Sew Weekly: Apron Challenge!

Just finished the Sew Weekly Apron Challenge this weekend, and I wanted to share my experience with you all because drafting your own apron is pretty easy and satisfying.

Making your own apron for whatever reason - in my case it was to match a dirndl I had made - is really easy.  This type of apron is a simple wrap-around apron with two straps that are long enough to wrap around the waist and tie in front.

You begin with a rectangle of fabric.  I measured mine out so my rectangle was about 8" less than my hips measurement.  The length is purely up to the matching skirt or your preference...

My rectangle was 31" W x 22 1/2" L
30" + 1" of seam allowance = 31" wide
21" + 1/2" seam allowance at the top, 1" seam allowance for a hem = 22 1/2" tall

To finish the edges, turn the edge over by 1/4" - press, then turn them over again, pin (see photo above), and stitch.

I knew that I wanted to gather the apron top to a width of about 12" to 13" so I kept this in mind when I next tackled the apron ties.  For an apron tie to wrap around my waist, and then be able to make a bow at the front, I needed about 115 to 120" of strap length.

My rectangle for the ties was 3" W x approx. 120" L

Because I didn't want a seam to be smack in the middle of the apron, I joined several lengths of fabric that were 3" wide with a flat-felled seam until I had the length I wanted and was sure no seam would land at the center.

Next, turn under the raw edges of the strap fabric 1/4", press, then fold over another 1/4" and stitch those edges down.  Then press the strap in half.

Mark the center of the strap with a pin.  Then mark the wrong side of the fabric 6 1/2" to each side of the center (6 1/2" x 2 = 13" gathering).

To gather the fabric, stitch two lines of super-wide basting stitches to the top of the apron and gather them until they are just inside the marked gathering lines.  I pinned strap + apron fabric right sides together and stitched across the bottom line of basting.  Then, press and turn up the strap, fold it over the remaining raw edge of the gathered apron, and top-stitch to seal the deal.  Make your hem as needed.

If you find that your apron ties are really uneven after tying a bow, add a bit of length to the end of the lacking strap. The last remaining detail is the triangle tips of the apron ties.  You fold the length of the ribbon in half with right sides facing, then sew along the short edge.  Press this little seam open, and when you flip it back out to the right side, let it be a triangle instead of forcing the seam all the way.  Press and stitch across the triangle.

Here's what the whole ensemble looked like when I was done... dirndl bodice, apron, and skirt.

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