Tuesday, September 18, 2012

tutorial: Ruffled Half/Lap Apron

This is a tutorial I did for another blog a couple of years back. The blog is not actively posting/gone private for the time being. I've gotten quite a few emails asking for it - thanks Pinterest - so I am posting on my blog so you all can see it! Enjoy!

Ruffled Half/Lap Apron Tutorial

- 5/8 yard of cotton fabric - ties & bottom ruffle (red polka dot fabric)
- 1/4 yard each of three cotton fabrics - remaining ruffles (other three fabrics pictured)
- 10.5" x 21" piece or 1/3 yard of cotton fabric (You will not see this fabric, you sew the ruffles to this piece.)

WOF = Width Of Fabric
RST - Right Sides Together
Prewash and dry all fabrics before beginning

1. Cut one 12" x 21" piece from the 1/3 yard of fabric.

2. Cut three 6.5" x WOF (width of fabric - approx 42") pieces from the 1/4 yard pieces. (for ruffles)

3. From the 5/8 yard of fabric cut: (pictured red polka dot fabric)
- one 6.5" x WOF  piece (for ruffle)
- one 6" x 21" piece (for top center band)
- two 6" x 36" pieces (for ties)

4. Take the 12" x 21" piece and fold it into thirds, measure up about 4", fold up to the middle, and iron to crease. Repeat with the top. These will be the marks for your ruffles.

5.  On one long edge of a ruffle piece, fold under 1/4" and press. Repeat. Sew hem in place using 1/8" seam allowance. This will be the bottom edge of the ruffle. Repeat for all the ruffle pieces.

6.  On all but the bottom ruffle piece, repeat step 5 on both short sides of ruffles.

 7. Ruffle the ruffle pieces along the top raw edge. Not sure how to ruffle? Check out my tutorial here.

8. Along the bottom edge of the 12" x 21" piece, pin the bottom ruffle in place with RST and matching the raw edges. (The ruffle will be upside down.) This should be the ruffle with the sides NOT folded under.
Tip: I like pin the sides in place like in the second photo below to help keep the ruffle piece in place.

9. With the ruffle wrong side up, Sew the bottom ruffle in place using, 3/8" seam allowance. 

10. Flip apron to the back and press the seam up towards the top. Serge or zig-zag the raw edge.

11. Top stitch on the front side of the apron about 1/8" from where the bottom ruffle and apron panel meet.

12.  On one side of the apron, fold under 1/4" and press. (From the top of the to the bottom of the ruffle.) Fold under 1/4" and press again. Sew in place 1/8" from the edge. Repeat for the other side.

13. Working from the bottom up, place the next ruffle upside down and right side down on the apron panel. (The right side of the ruffle will be touching the apron.)  Lineup the top raw edge with the first crease from the bottom. Pin in place.

The wrong side of the second ruffle is facing up.

14.  Sewing on the wrong side of the ruffle, sew the ruffle in place. You can sew just on top of the sewing line from ruffling or just beside it, about 3/8" from the edge of the ruffle. Backstitch at beginning and end.

15.  Adjust the ruffle so it now points down to the bottom ruffle. Press. Turn the apron to the back and press with an iron to make sure the apron panel is smooth.

16. Turn the apron over to the front. Press the ruffle again if necessary. Sewing from the front, sew the ruffle in place about 1/2" from top edge of the ruffle. If you lift up the ruffle, all your raw edges should be enclosed.

17. Repeat steps 13 - 16 for the next ruffle. This time line up the ruffle with the next crease line.

18. For the top ruffle, simply line up the raw edges of the apron panel with the top edge of the ruffle. (Wrong side of the ruffle will be touching the apron panel.) Sew in place with 3/8" seam allowance.

19. Sew the ties and top band together RST. (The center band needs to be in the middle and a tie on either side.) It will be WAYYYY long. Press seams open. Fold in half the long way, wrong sides together, and press.

19. Center the WAYYY long band/ties over the apron panel RST and pin. The seams should be on either side of the apron panel. Sew only to the apron panel using 1/2" seam allowance. Do not sew onto the free hanging ties.

20. Press the seam and place the band/ties up as shown below. You should now see the right side of the band/ties. Press well.

21. Now fold the band/ties down, RST so the raw edges of the free hanging ties meet. Pin the free hanging ties every few inches.

22. Start sewing at the end of one tie and continue sewing. Stop when you get to the apron panel. Skip over the apron panel and continue sewing the other tie together. Clip corners at the ends. Press. You will have an opening over the apron panel.

23. Turn the ties right side out. Push the end back through the tie with a wooden spoon or pen.

 24. Working from the back of the apron, tuck the raw edge of the band/tie to the inside and press. Pin in place from the front, being sure to catch the back of the band with your pins. Top stitch 1/4" from the edge starting at one of the ties continuing onto the apron, closing the opening, and ending at the end of the other tie. Press well when completed.

You are done! Enjoy your fun ruffly apron or have fun making it for a friend! Either way, these fun ruffles make wearing an apron just a little more fun and sassy!

Happy Sewing!



  1. Working on this tutorial right now! How much longer should the ruffle pieces be than the back panel (before its ruffled)? I messed up already because I cut my ruffle peices too short. I didn't realize the width of my fabric was so short! I need numbers in front of me or I'll mess up! That's ok, I'll just make this one for my daughter. Thanks!

  2. Thank you for sharing this tutorial! I love how it's a DIY version of something that's trending in tons of cooking supplies store. Can't wait to give it a try.

  3. Thank you for sharing this tutorial! I love how it's a DIY version of something that's trending in tons of cooking stores. Can't wait to give it a try!


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