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Studs & Links Linen and Ribbon Apron with Renaissance Ribbons

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Sometimes, the right ribbon can drive the feeling of an entire project. Today's Studs & Links ribbons from Renaissance Ribbons have an incredible three dimensional appeal and a tough yet tender design. From the Renaissance Ribbons collection by Raphael Kerley, these dynamic ribbons immediately caught our eye. We knew they'd be a unique and graphically bold option for a Steampunk inspired apron. The look of the ribbons prompted the use of rivets to attach the ties. Next up was the perfect fabric to carry the theme. We found that in the World Tour collection from David Butler's Parson Gray for FreeSpirit Fabrics. His Figi pattern has a starburst motif that appears fashioned out of wireworks, and the linen substrate has a soft drape and interesting texture that sets off the smooth and rich jacquard ribbons.

Our thanks to Renaissance Ribbons for sponsoring today's project. You'll not only want to explore all the ribbons from Raphael Kerley but also the collections from Parson Gray, Amy Butler, Luella Doss and Tula Pink.

These incredible ribbons are all available online; Renaissance Ribbons has even created a special Sew4Home area on their site where many of our tutorials are featured and all the ribbons we used can be ordered with a few simple clicks. 

You'll notice we use pins to hold our ribbons in place. Another option would be to apply a little basting glue or strips of lightweight fusible web, such as Stitch Witchery by Dritz®to the wrong side of the ribbon. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and test to make sure the ribbon can be easily stitched without the adhesive gumming up the needle. Some adhesives are not meant to be sewn through.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

 

Getting Started

NOTE: Our waist and neck ties are extra long to accomodate various sizes, and extra length is rarely a bad thing. However, if you are petite or small to medium, you may want to consider reducing the length of each waist tie by 6-8" and the long neck tie by 3-4". 

  1. Download and print out the Apron Cut Out Part One and Apron Cut Out Part Two templates.
    IMPORTANT: Each template is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid lines. Butt the pieces together at the arrows as indicated on the templates. Do not overlap. Tape together to form the complete template. 
  3. From the apron fabric (Figi in Shell in our sample), cut the following:
    ONE 32" wide x 21½" high rectangle for the main apron 
    ONE 7 wide x 6" high rectangle for the bib pocket
    ONE 32" wide x 8½" high rectangle for the deep base pocket 
    ONE 32" wide x 6" high rectangle for the shallow top pocket
    TWO 3½" x 36" strips for the waist ties
    ONE 3½" x 32" strip for the long neck tie
    ONE 3½" x 8" strip for the short neck bib loop
    ONE 3½" x 36" strip for the optional fabric flower 
  4. From the main ⅝" ribbon (Studs in our sample), cut the following:
    ONE 7" length for the bib pocket pocket
    ONE 14" length for top bib edge
    TWO 32" lengths for the base pocket and apron bottom edge
    ONE 7½" length for one tail of the optional fabric flower
    ONE 6½" length for the second tail of the optional fabric flower
  5. From the accent ⅞" ribbon (Studs & Links in our sample), cut ONE 32" length for the top pocket.
  6. From the interfacing, cut the following:
    ONE: 6" x 5" rectangle for the bib pocket
    ONE  31" x 7½" rectangle for the base pocket
    ONE 31" x 5" rectangle for the top pocket

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Side cut outs

  1. Find the main apron panel.
  2. Fold the panel in half vertically, matching the long raw edges so it is now 16" wide x 21½" high. Find the armhole pattern. Place it in the upper corner, aligning the pattern with the top and side raw edges as shown in the photo below. There are markings on the pattern to follow as well. Pin in place.
  3. Cut along the pattern outline to create the side curves for the "armholes."  
  4. Remove the excess fabric.

Interfacing

  1. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the appropriate interfacing piece the the wrong side of each of the three pocket panels. 
  2. On each piece, the interfacing should be in centered on the fabric so there is ½" of fabric showing on all four sides. The photo below shows the small bib pocket.

