Reversible Ruffle Apron Sewing Tutorial



With all the quilt shows we’ve been doing recently, we decided it would be convenient to sew aprons where we can keep business cards, pens, calculators, etc handy while talking to customers in the booth.


I first made an apron using 3  fabrics from Curious Nature, a wonderful modern fabric line by designer Parson Gray. [see photo at left]

I made this one for Marlene, based on this tutorial (which is based on this tutorial).

For myself, of course I just had to customize! I made my own version–adding a few details, like the pocket, rounded shape and the ruffle. [see photo at top] I suppose you could say it’s like an apron tutorial broken telephone. 🙂


I thought I would share my process on the blog, so here it is!

I made the apron using 3 half metres of our new Katagami fabric by Trans Pacific Textiles out of Hawaii. This Japanese batik in indigo and white is actually made in Thailand! Talk about an international fabric.

The fabrics I used are:

Katagami Meadow Flowers, F008-0213 (for the main part of the apron)
 Katagami Fern Leaves, F007-0213 (for the pocket)
Katagami Handwoven Screen, F004-0213 (for the sash and ruffle)

IMG_20130604_175517The dimensions of the apron skirt may be adjusted (depending on your size, how much you want it to cover, etc.) I used the dimensions from Shelley’s tutorial as a guideline, starting with a rectangle that measures 26″ wide and 19″ long. You will need 2 rectangles the same size for both sides of your apron. For the front, I just used one piece of the Meadow Flowers fabric, and for the back, I pieced together a rectangle using one centre strip of the meadow flowers and a strip of the Fern Leaves on either side.

Cut two 5.5″ strips of the waist sash fabric, perpendicular to the selvedge. Put these aside for now.

Lay the rectangles on top of each other, and using a piece of chalk, mark how you would like to round the corners. Using a plate or bowl is an easy way to get a good curve.

Cut the rounded shape of the skirt.

To make the pocket, take a piece of fabric (I used the Fern Leaves), folded and pressed wrong sides together. Lay it on top at the height you want your fabric (I didn’t measure too precisely– I just put it where I thought it looked right!) and then trim it to match the same curve of the apron skirt. Baste the folded pocket piece onto the front piece of the apron, which in my case, is the plain piece of Meadow Flowers fabric.

At this point, you can create divisions for the pockets by drawing lines vertically, where you want the divisions to go and then sewing along those lines, making sure to backstitch at the top of the pocket. I drew orange lines on the fourth photo below to indicate where I created the pocket divisions.

(Please note: I realized afterward, that it would have been easier to lay the front and back rectangles together, with the folded pocket piece and THEN cut the curve, so that they all match more neatly!)

IMG_20130604_175921 IMG_20130604_180027IMG_20130604_180640 IMG_20130604_180057

Now for the ruffle!

I took 2 strips of the Handwoven screen fabric, approximately 2.5″ wide. I sewed them end to end, to make one very long strip. Fold the strip in half  lengthwise and press. Starting at one end of your apron skirt, sew the strip along the edge, matching the unfinished edges to the main apron piece, facing the strip inwards and using a 1/8″ seam allowance. Every inch (or 2 or 3, depending on the look you are going for), tuck the strip back under itself to create the ruffling effect. Sew right over the tucked piece.



When you are finished, trim off the excess strip and it should look something like this:



Next, place the other rounded main piece of the apron (the back), right sides facing on top of the piece with the ruffle. Sew through the layers, around the outside of the curve with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Make sure to leave the top open. Turn the apron skirt right side out and press.

IMG_20130604_182543 IMG_20130604_182859

Next, we’ll add the sash!


Take one of the 5.5″ strips and cut it in half so you have two pieces that are approximately 5.5″ x 21″.  Sew the three pieces together, with the long strip in the middle and the two half strips on either side. Press the seams open. Centre the sash on the top of your apron, right sides together and sew along the top with a 1/4″ seam allowance.



Open sash up and press the seam upwards.  Press under a 1/4″ on the part of the sash that is above the apron. You only need to press across the length of the apron skirt.




On the ends of the sash, fold fabric right sides together and trim the ends off at an angle, with the point at the folded side. I put a bit of a curve in where the angle meets the straight part of the sash. Starting at the folded tip, carefully stitch a 1/4″ seam all the way across the raw edges of the folded sash until you reach the apron.  Leave the part of the sash that is over the apron open. Repeat on the other end of the apron sash.


Turn the sash ends right side out. You may need to use the end of your scissors to help with the corners! Press the seams of the sash carefully.

Turn the sash over the raw edge of the apron, pressing carefully.  Stitch across the apron, closing up the last seam.  Lastly, topstitch along the entire length of the sash.


And then you’re done! Please feel free to comment if you have any suggestions on how to make this tutorial better/easier to follow! And we would LOVE to see photos if you try this at home! I think it would also look great in our Lemon Poppy Batiks 🙂


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