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Maker’s Apron for Sewing, Crafting & More: Renaissance Ribbons Ribbon Packs

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You are a Maker! You create beautiful things with your own two hands. The medium in which you work may be different: from flour and salt to flowers and soil to floral print fabric and seams; but your dedication to expressing yourself is the same. We’re excited to showcase our first project of 2017 for our dear friends at Renaissance Ribbons. Our Maker’s Apron is designed to hold whichever tools you use most in a lucky-thirteen set of pockets. And, the bib is detachable! The ribbon trim is designed in the perfect lengths to take advantage of Renaissance Ribbons’ awesome Sampler Packs. These are a wonderful (and very affordable) way to collect and experiment with a variety of your favorite ribbons. 

As mentioned above, this apron features a unique detachable bib, allowing you choose between full coverage or a simple skirt. The top attaches to the bottom with a strip of Velcro® along the waistband. We used a special soft and pliable type of sew-in Velcro® that conforms to the drape of the fabric and is softer to the touch, so even when the bib is removed, the remaining Velcro® strip isn’t scratchy.

If you’re a regular Sew4Home visitor, you know how much we love Renaissance Ribbons. Their woven jacquard ribbons are the simply the brightest, most beautiful ribbon we’ve ever found, with exquisite patterns matching many of your favorite designer fabric collections. For this project, we’re combining both ribbon and fabric from Tula Pink’s Chipper collection for a Maker’s Apron with plenty of pockets to hold your sewing and craft supplies. It would also be a fantastic vendor apron for craft fairs and summer farmer’s markets.

The front of the apron is a simple mid-weight canvas. Not only is this the perfect tough exterior for a hardworking apron, the solid surface allows the ribbons to be the star of the show; their gorgeous colors and patterns really pop off the background.

The apron’s lining (the bib and skirt and well as the pockets) is a standard weight cotton in the same Tula Pink Chipper collection as the ribbons. Although not readily visible from the front, it’s a fun little bit of secret style. 

We also cut one of the large floral motifs from the cotton fabric to use as an appliqué on the bib pocket. This is optional, but is a fun pop of color.

We used one Tula Pink Chipper Ribbon Box from Renaissance Ribbons, which contains four one-yard ribbon lengths in three different widths: ⅜”, ⅞” and 1½”. You’ll use all four ribbons for this apron design with very little waste. Although, leftover bits of Renaissance Ribbons never go to waste here at Sew4Home; we can always find a way to put them to use. 

This box is just one of dozens of Sampler Packs. There are lots of different options from which to choose, some containing up to twenty different ribbons! Although most of Packs contain one yard lengths, there’s variety here as well – from 24” cuts to 3 yard lengths. And although the majority are filled with their amazing Designer Ribbon collections (we’re head over heels for the Odile Bailloeul Gypsy Pack and the adorable Pug Pack), there are even packs with French Velvet ribbon, Vintage Silk, and Velvet Rick Rack

Our full-width pocket plan is sized to fit a variety of common sewing and crafting supplies. Follow our suggested pocket widths or adjust to best fit your needs.

Because of the vibrant color palette of the Renaissance Ribbons, we prefer to stitch them in place with a monofilament thread in the top and bobbin for a nearly invisible finish. This is not mandatory, but it is a nicer look against the ribbon. For best results, you may need to loosen your upper tension slightly. It's also a good idea to lengthen your stitch and sew at a slow and even pace. This type of thread does not stretch as well as regular thread and can break more easily under pressure, especially if it accidentally slides off the spool and wraps around the spool pin. Using a spool cap against the spool helps hold it in place on the pin, and again, going slowly and evenly helps the thread to feed correctly off the spool. Finally, always sew in the same direction along both sides of the ribbon. This will help prevent any shifting and puckering. If you'd prefer not to use invisible thread, choose colors that very closely match your ribbon, and take the time to re-thread as often as needed to maintain a perfect match. 

