How to Make a Cottage-Inspired Apron

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How to Make a Cottage-Inspired Apron

Last Fall, I found a pattern for a gorgeous 'cottage style' apron. I downloaded the patter from Bettter Homes and Garden's website.  I thought you might like to see the matching aprons that I made for Shona Cole and her daughters. I was her secret sister last year. 

I have to say that I had such a hard time making it, that I thought I might better give you some pictures to help. It is darling and after I finished it, I realized how easy it was.   But the instructions were extremely confusing. So I've taken some pictures of my progress through this pattern for those of you to see in case you would like to try this. Hopefully, it will help you. 

Have fun with this, but don't forget to put your pattern piece on the fold!! I didn't read the fine print and ended up cutting out a half-size apron.  Click on the link for a downloadable pattern and instructions.  I have numbered my pictures to go with their instructions.  

To get started, pick some coordinating fabrics, download the pattern and instructions and cut them out. Shona loves these colors and wanted 'ecletic' print. A quilt store was the only option for this gorgeous fabric!

Next cut out the strips for ruffles, ties, and piping.  A rotary cutter makes this step a lot easier!

Step 2 Make the piping.  (They called it piping but it was so wide that I don't know why!)   Sew it to the lower edge of skirt.   (Right sides together.


    Step 3 Make the ruffle and hem it.  

Step 4: Then attach the ruffle to the lower edge of the apron skirt. Lay it on top of the 'piping'.   But it does make a nice accent. On some of the skirts I rolled up the wide strip after it was sewn on  and hand stitched it down, so that it was half as wide as was called for.

This is the front view after you sew the piping and ruffle on the lower edge of the skirt.

1. Hem the two ties.
2. Make the points and sew in place.  

3. Fold a small pleat so the unhemmed edge is only 1 1/4" wide which is how wide it needs to be to match the waist band.  Set it aside while you work on the waistband.

4. Now take the waist band strip that you cut out earlier and fold it in half lengthwise and iron it. Then measure about 1/2" in and fold one edge into the center of the folded waist band and iron again. On one side it will look like bias tape.

5. Now open it out again and lay one edge of the waist band right sides together with the skirt (upper edge) and sew together 

Note: (I added another piping strip between the waistband layer and the skirt before this step because I thought it would look pretty, but that is optional and not part of the instructions. I'm sorry I don't have a good picture of doing this step.)

 5.Lay the unfinished end of one tie  right  sides together against the one side of the waistband and stitch in place. Do the same for the other side. Now open out the waistband and tuck the raw edges inside the waistband.

Fold over about a 1/4" on each end of the waist band so that it has a nice finished edge. Then hand stitch both ends in place. Slip stitch the inside ironed edge of the waist band over the sewn seam allowances to hide the raw edges.

Now for the Pockets!
1. Make piping for pocket.  (See photo above for piping)

2. Hem sides and lower edge of pocket ruffle.  (Same as for skirt ruffle)

3. Gather upper edge of pocket ruffle.  (Same as for ruffle above.)

4. Iron interfacing to lower edge of upper pocket piece to reinforce it.  It's very big because it will be folded over almost in half to make a very strong upper edge of the pocket.

5. Lay piping and pocket ruffle on upper edge of lower pocket and stitch in place, then lay the upper pocket piece on top of that and stitch it in place. 

6. Now fold the upper pocket in half over the front of the pocket and then fold back a 1/2" seam allowance to leave a nice finished inside edge when you turn it right side out.  

Stitch the upper edge of the pocket on both sides down to almost the piping. Then turn right side out. This is the back view when you are finished.

7. Press.

8. Last of all, fold the raw edges in the same width as the upper edge of the pocket. Iron seam allowances down. Lay the pocket where you want it on the apron and stitch it in place. Reinforce at the opening edges of the pocket.

I also lined the back of mine by cutting out muslin the same shape as the skirt. I added the pocket last, sewing through all layers.  This first one, I didn't think of lining until the end.

When I made the other aprons, I left the bottom edge of the lining open when I stitched on the ruffle and then turned under enough of the lining to cover the raw edges and stitch in place. 

 A lot of work...but all for some beautiful aprons! These were a Christmas gift so I wanted to make extra nice aprons.

PS. I used red fabric paint to write the names of all of Shona Cole's girls and MOM on hers. 

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