Sweet Detachment

On growing, creating, and capturing the moment.

Apron How-To

For my latest sewing adventure, I decided to make a few fun new aprons.

I got the idea from CraftyGal, and used this set of instructions to build my apron based on my personal measurements.

It wasn't that challenging, although I did find some of her instructions weren't super clear.

Also, I found that I liked having my "bib" a couple inches wider than her directions suggest.

In this I made both the bib and sash narrower than I would have liked, and the skirt hangs heavily, no ruffles :( 

This was the first apron I made, and I couldn't follow her instructions to create the ruffled skirt effect because the material I had chosen was too heavy. The leftover material did make great reuseable dinner napkins, though!

The second attempt at this apron yielded results much closer to the example on CraftyGal's website.

I used a lighter, gingham patterned fabric that ruffled very nicely!

Here is a bit of a step-by-step on sewing the apron:

First, take your measurements as per CraftyGal's instructions. I recommend making the bib portion a bit larger than she suggests. After you have measured out your pieces, cut them and assemble them with pins to get an idea of what the final product will look like:

Then, start sewing! I start with hemming all the pieces before putting it all together (this just makes good practical sense).

After hemming, I created ruffles in the skirt by pulling the bottom thread slightly to create the effect. Then I attached the bib to the skirt, then the sash to the rest of the apron. I sewed the bib over top of the join between the bib and skirt next. Then I attached the pocket(s) and finally the strap for around the neck.  (More pics about these steps to come.)

And tah dah! You have an apron. 

Just a few notes about issues I had, though.

I found that the sash needed to be thicker than described, to cover the middle part nicely. Otherwise you just kind of end up with a buldge of fabric around your middle, which isn't very flattering. A  nice wide sash minimizes the bulk and the overall girth of your waist.

Ruffling the skirt was easy; getting it to stay was really, really challenging. You need to find a way to sew the bottom thread (the bottom one you pulled to create the ruffles) so that it holds the ruffles in place. If you drop it when trying to sew it into place, you have to redo the ruffling effect. I had to redo it four times. I was getting very frustrated, and I ended up cursing the poor apron thoroughly.

In the end, however, it was totally worth it. 

I was much happier with how this turned out! 

For stitching, I used a medium zig-zag stitch for most of it, simply because that's my default for my sewing machine. Honestly, a straight stitch or minimal zig-zag would probably make more sense for most of this project, as there isn't really a lot of need for stretch in the finished product. I did use a "fancier" top stitch option for sewing the sash onto the apron, because the stitch was inevitably going to be visible. 

For fun, since I made this for a Valentine's craft exchange, I put a heart apron on the pocket. Creating the heart was pretty easy (just like making a paper valentine, only with fabric) but stitching it was a bit trickier. I went over it twice to ensure that the pocket would actually hold things!

Overall, each apron probably took 4-5 hours of work, from measuring, to cutting, to sewing and fitting/fixing. It's a nice way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon. More experienced sewers could probaby spin one out in just a couple of hours. I'm working on getting there ;)