You can find the ribbons we used at fine in-store and online retailers everywhere, or shop directly from the Renaissance Ribbons online store

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, the detachable apron bib finishes approximately 11¾“ wide at its widest point across the center and approximately 9½” at its narrowest point across the top; the total length, top to bottom, is approximately 20½”; the waist ties are each approximately 36" long and neck ties are approximately 24” long. The illustration below gives you the critical measurements should you wish to adjust your apron.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Getting Started

  1. Download and print out ONE copy of each of our FOUR Apron pattern sheets which have been bundled into one PDF file for your convenience: Maker’s Apron Bib Pattern.
    IMPORTANT: Each pattern page 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.
  2. Cut out the four pattern pieces along the solid lines. Butt together the four pieces at the arrows (do not overlap) and tape to create one pattern piece.
  3. Cut the ribbon into the following lengths:
    1½” wide Pink & Orange on Turquoise Chipmunk: ONE 23” length for the skirt
    ⅞” wide Fuchsia & Orange on Pink Hypnotizer: ONE 23” length for the skirt
    ⅜” wide Hot Pink on Orange Wanderer: ONE 23” length for the skirt
    ⅜” wide Hot Pink on Pink Wanderer: ONE 7” length for the bib pocket, ONE 10¾” length for the top of the bib, and ONE 5” length for the key fob
  4. From the canvas duck cloth or similar for the exterior and ties, cut the following:
    ONE 23" wide x 13" high rectangle for the skirt exterior
    ONE 23" wide x 4½” high rectangle for the pocket 1 exterior
    ONE 23" wide x 6” high rectangle for the pocket 2 exterior
    ONE 7" wide x 5½“ high rectangle for the bib pocket exterior
    TWO 2½“ x 25" strips for the neck ties
    TWO 2½“ x 37" strips for the waist ties
    ONE 3” x 23” strip for the waistband
    Using the assembled Bib Pattern, cut ONE
  5. From the standard cotton for the lining, cut the following:
    ONE 23" wide x 13" high rectangle for the skirt lining
    ONE 23" wide x 4½” high rectangle for the pocket 1 lining
    ONE 23" wide x 6” high rectangle for the pocket 2 lining
    ONE 7" wide x 5½“ high rectangle for the bib pocket lining
    Using the assembled Bib Pattern, cut ONE
    One flower motif for the optional appliqué
  6. Cut ONE 11¼” length from the Velcro®.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Create the bib pocket

  1. Collect the exterior and lining panels for the bib front as well as the bib pocket.
  2. If you plan on adding the optional appliqué, this should be your first step. If you’re brand new to this technique, take a look first at our full tutorial: How to Appliqué Like a Pro.
  3. Pick a motif from within your lining fabric and roughly trace the basic shape of the motif onto the fusible web. We chose a two-part flower. Cut a square of the fusible web slightly larger than your traced shape. Following manufacturer’s instructions, apply the fusible web to the wrong side of the lining fabric directly behind the chosen shape. 
  4. With the fusible web in place, use a pair of sharp scissors to cut out the exact shape of your chosen motif. 
  5. Find the exterior bib pocket panel. Across both the top and bottom, draw a horizontal line ½” in from the raw edge of the fabric. Then, draw a vertical line, 1½” in from left raw side edge of the fabric. 
    NOTE: Anytime you’re working on the right side of your fabric, make sure you are using a marking tool that will easily wipe away or will vanish with exposure to the air or the heat of an iron. 
  6. Place the appliqué within the section to the right of your drawn vertical line, adjusting it within the marked lines for a pleasing effect. Fuse in place.
  7. Select your favorite stitch and appliqué the motif in place around all the outer edges. We used thread to match our exterior canvas.
  8. Find the 7” length of ribbon ( ⅜” wide Hot Pink on Pink Wanderer in our sample) for the top of the pocket. Place the top edge of the ribbon along the drawn horizontal line. Pin or fuse in place.
  9. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the ribbon in the top and bobbin – or go with our choice: clear monofilament in the top and bobbin. Edgestitch the ribbon in place along both long sides.
  10. Find the bib pocket lining panel and place it right sides together with the bib pocket, sandwiching the appliqué and the ribbon between the layers. Pin together, leaving an approximate 3” opening along the bottom for turning. 
  11. Re-thread the machine with all-purpose thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin.
  12. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around all four sides, pivoting at the corners, and remembering to lock your seam at either side of the opening. Across the top, you will be stitching along but not on top of the ribbon. Because you were oh-so-careful with your marking lines, your seam allowance will be right at the edge of the ribbon so when the pocket is turned right side out, the ribbon sits perfectly along the top edge. 
  13. Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance.
  14. Turn the pocket right side out through the bottom opening. Using a long, blunt tool, gently push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. Press flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. 
  15. Set aside the pocket. 

