How to Sew a Gathering Apron
Do you feel sometimes that you have to sacrifice pretty for practical? The typical gathering apron is often one such item where it can be voluminous and particularly unflattering to wear, in order for it to fulfill its purpose of allowing you to gather produce hands-free. Today I'm sharing a compromise with you. An apron that is both pretty and practical. It perhaps won't carry as much weight as some of the other aprons, but you'll be happy to answer the door in this one, or even entertain guests for dinner without looking frumpy!
How to Sew a Gathering Apron
What You Need:
- 1 yard of fabric for the waist ties and back (Get it from Fabric.com)
- 1/2 yard of fabric for the front panel (Get it from Fabric.com)
- 100 inches of store bought bias tape or make your own
- Pattern - Gathering Apron Pattern <--Download here
To sew a gathering apron
Print out and assemble your pattern and use it to cut your fabric. Both skirt panels will be the same size, but the front piece of fabric is shaped to make pockets. You can use the same pattern piece for both.
It's fun for this project to make your own continuous bias binding, either to match the waist band or in a bright contrast. Make enough to edge the pockets and all around the outside of the apron skirt. You'll need a total length of at least 95 inches. Cut your strips 2 inches wide in order to make double fold bias tape at 1/2 inch finished width. Use this handy bias tape calculator to help you work out what size square to start with.
Apply your bias tape around the top of the pocket, starting from the front side, then folding the tape to the back and stitching in the ditch to catch the back of the tape in place.
If you want to add any other embellishment, a line of bright ric-rac or a cute applique to the front of your apron, do this now.
Place the two apron pieces face up, with the pocket piece on top. Pin carefully around the edges and then baste them in place 1/4 inch from the raw edge.
Apply the remaining bias binding around the bottom edge of the apron skirt, starting at the front and folding to the back. Make it nice and secure because this bottom seam will be holding the weight of what you collect in that big front pocket.
Now we need to think about the waist. The length of your ties will depend on your waist measurement.
As a rule of thumb: WAIST in inches, PLUS 18 and then divide by TWO.
For example - 32 inch waist, plus 18 = 50. Divide by 2 = 25. So you need to cut two waist ties for your apron each 5.5 inches wide by 25 inches long. If you want the ties to cross over at the back and tie at the front of the apron, they'll need to be even longer. Add on half of your waist measurement again to each side. We all differ on how long we prefer our ties to be so just double check you're happy before cutting the fabric. If in doubt make them longer, you can always shorten it later.
Attach your waist ties to each end of the waist center panel. Then fold the whole waist piece right sides together and sew around the open edges BUT leave the original waist panel unsewn. We need to add in the skirt at this point.
Turn the waist ties the right side out and give them a good press. Fold over the 1/2 inch seam allowance on the open part of the waist and press to the inside. Slip the apron skirt into this gap and pin in place.
Top stitch all the way around the waist ties, catching the skirt as you close up that gap. Reinforce the stitches at the edges where the skirt meets the waist to help take some of the weight of whatever you collect in that big front pocket.
Give everything a final press and your gathering apron is completed. Go gather and look cute doing it!
Find more fun and simple free sewing patterns on Little House Living!
What will you be gathering from your garden this summer in this apron?
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