Now, I’m not an expert seamstress and I don’t know much terminology, but I’m pretty much going to try and explain the whole process that I go through when making an apron.
Have a specific pattern or reference in mind before starting. It will be easier for you when you work in sections. Take the measurements you’ll need before making any cuts. You’ll need to measure
- shoulder width (one side to another)
- chest width
- shoulder to waist length
- waist (2 inches above navel)
- waist to desired apron length
Lightly draw out your apron design with a pencil or any fabric safe drawing utensil, keeping in mind that it needs to be within the measurements. Add in an additional 2 inches at the top for the waist (So if you measured 12 inches, cut out 14.) For this apron, I chose a square design.
For the ruffles, measure the perimeter of the apron. Whatever it comes out to, you’re going to double the length, since ruffling uses up half the length of the fabric.
Since mine measured out to be 37 inches, I needed 74 inches of fabric that will be roughly 2 1/2 inches in height.
If your fabric doesn’t have a treated edge or you had to make a cut away from the edge, it will fray. If you don’t have a serger machine, you need to treat it with Fray Check. It’s pretty much just a serum that binds the frays together and seals them. *Warning* It smells pretty bad ~___~ and smells like old lady perfume. Some people with Asian relatives or live in an Asian household might find the smell to be similar to bad Tiger Balm.
To use this, lay your fabric across a long table or something so that the edge lays off the table. Then squeeze out a bit of Fray Check and run it along the edge from one end to the other. It will go on wet and dry clear, but be sure to test it on a scrap piece of fabric first. It may react differently with other fabrics. It should take an hour or so for it to dry before you can work on it.
Now to the ruffles!! The ruffling process is a little time consuming, but once you get the hang of it, it gets easier. To ruffle, unwind enough thread so that you won’t run out halfway and knot one end. You will need to do a running stitch as close to the edge of the fabric as possible. Not so much that it’s barely hanging off, and not much that it takes the majority of the fabric. It takes less time if you gather up a bit of fabric before pulling the thread through (below).
When the thread has gone through the entirety of the fabric, start pulling the fabric backwards on the line of thread and it will start to ruffle! Distribute it evenly and slightly close together.
After you’ve done that, knot off the other end to secure it. This should be the end result!
Now we need to attach the ruffles to the apron!! To do this, take apart the two pieces of the apron. Lay the ruffle along one piece, making sure that they are pointing inwards. When you’ve got the length matched up, lay the second piece of the apron directly on top. In the picture below, I folded over the top fabric to show what the placement should look like! For stability, pin the fabric and ruffles together to make it easier to sew.
Now you just sew together along the edge of the fabric, making sure to sew the sides and the bottom but do not sew off the top!
This should be the finished result!
With the open end you left out, flip the apron to the right side to expose the ruffles.
****If you’re only wanting to make a waist apron, all you need to do is make straps and attach it to the sides of the 2 inch free fabric at the top and sew it closed!****
To be continued~I