Attach ribbon to the bib and the three pockets

  1. Find the 7", 14", and one of two 32" length of the main ribbon (Studs in our sample) as well as the 32" length of accent ribbon (Studs & Links in our sample).
  2. Find the main apron panel (with the side cut outs complete) as well as the three pocket panels. 
  3. A length of ribbon will be attached to the top raw edge of the apron bib and each of the pockets in the same manner. We've used the apron bib in our photos below. 
    NOTE: The linen fabric is heavy enough to not require a lining for the bib or pockets, but we still want a clean edge along the top. By folding the fabric to the front and hiding its raw edge with the ribbon, we create that clean folded edge with just one layer of fabric. 
  4. Place the fabric panel right side up on your work surface. Fold down the top raw edge ½". Yes, this means the wrong side of the fabric is showing. Press in place.
  5. Find the appropriate length of ribbon. In our design all the top edges are trimmed with the main ribbon except the 6" x 32" shallow pocket, which uses the ⅞" accent ribbon. 
  6. Place the ribbon across the top edge of the fabric, aligning the top edge of the ribbon with the top folded edge of the fabric. The width of the ribbon will conceal the raw edge of the fabric. Pin in place. 
  7. Thread your machine with thread to match the ribbon in the top and bobbin.
  8. Edgestitch the ribbon in place along both sides.

    NOTE: We used our Janome Satin Stitch foot with its handy red guide arrow to maintain nice, straight seams.
  9. Repeat to finish the top edge of the three pocket panels.

Bib pocket - finish and place

  1. Measure and fold back the raw sides and bottom of the bib pocket. Press in place. 
  2. Finish the edges. We used a simple pinked edge. For other finishes, check out our Machine Sewn Finishes series.
  3. Find the main apron panel (the top edge of which should have its ribbon trim in place). Place it right side up and flat on your work surface.
  4. Place the finished pocket on the right side of the apron bib. The top of the pocket should be 2" down from the top edge of the bib. The right side of the pocket should be 1½" in from the right side curve. Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom.
  5. Select a decorative stitch on your machine. We chose a snowflake stitch that resembled our fabric's motif.
  6. Decorative stitch the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom. Again, we are using our Janome Satin Stitch foot with its handy red guide arrow. By running the guide arrow along the edge of the pocket, we can maintain a perfectly centered swing of the needle.

Bottom pocket panels

  1. Find the main apron panel and the two bottom pocket panels (which should both have their top ribbon trim in place).
  2. Place the main apron panel right side up and flat on your work surface.
  3. Place the base pocket panel right side up on top of the main panel, aligning the sides and bottom edge.
  4. Place the top pocket panel right side up on top of the base pocket, as above, align the sides and bottom edge.
  5. Lightly pin in place through all the layers. 
  6. Determine your pocket divisions. The actual pocket widths are up to you. We used SEVEN pockets of about equal width. The center pocket is approximately 5" wide and the three outer pockets on each side are each approximately 4¼" wide. We say "approximate" because we used the fabric's motif to determine our exact dividing lines. Each pocket dividing line goes between motifs so it is less visible. 
  7. Using a fabric pen or pencil, draw in all the vertical dividing lines. 
  8. Thread your machine with thread to match the fabric in the top and bobbin. 
    NOTE: For the best look, we recommend keeping your matching ribbon thread handy so you can re-thread the top thread in the machine to cross over the ribbon when stitching the dividing lines. This means you will stop and lock your seam at the base of the ribbon, re-thread, stitch across the ribbon, lock your seam, re-thread back to the fabric thread, stitch up to the base of the next ribbon, re-thread, stitch across the ribbon, and lock your seam. Yes... this is time consuming, but will give you the very best look. Your other option would be to use an invisible thread for the entire pocket dividing seam. And, of course, if you don't mind the short seams showing, you can simply stitch across the ribbon with the same color of thread you are using to match your fabric. It's all up to you. 

Bottom ribbon

  1. When all the pocket dividing lines are sewn, trim the bottom edge of the apron, using the same ribbon trimming technique as above.
  2. Fold up the three layers (the main apron layer and the two pocket layers) of the bottom raw edge ½" and press. As above you are folding to the right side of the fabric.
  3. Place the remaining 32" length of main ribbon (Studs in our sample) across the bottom edge, aligning the bottom edge of the ribbon with the bottom folded edge of the fabric. As above, the width of the ribbon will conceal the raw edge of the fabric. Pin in place. 
  4. Thread your machine with thread to match the ribbon in the top and bobbin.
  5. Edgestitch the ribbon in place along both sides.

