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Floral Apron with Curved Skirt and Button Accents

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Celebrate the sweetness of summer with this lovely sweeping skirt apron. A nine-part pattern is offered below to create the beautiful bottom curve, the angled bodice, and the cute pockets. For our special finishing details, we added just the right touch of decorative stitching and used buttons to secure the ties. Slipping on this beauty will bring sunshine and flowers right into your kitchen.

Although our apron design isn't "officially" reversible, it is so lovely on both the front and the back it almost could be. We use different fabrics on the front and back of the skirt so you can get your twirl on! 

Both the neck straps and waist ties are also mixed front to back, which adds a pretty splash of color when you either knot them or tie a bow at the back. Below, Studio Cat Ping says, "And where exactly is my apron?!" 

Classic wooden buttons secure the straps to the bodice and the ties at the waistband. There are no buttonholes; you simply hand stitch the buttons through all the layers. 

Our sample was made with fabrics from Strawberry Fields Revisted by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts for Moda –  a re-release of her original Strawberry Fields collection. However, the updated version was as quick of a sell-out as the first collection, so the exact fabric we used is no longer readily available. Lucky for you, when it comes to gorgeous florals, new options are always debuting. We found a couple faves at Fat Quarter Shop: Early Bird by Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics and Bright Side by Alisse Courter for Camelot Cottons.

Swatches from Early Bird

   

Swatches from Bright Side

   

For yourself or as a gift, a handmade apron in gorgeous fabric is always a treat. There's really no need to even wrap it; simply fold and use the apron's own ties to create a bow.


As with store-bought aprons, our design is meant to be one-size-fits-all. However, we realize you may still wish to make yours smaller or larger. As a reference, this apron is approximately 27" from the top of the bodice to the center low point of the skirt, the waistband is 16½", the top of of the bodice is 11", the waist ties are each approximately 34" long and overlap the waistband by 3½", and the neck ties are each approximately 28" long and overlap onto the body by 2¼".

Sewing Tools You Need

  • Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
  • Satin Stitch foot - optional, but it is helpful to have a transparent foot with a guide for the decorative stitching

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • 1 yard of 44"+ wide patterned cotton for one side of the apron's pockets, ties, and skirt
  • 1 yard of 44"+ wide patterned cotton for the other side of the apron's ties and the other side of the skirt
  • ⅝ yard of 44"+ wide patterned cotton for the apron's bib and the pocket linings
  • 2 yards of 20"+ wide lightweight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon ShirTailor
    NOTE: The quantity of interfacing shown above is enough to allow all the strips for the ties to be cut as uninterrupted lengths. You could get away with 1¼ yards if you butt together two WOF (width of fabric) strips for each of the ties and trim to fit each fabric strip.
  • SIX ¾" - 1" buttons; we used ⅞" wooden buttons, purchased locally
  • All purpose thread to match fabric 
  • All purpose thread in a highlight color for the decorative stitching accents
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Tape measure
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins
  • Hand sewing needle

Getting Started

  1. Download and print out the NINE pattern pieces, which have be bundled into one PDF file for your convenience: Floral Apron Pattern Set.
    IMPORTANT: Each page within the PDF is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on each page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale. The final page includes an assembly diagram for the skirt pieces
  2. Cut out each pattern along the solid line. Using the arrows printed on the pieces as your guides, put together the two pieces to form one completed bodice pattern to be cut on the fold, and the six pieces to form one completed skirt pattern – also to be cut on the fold  Do not overlap the pieces; butt them together and tape.
  3. From the fabric for the apron's pockets, ties, and skirt, cut the following:
    TWO 2½" x 29" strips for the neck ties
    TWO 2½" x 35" strips for the waist ties
    ONE 3" x 18" strip for the back waistband
    Using the pattern, cut TWO pockets
    Using the completed pattern, cut ONE skirt panel on the fold
  4. From the fabric for the other side of the apron's ties and skirt, cut the following:
    TWO 2½" x 29" strips for the neck ties
    TWO 2½" x 35" strips for the waist ties
    ONE 3" x 18" strip for the front waistband
    Using the completed pattern, cut ONE skirt panel on the fold
  5. From the fabric for the apron's bib and the pocket linings, cut the following:
    Using the pattern, cut TWO pockets
    Using the completed pattern, cut TWO bibs on the fold
  6. From the fusible interfacing, cut the following: 
    TWO 2½" x 29" strips for the neck ties
    TWO 2½" x 35" strips for the waist ties
    ONE 2" x 17" strip for the front waistband
    Using the pocket pattern, cut TWO
    Using the completed pattern, cut ONE bib on the fold
    NOTE: If you prefer not to fold your interfacing, you can use one of the cut fabric pieces as a pattern to cut the bib interfacing as a flat piece.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Prepare the bib