Create the ties

  1. Find the four 2½” strips. On each strip, press back one 2½” end ½”.
  2. Then, press in both long sides ½”.
  3. Finally, press the strip in half, wrong sides together, so the folded edges are flush all around. Remember, just one end is finished; the opposite end is raw.
  4. Make sure the machine is threaded with thread to best match the exterior fabric in the top and bobbin. Slightly lengthen the stitch. Edgestitch across the finished end and down the side with the flush folds. 

Finish the apron bib

  1. Across the top of the exterior bib panel, draw a horizontal line across the top, ½” in from the raw edge. Find the 10¾” length of ribbon ( ⅜” wide Hot Pink on Pink Wanderer in our sample). Pin the top edge of the ribbon along the horizontal line. These steps are just like what you did on the bib pocket. 
  2. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the ribbon in the top and bobbin – or go with our choice: clear monofilament in the top and bobbin. Edgestitch the ribbon in place along both long sides.
  3. Place the exterior bib panel right side up and flat on your work surface. 
  4. Find the finished bib pocket. Place the pocket right side up on the bib panel. The pocket should be centered side to side within the bib panel and the top of the bib pocket should sit 3” down from the top raw edge of the bib panel. Pin the pocket in place along the sides and across the bottom. 
  5. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin. Slightly lengthen the stitch. 
  6. Edgestitch the pocket in place along the sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. This seam closes the opening used for turning. 
  7. Stitch along the drawn vertical line on the pocket. This divides the pocket into one main section and one pencil pocket. 
  8. Find the two shorter ties. Place one tie at each of the bib panel’s top corners. The raw edge of the tie should be flush with the top raw edge of the bib panel and the seamed edge of the tie should sit ⅞” in from the raw side edge of the panel. Pin in place. 
  9. We recommend basting the tie ends in place for extra security. 
  10. To help keep the ties out of the way of the perimeter stitching, tuck them into the bib pocket. 
  11. Find the bib lining panel and place it right sides together with the bib panel exterior, sandwiching the pocket and ties between the layers. Pin together, leaving an approximate 4-5” opening along the bottom for turning. 
  12. Reset the stitch length to normal. 
  13. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around all four sides, pivoting at the corners and remembering to lock your seam at either side of the opening. As above with the pocket, across the top, you will be stitching along but not on top of the ribbon.
  14. Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance.
  15. Turn the bib right side out through the bottom opening. Pull the ties up into position.
  16. Using a long, blunt tool, gently push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. Press flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Pin the opening closed along the bottom
  17. Slightly lengthen the stitch to match your previous edgestitching. 
  18. Edgestitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. This seam closes the opening used for turning. Do not edgestitch across the top. 
  19. Find the length of Velcro® and pull it apart. You will be working with the hook side (the scratchy side) on the bib. 
  20. Place the finished bib right side up and flat on your work surface. Place the Velcro® along the bottom of the bib. The Velcro® should be centered side to side and its bottom edge should sit right along the edgestitching at the bottom of the bib. Pin the Velcro® in place.
  21. Keep a slightly lengthened stitch, and if necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the Velcro® in the top and to best match the fabric in the bobbin. We stayed with our avocado thread in both the top and bobbin. 
  22. Edgestitch the Velcro® in place around all four sides through all the layers.
  23. Set aside the finished bib. 

