Girl-ie Girl Ruffled Apron in Pinks, White, & Cream

Ruffled Girl-ie Girl Apron with Pink Satin and Lace.
Our oldest son has had a friend of many years, who I promised I would make an apron for about a year ago, so it looks like I had better get after it!  She too has twin boys.  She described to me a yearning for an apron with lots of ruffles and very feminine.

The first step was to find a apron that was close to what I imagined she would like.  I did sketches, searched the Internet and came up with this pattern.  I scoured my treasure trove of fabrics and selected pinks, white, and cream for the color scheme.   Just for her, her girl-lie ruffled apron.

I really can't see a bunch of ruffles, fabric around the bodice.  Probably because it would bother me!  It seems way more practical and pretty too to go for a little trim up top and contrasting fabrics in lightweight and airy fabrics.  A bit of lace, a little sheen, and some dainty will hopefully delight!

After selecting the fabrics wash and dry them if applicable.  This rids them of any finishing chemicals and will preshrink the fabric.

My HELPFUL HINT for the project is to explain the fasted easiest way to end up with straight to the grain rectangles of fabric, (which is what this will require) is to tear the pieces to size with the exception of two fabrics I am using.  You can also pull threads if the fabric is too delicate to tear and one of the pieces selected is.  This is explained in: "Getting Ready to Sew, Conversation 1", under "Pages" in the upper portion of the right column on the blog.  I am also using lace which has no grain to speak of so I pinned a piece of equal dimensions to the lace straight to the pattern and cut from there.

Here is a list of materials and fabrics needed for this project:

Apron bib, 1/2 yd. 45" wide fabric, I used a pink and white tiny floral pattern with green leaves on a white lightweight cotton.

Four skirt tiers, 1/2 yd. 45" wide fabric, I used pink tulips on a white background cotton for tier #1, pink floral stripe cotton for tier #2, cream colored lace for tier #3, and wide pink striped cotton for tier #4.

Fabric for the apron top lining and the apron skirt lining:  1 1/4 yd. white lightweight cotton.

Fabric for the neck ties, waist band, and waist ties:  3/4 yd. 45" wide fabric, I used a pink nubby cotton satin.

1/2 yd. jumbo ric rac trim for the top edge of the apron, I used deep pink.

All purpose thread
Fabric pencil
Iron and Ironing board
Straight Pins
Sewing machine
Bees wax
Needle and thread


1. From the fabric selected for the apron bib cut one rectangle 13" wide x 11" high.
2. From the fabric you are using for the waist and ties cut eight strips 3" x 44".
3. From the fabric you are using for the lining cut one piece 13" wide x  11" high for the bib and one rectangle 27" wide x 22" high for the skirt.
4. For the four skirt ruffles or tiers cut as follows:
    1st tier one rectangle 27" wide x 7" high.
    2nd tier one rectangle 45" wide x 7" high.
    3rd tier one rectangle 45" wide x 10" high.
    4th tier one rectangle 45" wide x 10" high.

Next press all of the pieces with a warm iron and you are ready to sew.

Pivoting gives a pretty end for the ties.
Match up the 8 pieces cut for the ties and pin the first pair together right sides facing each other.   Sew them starting at one open corner down the long side 1/2" from the raw edges.

When you reach the first corner pivot and make a diagonal turn crossing the full width until you are 1/2" from the other side and continue stitching to the end of the second long edge. STOP.  Do Not close the end.   Turn the ties right side out and press.  Repeat the process on a second pair to form the straps/ties for the top of the bib of the apron.

Sew the two 3" ends together with the right sides facing then press the seam open.
To make the ties and waistband join a pair of the ties at the 3" raw edge with a 1/2" seam and the right sides facing each other.  Then press the seam open.    Join the last set of ties in the same fashion,

A charcoal marking pencil is handy.
Pin the two long sash pieces together right sides facing and matching the center seam.  Mark the center top leaving a 12" opening for the bib (6" on either side of the center front).  Mark the center front of the lower edge 28" (measure 14" from the center seam on both sides).   This is where you will attach the skirt.