Side curved hems

  1. From the top of the bib (the ribbon edge) through the curve, fold back the raw edge ½" and press.
    NOTE: You are not hemming the straight sides of the apron skirt quite yet, just the curved sides.
  2. Tuck the raw edge back into the fold to create a double-fold ¼" hem. 
    NOTE: This is the "easy" hem option. You could also press in the traditional manner. Folding back ¼" and pressing. Then folding an additional ¼" and pressing again. 
  3. Pin in place. 
  4. Thread your machine with thread to match the fabric in the top and bobbin.
  5. Using your Quarter Inch Seam foot if possible, stitch the hem in place, keep your seamline close to the inner fold. 

Hemming the sides, including the outer edges of the pocket panels

  1. You have a bit of bulk to deal with on these final side hems. We used a basting step to help. 
    NOTE: Because of the power of our Janome machines, we never have a problem tackling thick seams. If you are less sure of your machine, you could skip stitching over the ribbons and only run your seams in between, remembering to always lock your seam at the start and finish of each seam. Then, you could secure the ribbon sections from behind with some handstitching. 
  2. Fold back the side raw edge ¼" and baste in place.
  3. Fold over an additional ¼" - ⅜" and edgestitch in place. We threaded our machine with thread to match the fabric in the top and bobbin and stitched between the ribbons from the back.
  4. We then re-threaded with thread to match the ribbon in the top and bobbin and stitched over the three ribbons from the front. 
  5. When complete, remove the basting stitches.

Straps

  1. Find all the 3½" strap strips. 
  2. On each, fold in half right sides together so it is now 1¾" wide. 
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the long side and across one end, pivoting at the corner. The opposite end is open.
  4. Press the seam allowance open and clip the corner.
  5. Turn right side out through the open end. 
  6. Fold in the raw edges of the open end ½" so the two sides are flush with one another. 
  7. Edgestitch across the open end to secure.
  8. Repeat these steps to create the two waist ties, the long neck tie, and the short neck bib strip.

Strap placement and rivets

  1. Place the main apron panel right side up and flat on your work surface. 
  2. Find the short neck bib strip. Fold the strip in half and slip it over the top right side of the apron bib. One end of strip is on the front, the other end is directly behind in on the back. The bottom edge of the edge of the strip is approximately 1½" down from the top edge of the bib. The right side of the strip is approximately 1½" in from the finished right side of the apron. The photo below shows the position of the loop.
  3. Once you have the loop in position, unpin and slip the two D-rings into position. Re-pin.
  4. Topstitch through both layers of the loop just below the D-rings to help hold the rings up into position. 
  5. The end of the long neck tie should be pinned in place at the left side of the bib using the same measurements (1½" down and 1½" in from the left edge).
  6. One waist tie should be pinned at each side with the top of the tie flush with bottom of the armhole curve and the end of the tie 1" in from the side. 
  7. All our straps are attached with a square of four 8mm rivets. If you are new to this technique, check out our step-by-step tutorial: How to Attach Metal Rivets On Sewing Projects
  8. Mark the position for the four rivets with a fabric pen or pencil. 
  9. Using the rivet kit tool or a hole punch, create a hole at each point. 
        
  10. Hammer each rivet into place, repeating the steps to create the square of four rivets
     

Optional fabric flower

  1. Find the 7½" and 6½" lengths of ribbon and the 3½" x 36" length of fabric. 
  2. Complete the flower using the Fabric Flower tutorial featured in our Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements Series opening article. 
  3. Cut a circle from the fleece/felt. Cover the back with this circle and glue in place.
  4. Make a tiny hem at one end of each ribbon. Hand sew the ribbons to the back of the flower. Glue the safety pin in position over the ribbons.



     

Contributors

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

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Comments (3)

Roxy said:
Roxy's picture

Just wondering what that little ruler you are using and where i can get one. It looks very handy.

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

@ Roxy - that's just a little standard seam gauge. You can find one just about anywhere. Ours is by Dritz.

Jane S. said:
Jane S.'s picture

That's very cute without being too frilly!  My husband would even wear it if I didn't put the flower on.   :)

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