Create and attach the skirt pockets

  1. Collect the exterior and lining panels for the two skirt pockets, one set at 4½” and one set at 6”. Also collect the three 23" ribbons. The 23” length of 1½” ribbon (1½” wide Pink & Orange on Turquoise Chipmunk) is for the 6” pocket. The remaining two 23” lengths, one at ⅞” and one at ⅜” ( ⅞” wide Fuchsia & Orange on Pink Hypnotizer and ⅜” wide Hot Pink on Orange Wanderer) are for the 4½” pocket. 
  2. The way the pockets are constructed is similar to how you made the bib and the bib pocket above. 
  3. On both the exterior pocket panels, draw a horizontal line ½” in from the top raw edge. 
  4. Place the top edge of the ribbon along the drawn line and pin in place. 
  5. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the ribbon in the top and bobbin – or go with our choice: clear monofilament in the top and bobbin. Edgestitch the ribbon in place along both long sides.
  6. For the pair of ribbons, pin the ⅞” ribbon in place first, using the drawn guide line. Pin and then stitch that ribbon in place.
     
  7. Then, butt the ⅜” ribbon right along the bottom edge of the ⅞” ribbon. Pin and then edgestitch the smaller ribbon in place. 
  8. Just as you did above, place the appropriate pocket lining panel right sides together with the pocket exterior panel, sandwiching the ribbon(s) between the layers. Pin along just the top and bottom. The sides remain open. 
  9. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin. Re-set the stitch length to normal. 
  10. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along the top and bottom. Remember, just as above with the bib and the bib pocket, along the top edge of these pockets, you are stitching right along but not on top of the ribbon. 
  11. Turn each pocket right side out through the open sides. Press flat. 
  12. Find the exterior skirt panel. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface. Along the bottom edge of the skirt panel, draw in a horizontal guide line 1” up from the bottom raw edge.
  13. Find the taller pocket. Place its bottom seamed edge along the drawn guide line at the bottom of the skirt panel. Pin the pocket in place. 
  14. Find your clear ruler to draw in all the vertical pocket division guide lines. 
  15. You can follow our suggested pocket divisions or create your own to best match your tools. We marked as follows, working across the pocket panel from the left raw edge: 4”, 3½”, 1”, 8”, 4¼”. The last pocket will be 2¾” once the final seam is done. You can take a look at our apron drawing at the top of the instructions for further clarification. 
  16. Slightly lengthen the stitch. Edgestitch the pocket in place just along the bottom. 
  17. Then, stitch along each of the vertical guide lines. Stitch all the way up to the top and across the ribbon. If possible, use a lock stitch for the neatest finish. Or, leave your thread tails long and knot at the back to secure. 
  18. With the first pocket in place, measure ½” above its top finished edge and draw in a horizontal guide line. 
  19. Place the base of the second pocket along the drawn line and pin in place. 
  20. Edgestitch this top pocket in place just along the bottom.
  21. Align your ruler with the pocket division lines on the bottom pocket to create matching division lines on the top pocket EXCEPT for the small pencil pocket. We recommend just the one pencil pocket on the bottom pocket. 
  22. As above, stitch along each drawn line from the bottom up to the top, locking or hand-tying your seam to finish. 

Make and place the swivel hook

  1. Find the 5” length of ribbon and the swivel hook. 
  2. Slip one end of the ribbon through the hook and fold the raw end back on itself. Pin in place.
  3. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the ribbon in the top and bobbin. Re-set the stitch length to normal. 
  4. Stitch as close as possible to the hook to secure the ribbon. Go back and forth several times so it can easily hold weight. 
  5. Pin the raw end of the swivel hook ribbon to the top of the main skirt panel. It should sit approximately 1½” in from the right raw edge of the skirt panel. 

Place the waist ties and finish the skirt layers

  1. Find the two longer waist ties. Place one at each of the top corners of the skirt panel. The raw end of the tie should be flush with the raw side edge of the panel and the folded, non-seamed edge should sit approximately ¼” down from the top raw edge of the panel. Pin in place.
    NOTE: We machine basted both the ties as well as the swivel hook ribbon for extra security. 
  2. Place the skirt lining panel right sides together with the exterior panel, sandwiching the pockets, the swivel hook, and the ties between the layers. As you did above with the bib, it helps to slip the ends of the ties into a pocket to keep them out of the way of the perimeter seam. 
  3. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin.
  4. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch together along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. The top remains open. 
  5. Generously trim back the corners and press open the seam allowance.
  6. Turn the skirt right side out through the open top. Gently push out the bottom corners so they are nice and sharp and press the skirt flat. We added our iron-on Sew4Home label in the bottom right corner of the bottom pocket. 
  7. Slightly lengthen the stitch to match the other edgestitching. Edgestitch along the sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. Do not stitch across the top. 