  1. Find the front and back bib pieces and the interfacing. Lay the interfacing on the wrong side of the one of that will be the front bib piece. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing in place.
  2. Set up your machine for decorative stitching and select your stitch. We used Decorative Satin Stitch #6 on our Janome Skyline S7, which is a simple scallop stitch. The Skyline S7 allows you to flip or "mirror image" stitches. This makes it easy to get just the look you want. 
  3. The Skyline S7 also has a fabulous set of stitching guidelines on the throat of the machine, extending beyond the needle plate. We were able to simply use these guidelines to keep our decorative stitching precise. If you do not have this feature, draw in horizontal guidelines to follow with a fabric pen or pencil. 
    NOTE: As always when working on the right side of your fabric, make sure your fabric pen or pencil is one that will wipe away easily or disappear with exposure to the air or the heat of an iron.
  4. Remember, you are working on the front bib panel, which is the piece to which you applied the interfacing.
  5. Thread the machine with the accent thread in the top and bobbin. If you wish, attach a Satin Stitch foot or similar. We opted to stay with our standard presser foot. Adjust the stitch width to its maximum. We used 9mm.
  6. The first row of decorative stitching should be 1¾" down from the top raw edge of the bib. The second row of decorative stitching should be ½" from the first.
  7. In addition, there is a single matching row of decorative stitching along the bottom of the bib.This row should be 1¾" up from the bottom raw edge of the bib. 
  8. Place the plain bib piece right sides to together with the interfaced and stitched bib piece. All raw edges should be flush. Pin each side and along the top. The bottom edge remains open. 
  9. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin and re-set the machine for a standard straight stitch. Re-attach a standard presser foot if necessary. 
  10. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch each side and along the top, pivoting at the top corners. Remember to leave the bottom open. 
  11. Clip the curves and the corners, and grade the seam allowance if necessary for your fabric. 
  12. Press open the seam allowance.
  13. Turn the bib right side out through the open bottom. Using a long, blunt-end tool, such as a knitting needle, chopstick or point turner, gently push out and square the top corners and smooth the curving sides.
  14. Press well and set aside the bib. 

Create and place the pockets and finish the skirt

  1. Find the exterior and lining pocket panels and the pocket interfacing.
  2. Place an interfacing panel against the wrong side of each exterior pocket panel. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse in place. 
  3. Re-thread the machine with the accent thread in the top and bobbin. Attach a Satin Stitch foot or similar if desired. Re-set the machine for a decorative stitch to exactly match what you used on the bib.
  4. On the pockets, the rows of decorative stitching are parallel with the slanted top edge of the pocket. The first row should be 1¼" in from the raw slanted edge, the second row should be ½" from the first row.
  5. Place the pocket lining right sides to together with the interfaced and stitched exterior pocket piece. All raw edges should be flush. Pin in place, leaving a 3" - 4" opening for turning along the inside straight edge.
  6. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin and re-set the machine for a standard straight stitch. Re-attach a standard presser foot if necessary. 
  7. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the layers together. Remember to pivot at the corners, go slowly around the curve to keep the seam allowance consistent, and to lock your seam at either side of the 3" - 4" opening. 
  8. As above with the bib, clip the curves and the corners, and grade the seam allowance if necessary for your fabric. 
  9. Press open the seam allowance.
  10. Turn each pocket right side out through the opening. As you did above with the bodice, gently push out and square the corners and smooth the curving sides. Press flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. 
  11. Find the exterior skirt panel. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface. Find the exact center of the skirt panel along its top raw edge. Mark this point with a pin.
  12. Measure 4½" to the left of center and place a second pin point. Finally, measure 3" down from the top raw edge of the fabric panel at this second pin point. This final point is where you will align the upper inside corner of your left pocket. 
  13. Repeat to place the right pocket in the same manner. Pin each pocket in place along the sides and around the bottom. The slanted top remains open.
  14. Edgestitch each pocket in place along the sides and around the bottom.
  15. Find the skirt lining panel. Place the lining panel right sides together with the exterior panel, sandwiching the pockets between the layers. All raw edges of both panels should be flush. Pin along the sides and across the bottom. The top remains open.
  16. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the panels together along the sides and across the bottom. Pivot at the corners and to keep your curving bottom seam allowance consistent. Remember, the top remains un-sewn.
  17. Clip the curves and the corners, and grade the seam allowance if necessary for your fabric. Press open the seam allowance.
  18. Turn the skirt right side out through the top opening. As above, gently push out and square the corners and smooth the curve along the bottom. Press flat, making sure the seam line forms the exact edge of the skirt along both sides and along the bottom.

