Let’s face it, we all get a little messy sometimes. Some of us more than other. Ahem. Me? If the recipe calls for flour, I need an apron! I’ve been making my own aprons since I was about 10. I started out with simple apron patterns and moved on to creating my own. I prefer a simple, full apron that covers well and fits just right. But, there are days when a half-apron, or cafe style apron, can be both cute and functional.
Ruffles Aren’t Necessary, But, They Are Fun!
If you’d rather a more plain apron, or you can’t find ruffles to match your handkerchief, you can always skip the ruffles and use an additional package of bias tape. This was my original plan, which is why there are two packages in my photo (below). Then I saw ruffles…
What You’ll Need to Make an Apron
- 1 pretty handkerchief
- 1 package wide double-fold bias tape
- 1.5 yards pre-made ruffle
I like this apron because there’s no tedious hemming. The bias tape and ruffles are made to envelop the edges creating perfectly smooth seams. This apron tutorial is perfect for the beginner seamstress.
Step 1, Iron the Handkerchief.
I found beautiful and colorful handkerchiefs at Hobby Lobby in the wearable art department. These are already hemmed and when folded in half are the size of a cafe apron. But, they come folded with multiple creases so you want to quickly iron them out. Then, fold one side over, but not in half. Leave about 4 inches extra space. Iron that fold, then cut along it. This gives you two pieces the same width, but one a little shorter than the other. You’ll use the smaller piece for a pocket.
Step 2, Round the Corners.
For this, I laid the two pieces of fabric on top of each other and matched the bottom corners. Then I laid them on a cutting board, put a small plate on the corner for a guide and used my rotary cutter to trim the corners. You could trace the plate and cut with scissors if you don’t have a rotary blade.
Step 3, Create the Pocket.
Using your sewing machine, hem the top edge of the shorter piece of fabric with some of your double-fold bias tape. Then lay the pocket piece on top of the larger piece, matching the side seams and rounded bottom corners. Pin in place. Sew a seam (or two your three, your preference) from the bottom of the apron up to the top of the pocket, dividing the pocket into sections.
Step 4, Add the Frills.
Now we’re talkin’! This is where you get to add the ruffles to the sides and bottom of your apron. Staring on one side, at the top, tuck your side seam into the fold of the ruffle. You will need to do this a little at a time, as the fabric tends to slip out as you’re sewing. I do about 6 inches, sew it, then tuck in some more and sew. Continue all the way to the top of the opposite side. Trim the ruffle ends straight across with the top of the apron.
Step 5, Finish the top and Strings!
This is the best part, cause it means you’re almost done! Measure out a piece of bias tape by tying it around your waste. Be sure you have plenty to create a pretty bow. Add a few inches to be safe, and cut. Fold in half and mark the center with your finger. Starting at the center of the apron and the center of the tape, pin the tape over the top edge of the apron. Starting on one end of the tails, and hemming the end by folding the raw edge under as shown above, sew the apron strings from one end to the other, completing the strings and the top hem of the apron in one long seam.
Step 6, Take Pictures!
I want to see what you’ve made!! I know with all the handkerchief patterns and colors out there, and your own color choices for edging you’re sure to come up with something absolutely beautiful! Share your photo on our Facebook page so we can see it!
Many thanks to my six year old who took the photos of me modeling the apron. He’s such a sweetie!
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