your rounded corners...
and turn right side out! You should have something that looks like this! If your lining doesn't match up with your exterior, thats ok! just trim it all so it's even. You can trim the orange ruffle excess, too.
Iron the seam, but try not to iron your ruffles. Top stitch on the exterior fabric 1/8" from the seam.
OPTIONAL: Run another line of gathering stitches along the top of your apron to give it just a bit of gathering. It's not necessary to do this step though.
Time for the waistband! In my photo, you'll notice there isn't a visible seam on the orange waistband. That's because I only used one WOF piece. It's pretty short and doesn't make a bow, so I recommend lengthening your waistband piece. That said, you may not want a seam right in the front of your apron...
Option 1: "Who cares, it's going to get covered with flour anyway": join the 2 pieces together like we did the ruffle strips and call it good.
Option 2: "Uh, I'm spending good time on this apron (and reading this now rather lengthy tutorial), you better hide that seam": take one of your two strips and cut it in half. Join a short piece on each side of the other long piece with the same method as the ruffle strip.
You should now have one long 6" wide strip! Fold the two long sides together and press, then fold a long side up to the new crease you just created and press again. Your long strip should now have creases dividing it into fourths.
Finishing the ends of the waistband: we're going to make them into tidy little points!
Take the end and fold it like an accordion (from the side it should go in a "M"). Pin it in place.
Sew a line at a slight angle. The more angled, the more pointy it will be, but it will also be harder to poke that point out.
Trim the excess. You can also clip the point, but do not get too close to your stitching.
Flip right side out, use something to poke the point out. You should have something like this! Give it a good press with the iron.
Find the center of your long waistband and mark it with a pin. Lay it open- right side facing up (the creases should make it fold under on itself). Find the center of your apron piece and match it up with the waistband center, right side facing down. The top edge of the apron should be 1" down from the edge of the waistband (still 1/2" over the crease though). Pin in place and baste 1/4" from the edge of the apron piece.
Flip the waistband out and over, folding the raw edge inside. The creased bottom edge should cover the raw edge of the top of the apron. Pin the waistband down- try to make sure the front and back sides of the waistband are even.
Top stitch to close the waistband and finish the apron! Starting from one end of the waistband, top stitch 1/8" from the lower edge to close the waistband. When you get to the apron part, make sure you are catching the back piece of the waistband on the bottom as well. Continue on until you reach the other end of the waistband.
That's it! You're all finished!
If you've made something with this tutorial in Purple Dragon fabric, please share it in our Facebook group!
Thanks for following along!