Create the waistband and attach the bib to the skirt

  1. Find the two 3" x 18" waistband strips and the one 2" x 17" interfacing strip.
  2. Center the interfacing on the wrong side of the front waistband strip. There should be ½" of fabric extending beyond the interfacing on all sides.
  3. On the front waistband piece, fold back each 3" end ½" and press to set a vertical crease line. This crease will act as a guideline for matching up all the pieces.
  4. Find the finished bib. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface. Find the exact center point along the bottom edge of the bib. Place pin at this point. Find the exact center point along the top and bottom edges of the front waistband. Place a pin at these points or press the waistband in half to set a center vertical crease as your guideline.
  5. Lay the front waistband piece right sides together with the bib, matching up the center pin points on both pieces. You are aligning the top raw edge of the waistband with the bottom raw edge of the bib. The waistband will extend beyond the bottom of the apron bib by just bit over ½" on each end. Use your crease lines to confirm position. Pin in place.
  6. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the front waistband to the bib. 
  7. Find the skirt. Run one or two rows of gathering stitches across the top raw edges of the skirt. If you are new to machine gathering, we have a full, step-by-step gathering tutorial
  8. Find the exact center point of the top raw edge of the skirt. Mark this point with a pin. 
  9. Place the skirt right sides together with the remaining raw edge of the front waistband (the bottom raw edge) on which you should have already have a center point marked. 
  10. Align the two center points. 
  11. Pull the gathering threads to adjust the skirt to fit against the waistband. The side seams of of the skirt should sit just inside the ½" cease lines at the ends of the waistband. Pin in place.
  12. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the front waistband to the skirt. It's easiest to work with the gathers on top to insure they stay even and flat. 
  13. You now have the full apron shape: bib on top, skirt on the bottom with one layer of the waistband in between. Press well, pressing both seam allowances toward the waistband. 
  14. Find the back waistband strip. Fold back and press both 18" raw edges by ½". 
  15. Place the back waistband strip right sides together with the sewn-in-place front waistband. Align the raw ends of the two strips and pin together along these ends only. 
  16. Using an approximate ½" seam allowance stitch the ends together. We say "approximate" because you want the top and bottom of your seam to be flush with the bib and skirt as shown in the photos above and below. You have created a waistband "loop" at the front of your apron.
  17. Trim the seam allowance close to the stitching. 
  18. Turn the back waistband right side out, which means you are threading the entire apron through the waistband "loop" in order to bring the waistband around to the back of the apron. Pin the back waistband in place against the back of the apron, covering the seam allowances. 
  19. Hand stitch the back waistband in place along the top and bottom folded edges. 
  20. Remove any visible gathering stitches and press flat. 

Make and attach the ties

  1. Find the eight fabric tie strips and the four matching interfacing strips.
  2. Lay an interfacing strip on the wrong side of each front tie strip. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse in place. 
  3. Match up the interfaced fronts with the plain backs, placing each pair right sides together with all raw edges flush. Lightly pin in place to keep the layers from shifting. 
  4. Each pair of ties needs a point at one end. To create this point. first measure and mark the exact center of the end. Then, from that center point draw a line from the point to the side at a 45˚ angle. 
  5. Draw a matching 45˚ angle in the opposite direction from the point. The easiest way to find a perfect angle is to use the grid lines on your ruler or cutting mat. Although, you could go old-school and dig up a protractor.
  6. Repeat this process at one end of each pair of ties. When complete, finish pining together the layers. The straight cut end of each pair will remain open.
  7. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch together the layers of each pair. Remember to leave the straight cut ends open, and to go slowly around the point, stopping and pivoting at all the angles. 
  8. Trim press the corner points and press open the seam allowance.
  9. Turn each tie right side out through the open end and press flat. 
    NOTE: If you've always struggled with turning small ties, we have a great tutorial showing you how to do it with a hemostat. 
  10. On each tie, fold in the raw, straight cut ends approximately ½" and slip stitch closed by hand for a clean finish.
  11. Find the six buttons and the finished apron body. 
  12. On the longer waist ties, place one tie at each side of the waist band. The pointed end of the tie should sit 3½" in from side seamed edge of the waistband. Pin the waist ties in place. 
  13. The buttons are what secure the ties. The outer edge of the first button should sit approximately ¾" from the pointed end of the tie. Neatly stitch the button in place. 
  14. The second button should be approximately ¼" from the first. Because you are sewing through all the layers, make your stitches very precise and neat. Hide the knot of the thread under the button by taking a stitch in place prior to laying down the button. 
  15. Repeat to stitch each shorter neck tie in place. The points of these ties should sit approximately 2¼" down from the top of the bib. The outer edge of each tie should sit approximately ½" in from the side edge of the bib. Hand stitch each neck tie in place with one button centered within the point as shown in the photo below. 

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

Section: 

Comments (6)

Carla Pearce said:
Carla Pearce's picture

I love the apron patterns also. The patterns have such lovely details and instructions are clearly written.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Suzanne - Thank you! We're so glad to hear that you enjoyed our week of aprons.

DebS said:
DebS's picture

I'm really enjoying all the different aprons this week. Very unique and stylish. And, as usual,

lovely fabrics. Thank you Sew4Home!

anne.adams said:
anne.adams's picture

@DebS: Glad you are enjoying Apron Week!! Aprons are one of of our favorite projects to both design and make.

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