Dec 14, 2011

Easy Cheaters Method Ruffle Front Apron

I saw this idea on Pinterest (of course) and wanted to make one for myself.  I needed it to be quick and easy.  So this apron is super "cheaters" method (as in -my sewing teacher from college would be horrified at all the incorrect sewing methods used).  And so with that-lets begin.
1 apron (I bought a 3 pack at Sams Club for $10.00).  They are just the plain old, basic apron
5 coordinating fat quarters (I bought a pack of 8 fat quarters at Walmart for $9.00-I figured if I ended up paying a bit extra it was made up for in the fact that I didn't have to try and find that many prints that went together while shopping with my kids-or have to wait while the slower than turtles lady cut it.)
1 coordinating button
NOTE: this tutorial relys heavily on a serger.  If you don't have one you could still make this but it wouldn't be quite as quick and easy.  I will let you figure out what to do without a serger (you are all smart enough).

Step 1. Start by pressing all your fat quarters flat.  Then press up one 3rd on the bottom.

 Step 2. Press the other 3rd underneath (so that they are accordion folded)
 Step 3. Cut on the creases to end up with 3 equal pieces
 See-3 equal pieces
 Step 3. Sew all the pieces end to end to form one long strip
 Step 4. Serge the top and bottom of each strip and the ends.
 Step 5. Decide where you want your apron to hit you when it is completed (I am a messy cook and need as much apron coverage as possible).  The store bought apron was longer than I wanted so I cut off 2-3 inches from the bottom (from the bottom of my apron to the point where the apron angles up to the top is 13 1/4 inches).  Keep in mind that you are going to adjust the neck strap so that will make it not quite as long also.  I would suggest before you sew that your arrange your pieces so that your 4th row is matching up with the part of the apron that angles up to the top-your 5th row will be sewn to the angled part).  If you cut yours different than mine then you will more than likely have to adjust your spacing).  Serge the bottom of the apron.  Your first ruffle piece will be sewn (using the same method shown below) 1 inch up from the bottom of your apron.  Every ruffle after that will be sewn 4 inches up from the top of the ruffle below.  So to clarify-sew the first ruffle one inch up from the bottom (keep reading to see how I mark that), then when that ruffle is sewn measure 4 inches up from it and mark to sew your next ruffle.  Sew, measure, mark and repeat. 
To mark I used a ruler and chalk pencil.  I held it in place and marked with my pencil little dash marks all the way across.  This is how I determined where I would sew the next piece.
 If you think you need a solid line then connect all your dashes before sewing.  I did not worry about being perfect because except for the top ruffle, all the other ruffles will be hidden by the one above so I really only worried about straightness on the very top.
 Step 6. To sew I began by matching the serged end of my fabric strip with the side of my apron.  I sewed (starting at the top corner) and then backstitched to secure that in place. 
 I lined the top of the strip up with the chalk line I have made before and used the bottom of the serge stitching as my guide for where to sew.
 Step 7. To ruffle I used a small sharp pair of scissors to bunch the fabric just in front of the presser foot.  I worked in small sections (bunch a bit and then sew over it and repeat).  The only thing you want to be careful of is not over bunching at the beginning and then having your piece be too short.  I had to redo my first ruffle 3 times.  After that I had the method figured out.
 This is how the ruffle will look.  I think this method was a million times faster than sewing a row or 2 of basting stitches on each ruffle strip, gathering it and pinning it then sewing it but you can do it that way if you prefer.
 So start with the bottom of the apron and work your way up (4 rows).  Remember that the 4th row lines up with the part of the apron that angles up to the top.
 Step 8.  On the last ruffle row you will have met up with the angled side of the apron. Because this part of the apron is not as wide as the lower part I cut off 11 inches of this strip and serged the end (this will make this strip shorter and therefore the ruffles will still look equal and you won't have a super ruffly part on top).   Measure and mark 4 inches above the last row like you did previously.  Match the top of the ruffle piece with that line, pin the top corner.  Now to begin this row sew the serged end of the ruffle piece on the angle.  Start at the bottom, backstitch and sew up to the top corner, put the needle down into the fabric, lift the presser foot and turn your fabric.  Put the presser foot back down and continue sewing and bunching and sewing and bunching along the 4 inch mark.

 Step 9. When you near the opposite side stop 3 or so inches before reaching the end.  Pin the end of the ruffle piece along the angled side...
 Then continue sewing and bunching the last of the ruffle up to the top corner.  Pivot again and sew down to the bottom of the ruffle.

 Your almost completed apron should look like this.
 Step 10. Lastly you need to adjust the neck strap (or maybe you don't if it fits you perfectly and so congratulations to you.)  To adjust the neck strap cut it away from the apron just at the top of the apron.
 Step 11. Serge along the bottom of the neck strap.
 Step 12. Cut 3- 2" pieces of fabric, sew them together to make one long strip and serge all sides.
 Step 13. Mark 2 inches from the end of the strap (this is where the button will go-you can place it where ever you want).  Make a button hole in the apron to correspond with this marking.
 Step 14. Using the same cheaters method, sew the ruffle to the neck strap from one end (the part that connects to the apron) to the other (the part where you have marked the button-sew only up to that point).

 Step 15. Attach a button where the pin was.  And you did it.  DONE!!!!
Super cute.  It makes me feel fancier in the kitchen and I am not embarrassed to answer the door in it either.

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  1. I love this. It is so cute. What a great idea. I would want one but it would make me look like I don't know what. Cute anyway.

  2. Haha, I thought I was the only one who didn't use a basting stitch to make a ruffle...I use a variation of the method too! Looks wonderful!


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