Create and attach the waistband 

  1. Find the waistband panel. Similarly to how you created the ties above, you’ll fold in both long sides. First, fold the waistband in half, wrong sides together, and press to set a center horizontal crease line. 
  2. Unfold so the crease line is visible. 
  3. Fold in one long side ½” and press well. This will become the front of the waistband. Fold in the opposite long side ⅜” and press well. This will become the back of the waistband with the Velcro®.
  4. Fold the waistband wrong sides together along the original center crease line. Lay the folded waistband across the top of the skirt panel, centering it side to side. At each end, mark on the waistband where the skirt panel ends. 
  5. Remove the waistband and open it back up. Fold in the ends of the waistband along the marked lines, press well, creating a perfectly sized waistband side to side. 
  6. Open the waistband along the center crease and lay it right side up on your work surface. Find the center along the back half of the waistband (the side you pressed back ⅜”). Mark this center point with a pin. 
  7. Find the remaining loop side of the Velcro® (the softer side). Fold it in half to find its center point and mark with a pin. 
  8. Place the Velcro® on the back half of the waistband, aligning the center points of the fabric and the Velcro® and centering the Velcro® top to bottom within this half of the waistband. Pin the Velcro® in place.
  9. Re-thread the machine if necessary with thread to best match the Velcro® in the top and to best match the fabric in the bobbin. We continued to use avocado in both the top and bobbin. Keep a slightly lengthened stitch. Edgestitch the Velcro® in place through all the layers around all four sides, pivoting at the corners. This means your stitching will secure that original ⅜” folded back edge. 
  10. Along the top of the skirt panel, on the exterior side, draw a horizontal line 1” down from the top raw edge of the panel.
  11. Place the folded edge of the non-Velcro® side of the waist band along this drawn line. This is the edge you originally pressed back ½”.
  12. Making sure the fold remains along that drawn line, bring the waistband down against the front of the skirt so the waistband and the skirt panel are now right sides together. Pin the along the long raw edge of the waistband. 
     
  13. At each end, make sure the end of the waistband is folded in along the original marked line so it is flush with the edge of the skirt panel. Re-adjust the fold if need be. 
  14. When the waistband is pinned in place, gently fold it up to check that the bottom fold is still correctly aligned along the drawn 1” guide line. 
  15. Re-set the stitch length to normal. 
  16. Stitch along the crease line (the ½” crease).
  17. Again at each side, make sure the folded end of the waistband is still flush with the skirt panel. 
  18. Trim back the seam allowance at each end to reduce bulk.
  19. Fold up the waistband along its seam line and flip the skirt to the back. 
  20. Bring the waistband down into place along the lining side of the skirt panel. The bottom folded edge should just cover the previous seam line and the Velcro® should be facing out. Pin in place.  
  21. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the exterior in the top and bobbin. Slightly lengthen the stitch to match previous edgestitching. 
  22. Working from the front, edgestitch across the base of the waistband…
  23. … then continue along each end and finally, stitch across the top of the waistband, pivoting at all the corners. 

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas    
Sample Creation and instructional outline: Debbie Guild

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Comments (5)

Susannah said:
Susannah's picture

Wow!  I can't wait to make this.  I'll Let you know how it goes.  Maybe I can attach a picture?

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

@ Susannah - Thanks so much. We know you'll love it. And yes, please post a picture. The best way is to follow us on Facebook (sew4home) or Instagram (sew4home_diy) and share/tag there so everyone can be inspired by your creativity!

Sarah Tron said:
Sarah Tron's picture

I've now ordered from Renaissance Ribbons for the first time. If I become addicted, I'm blaming Sew4Home! 

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

@Sarah - Excellent News - yep - we take full responsibility!

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