For Jamie’s birthday nearly two years ago (yes – still drowning in a sea of backlogged posts), I made this fun little pintuck piece since she’d told me she was in the market for an apron. I found the tutorial on Wholly Kao, and wholeheartedly accepted the challenge. And boy, was it a challenge!
I don’t think I’ve made something this difficult since those baby booties a few years ago.
Here’s the tutorial as adapted from Wholly Kao, but having the diagrams she drew in her tutorial will really help you:
- 1 yard fabric for the apron
- 1/2 yard coordinating muslin (for the waist strap and ruffles)
MAKE THE TOP:
- Measure the distance between your armpits to get the width of the chest. Take this width and subtract 4. This new number will be how wide your top part is at its widest point. Measure from your chest to your waist to get the height.
- Take your patterned fabric and measure out a piece that is slightly larger than the width and height dimensions you just measured. Fold the fabric in half width-wise.
- Using a Sharpie, draw your top shape onto the folded fabric. This shape should look like a heart with a flat bottom. The widest point of this ‘heart’ is your (chest width minus 4 inches) measurement. Cut along your Sharpie line. You’ve now got your top piece! You can measure it against yourself to make sure it’s not too wide. If it is, trim it accordingly.
MAKE THE BOTTOM:
- Measure out a piece of fabric for the bottom part that is 36-inches wide. The height for this can be as tall as you want. For instance, if you want the apron to hit mid-thigh, measure the distance from your waist to your thigh and use this number as the height. Spread the fabric out and cut out the corners so that they’re rounded. (see diagram)
- Now it’s time to make the pleats along the waist. Take the fabric at the top of the wide side and fold it accordian style and pin it in place. Do this only in the middle, leaving 6-inches on either side of the folds. Next, sew the folds in place, 1/4-inch in from the edge (see red dotted line in diagram).
- Pin the top and bottom part together on the wrong side. Sew the two pieces together on the wrong side, 1/4-inch from the edge.
MAKE THE WAIST STRAP:
- Cut a strip of muslin fabric (I chose a coordinating periwinkle shade) that is 5-inches tall and as wide as your bolt of fabric. Sew the ends of two of these straps together on the wrong side, making one really really long strap that is 50-inches long (This piece will tie around your waist, so you want to cut the length to fit you).
- Fold the strap in half, making a 2.5-inch tall piece. Pin the ends together, then iron the fold flat.
- Sew around the edges of the strap (red dotted line in diagram), 1/4-inch from the edge. Be sure to leave an opening on one side, so you can flip this piece inside-out.
- Flip the fabric so that the raw edges are now on the inside. Then sew the open edge shut (red dotted line in diagram).
- Now take the apron fabric and cut two strips that are 3-inches tall. Sew these together to make one long strip 50-inches long.
- Fold each edge in 1/4-inch and pin in place. Iron flat. Center this strip on top of the white strip and pin.
MAKE THE NECK STRAP:
- Cut a strip of apron fabric that is 2-inches tall for the neck strap. (The length of this depends on you: if you want a strap that is easy on and off, you can always put a buttonhole/button in the middle of this neck strap.)
- Fold the strip in half, making a 1-inch tall piece. Pin the edges together, then iron flat. Sew along the edges, making sure to leave an opening on one side. Once you’re done sewing, flip the fabric inside out.
MAKE THE RUFFLES*:
*If you want, you can just buy pre-made ruffles by the yard at the fabric store instead. If you do that, skip to “Assembling the Pieces Together”.
- Take the muslin fabric and cut it into strips that are 2-inches tall. Sew three of these together, making one really really long strap. Fold the strap in half.
- Make small pleats all along the fabric, pinning them in place as you go.
- Sew the ruffles in place, using the zig zag stitch on your sewing machine.
ASSEMBLING THE PIECES TOGETHER:
- Take the sewn edge of the ruffles and line them up with the raw edges of the front side of the apron, so the ruffles lie on top of the patterned part of the fabric. Pin the ruffles around the apron this way, then flip the ruffles out so that they look like this (diagram).
- Sew the edges together on the wrong side of the fabric. Then iron the front of the apron, where the fabric and ruffles meet.
- Pin the neck strap in place behind the ruffles.
- Now it’s time to sew everything together! Sew all along the apron, 1/4-inch in, making sure you sew the edges of the ruffle, as well as the straps in place.
- Last step: attaching the waist strap. Center the waist strap between the top and bottom pieces of the apron, and pin it in place. Sew along the edges of the inner fabric on the strap (red dotted lines on diagram), making sure you’re attaching the apron to the strap in the process.
Here’s the finished product:
And here is the birthday girl!
While the apron turned out pretty cute (if I do say so myself) in the front, it was just a hot mess behind it. Lots of thread everywhere from places I went over and fixed, and I had a lot of thread-breakage issues for some reason with this project. I thought the tutorial was great with getting me to the end product, but there wasn’t a lot of thought put into covering up the unsightly back of the apron fabric.