Tuesday, May 22, 2012

coctail hostess apron... oh baby!

hello! while i was making my special order aprons last week i snapped up pics to make you an apron tut...
i know, i know... i promised it quite some time ago
so i will  not keep you waiting any longer

measurements will vary, naturally, with body type and age. since i seem to be built like a child it fits twenty-five year old me as well as little kids haha.
to make the band i cut 3 pieces at 4"x20". of course if your fabric is long enough you can cut just 1 continuous piece.
for the center i cut 1 piece 7"x20"
and for the ruffle cute 1 piece 7"x40"
(if you are adjusting the pattern to fit larger or smaller, the most important thing is that the ruffle is double that of the center piece)
for the pockets cut 4 pieces at 5 1/2"x5 1/2"

 preparing the band
(i use a french seam... learn it and love it because it is all over this apron)
connect the edges, wrong sides together and pin in place
 stitch a straight line across
 trim the edge about halfway between the free-edge and sewn line. you want to get as close to the stitching as you can without losing the integrity of it
 fold and iron so that now the pieces are right sides together and pin in place.
 sew a straight line across, making sure that the free edge from the previous stitch is tucked away inside. it should look like the one on the left side and when you open it, like on the right. the seam will be strong and hidden nicely in the fold behind the last stitched line
pat yourself on the back! you just made a french seam <3
 prepping the pockets:
take 2 pieces and pin them straight one on the other. if you are using a print for this, make sure the pieces are right sides together

 next you will be stitching around the pockets in straight lines leaving a 2" opening (to flip them) when you get to the corners, stop with your needle in the lowered position when you are about 1/4" from the edge. raise the presser foot and turn the fabric to start stitching down the next side. i like to back stitch at the beginning and end so when i go to turn the pocket, the opening doesn't grow and unravel.
 next trim the excess edge from your pocket. do not trim near the opening, only around the rest of it and trim off the corners just next to the stitching
you will then flip each pocket and iron them flat
 prepping the ruffle: hem the bottom and sides
fold about 1/4" over and iron flat
 then go back over and fold another 1/4" and iron flat
 sew a straight line across the bottom
 then do the same to hem each side. backstitch at the corner where the side and bottom hems meet
 you will the hem each side of the center piece as well
next match up the sides of the center piece and the ruffle, wrong sides together, and pin in place
 find the center point of the ruffle and bring it to the center of the center piece. pin in place
 continue finding the center between 2 pins and pinning. the more pins you have the more it will be "ruffly" the less pins it will be more pleats. i prefer to pin until theres about 1" between each pin
 next you are going to stitch straight across, stopping between each pin to build your ruffle
do remove your pins as they approach the needle.... never sew over a pin
 you will bring the fabric together at the middle then squish as symmetrical as you can.
 be sure to have on some music to pass the time, then building a ruffle without a gathering foot feels much less tedious
 next trim just the same as when using a french seam to make the band piece
 turn to the backside and iron just over the seam. i find this easiest to do while tugging gently on the ruffle so it takes proper shape while ironing.
 then fold right sides together and pin in place as best you can to keep the ruffled folds in place
 sew a straight line across the edge, backstitching at the beginning...
 ...and end of the line
 next iron across again. let the seam on the back stay flipped up, as this is usually the way my lies comfortably. tug again at the ruffles while ironing
 next you will be attaching the band to the center piece. lay them wrong sides together with the centers matched up. pin down. sew a straight line ONLY ACROSS THE PART OF THE BAND WHERE THE CENTER PIECE TOUCHES, not all the way across. then trim only the area above whats sewn
 iron and fold so the right sides are together and pin down.
sew across only sewing the part of the band that touches the center pieces again.
 almost done... are you still with me?? tedious, i know
but super cute results, yes please!

so you will hem the top and sides of the band just the same as the simple hem on the ruffle.
i like to do the sides last so i can backstitch each end and it secures the top and bottom hems as well.
when you are hemming the bottom part of the band, you will come to then joint by the center piece. when you fold and iron twice the hem should line up perfect with the french seam of the joined area
 sew straight across the whole bottom hem now, including over the seam from the joined area so that the whole bottom hem of the band matches up and is secure
 last step... attach pockets
use a hem gage to be sure they are lined up as straight as you can.
pin both pockets in place
 using a zig-zag stitch sew all artound the right, left and bottom of the pockets staying close to the edge.
start and end each pocket with backstitching
 trim all excess thread (since you backstitched you won't need to worry about tying knots)
put that awsome apron on and go host a coctail party!

phew! that was some lengthy tutorial
these aprons may be a bit tedious but i LOOOOOVE the results and wouldn't change the time it takes for that
these look so cute when worn, most people think they're skirts until you turn around
i'd love to see your versions! feel free to post linking to them

Lily Bean

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