A sewing guide comes in handy here.
Pin the ric rak to the right side of the bib fabric so the highest point in the lower edge is between 7/8 and 1" from the raw edge.  Sew just catching the top of the ric rak about 1/2" from the raw edge.

Place the bib and the bib lining fabrics together right sides facing.  Measure 2" in from each top corner and mark.  Do not sew the 2" openings as this is where  you will insert the ties for the neck. Sew the area inside the two places you have left open on top of the stitching you used to attach the ric rak.  Turn and press.  Pin the neck ties in the openings leaving a 2" overlap inside the opening.  Close the side seams and press.  Top stitch the sides and top  to finish.

Here is half an apron!
Fit the bottom of the bib into the 12" opening in the top of the waistband.   Top stitch all of the edges together except the 28" opening.  Leave it open.  Set this aside for now and make the skirt tiers as follows.

On the skirt lining panel, the 2nd tier panel, the 3rd tier panel, and the 4th tier panel: make a 1/4" double turn hem along the sides and bottom edge.  To do this, fold in the raw edge 1/4" and press. Then, fold 1/4" again and press Stitch in place close to the fold, making sure to encase the 1/4" hem as you sew.

On the 1st tier panel make a 1/4" double turn hem along the SIDE EDGES ONLY.

When I make gathers I sometimes prefer to hand baste and I found this to be true here.  So prepare a needle and thread by running your length of thread through bees wax.  If you are not familiar with this you can usually purchase at any sewing supply store.  The bees wax does a terrific job of keeping the thread from knotting as you sew.

I like to hand baste for short lengths of gathers using a double thread and making big running stitches.
Baste in long stitches (about 1/4th") using a double thread the top of the RAW edge of the 2nd tier and gather until it is 26" wide.  Tie off the ends.  Pin the gathered edge of the 2nd tier to one of the raw edges of the 1st tier, with the right sides facing each other and the hemmed side edges lined up.  Sew a 1/2" seam. 

Flip over to the backside and press the seam allowances up towards the top of the raw edge of the 1st tier.

Turn under 1/2" all along the top raw edge of the 3rd tier.  Press to make a nice folded edge.  Top stitch about 1/4th" from the folded edge to secure the fold.  Baste and gather equally across THIS FINISHED EDGE until it is 24" wide.  REPEAT this step with the 4th tier.

Pin the gathered edge of the 4th tier to the skirt lining panel so the top of the gathered panel is 15 1/2" below the top raw edge of the lining.  The edges of the tier should be centered and SET IN 1" from each hemmed edge of the lining panel.

Sew this gathered tier to the skirt lining panel with a 1/4th " top stitch.

Pin the gathered edge of the 3rd tier to the skirt lining panel so the gathered edge is 9 1/2" below the top raw edge of the skirt lining panel.  As above, the edges of the tier should be centered and set in 1" from each hemmed edge of the lining panel.  

Sew this gathered tier to the underskirt panel with a 1/4" top
stitch.  The bottom edge of the 3rd tier should hide the top sewn edge of the 4th tier by about 3" or so.

This finished side is the left and the right side is flipped to show the seam pressed up.
Pin the WRONG side of the 1st /2nd tier combo piece to the RIGHT side of the skirt lining panel (with it's two tiers in place), lining up the top raw edges.

Sew together along the top with a 1/4" top stitch.

Line up and pin the hemmed side edges of the 1st tier to the hemmed side edges of the lining, and sew together with a 1/4" top stitch following the existing hemmed edge stitching.

To finish the apron insert the top of the skirt panel into the opening in the bottom of your waistband.  Edge stitch skirt panel in place matching the edge stitching to the stitching that was previously stopped for this opening.  Press and enjoy what you have made.

Note: I adapted much of this apron from my own ideas but also from some I have seen online.  I particularly liked one called Citrus Holiday found and want to mention them as they had lots of great aprons!


P.j. said...

THAT IS SWEET! I can't imagine a girl who wouldn't like an apron like that! You're right about not adding ruffles on the bodice, 'cause the trim is a much better option. But if the intended recipient doesn't approve, you'll have to sell lottery tickets to decide who gets this one!

Diane Cosby said...