- 1m (1 ?yd) main fabric at least 110cm (43in) wide: medium- to heavyweight dress fabric or lightweight furnishing fabric
- 50cm (?yd) of contrast fabric, as above
- 2 large buttons
- 2m (2 1/4 yd) of 2cm (3/4 in) bias binding
- Coordinating thread
- Cut fabric pieces
From the main fabric cut the following pieces: skirt measuring 53 (tall) x 110cm (21 x 43in); bib measuring 25 (tall) x 38cm (10 x 15in); fold the bodice piece in half lengthways and pin the edges together. Using a ruler and chalk, mark a line from one outer corner to a point 4cm (1 1/2in) in from the other outer corner. Cut along this line through both layers; you should now have a shape that is 38cm (15in) wide at the lower edge and 30cm (12in) wide at the upper edge.
From the contrast fabric cut the following pieces: two waistbands, each 68 x 8cm (27 x 3 1/4 in); two bib borders, each 30 x 8cm (12 x 3 1/4in); one neck strap, 50 x 8cm (20 x 3 1/4 in); and two ties, each 90 x 8cm (35 x 3 1/4 in).
Mark the centre points of the waistband and one edge of the bib with a dot or a little snip in the seam allowance.
- Apply bias binding to skirt
Use a saucer or other round object to mark the curved lower corners of the skirt. Trim off the corners.
Apply bias binding to the side and lower edges of the skirt so that the binding is visible on the right side.
- Attach skirt to waistband
Using the longest machine stitch, sew three lines of gathering along the upper edge of the apron, placing these 5mm, 1.5cm and 2cm (1/4in, 5/8in and 3/4in) from the raw edge; leave long thread tails at either end.
Set one of the waistband pieces aside; this will be the facing. Working with the other piece, pull up the gathers until the skirt is 3cm (1 1/4in)narrower than the waistband. Smooth out the gathers evenly, then pin and tack the skirt to the waistband, leaving 1.5cm (5/6in) of the waistband free at each end. Machine stitch them together, then press the waistband away from the skirt. Pull out the lowest (visible) gathering stitches.
- Hem bib edges
On each side edge of the bib section, fold and press 1cm (3/8in) to the wrong side of the fabric, then fold and press another 1cm (3/8in) to enclose the raw edge. Topstitch the fold in place slightly less than 1cm (3/8in) from the edge.
- Attach bib to waistband
Place one unhemmed edge of the bib and the free edge of the waistband together with right sides facing, matching their centre points. Pin and stitch them together. Press the seam flat.
- Attach waistband facing
Position the bib over the waistband, so that their right sides are facing. Position the waistband facing, right side down, on top, with raw edges matching and the bib sandwiched between the two waistband pieces as shown. Pin them in place, tack if you wish, and stitch them together along the two short edges and the top edge.
- Complete the waistband
Cut diagonally across the waistband corners and turn the waistband right side out. Press flat. Fold under and press 1.5cm (5/8in) on the free edge of the facing to conceal the raw edges. Finish by topstitching all the way around the waistband about 3mm (1/8in) from the edge.
- Make neck strap
Fold the strap in half lengthwise with right sides facing and stitch the long edges together with the normal seam allowance. Turn the strap right side out and press it flat.Topstitch the two long edges 3mn (1/8in) from the edge.
- Attach strap to bib border
Pin and tack the neck strap to the one long edge of the bib border 2.5cm (1in) from the side edges.
- Attach border to bib
With right sides facing, pin and stitch the top edge of the bib to the bottom edge of the border. The ends of the border will extend 1.5cm (5/8in) to each side. Press the border away from the bib.
- Join border and border facing
Sew the border to the border facing along the top long edge and short ends, enclosing the straps (using the same procedure as for the bib and waistband in Step 6). Cut diagonally across the corners, turn the border right side out and press flat.
- Complete border
Turn under the free edge of the border facing, as for the waistband facing in Step 7, and topstitch along all edges.
- Make waist ties
Fold each waist tie in half lengthways with right sides facing. Pin the edges together and stitch, leaving a 5cm (2in) gap in the long side. Cut diagonally across the corners. Turn inside out, using a loop turner or a blunt-pointed object such a chopstick. Press the tie flat and topstitch all the way around
close to the edge.
- Attach waist ties
Overlap one end of the waist tie over the edge of the waistband and sew in place by attaching a button, stitching through all the fabric layers.
Variation: Apron with tucked bib and straight skirt
From the main fabric cut a skirt measuring 53cm (tall) x 65cm (21 x 26in). Using the pattern piece provided on page 00 cut the bib, and transfer the tuck markings.
From the contrast fabric cut pieces as for the main version.
Bind the skirt edge and attach it to the waistband as for Steps 2 and 4 of the main version.
Stitch tucks in bib
Ensure that you have transferred all the tuck markings onto the right side of the fabric. There are 6 tucks in total. Starting at one of the sides, fold and sew the innermost tuck first, sewing from the top of the bib section to the bottom.
Continue to sew the remaining two tucks in place and press them all to the side.
Repeat with the tucks on the other side. Tack the tucks in place 1cm (3/8 in) from the top and bottom edges.
Complete the apron as described in Steps 5–14 of the main version.
Pattern from Lauren to Sew with Lauren.
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