I love to sew and wear aprons. Most days I just wear jeans and a t-shirt and nothing brightens this 'mama uniform' like a colorful apron. Plus it has the added benefit of giving others the impression that you spend your days baking, tidying up the house, and folding laundry! (I dare you to read that last sentence out loud without laughing.)
For a while now I've wanted to sew an apron without any exposed seams on the reverse side - mainly because I don't like the way the back looks after several washings. I made a reversible apron a while ago but it was too thick for my liking. Well, this week I finally took the time to figure out how to construct an apron with all the seams enclosed. And should you be interested in making such an apron, I put together a little tutorial for you - you knew I would.
One caveat: I miscalculated the length of the ties and they are too short to tie into a bow in front. The instructions below include the modifications you will need to make if you would like the extra length.
See? All the seams on the back are enclosed. For some reason this makes me very happy.
Two rules to live by: (or at least sew by):
1. Always choose fabrics you love - and you will love the end result.
2. Make sure all fabric is prewashed. You wouldn't want to go through all the trouble of sewing a garment only to have it shrink unevenly and wrinkle after washing.
You will need:
26 x 18 inch rectangle for the apron
3 - 41 x 8 inch strips for the trim and sash. Just cut 8 inch strips selvage to selvage. (4- 41 x 8 inch strips if you would like the extra length to make a bow in the front.)
Take your three (or four) 41 x 8 inch strips and iron each strip in half lengthwise.
Then open up each strip and iron in 1" on each of the long sides. (see photo)
Lay one 41 x 8 inch strip along the 26 inch side of the apron rectangle. Cut off a 26" length to sew along the bottom edge. Reserve the rest of the strip for the ties. (If you are using 4 strips for the longer ties you will not need this extra piece. Just save it for your next scrappy quilt.)
Open up the now 26" x 8" strip that you cut and align the apron fabric along the 1" fold of the trim.
Fold the trim around the apron fabric and pin in place. Make sure you have pinned through both sides of the trim with the apron fabric sandwiched in the center.
Sew along the top edge with a 1/8" seam allowance - be sure you match your thread color to the trim fabric.
Next, fold and press in 1" on each side of the apron body. Then fold over and press another inch on each side to hide all exposed edges. Pin along both sides. (see photo)
Sew along both edges with a 1/8" seam allowance.
Take the 2 - 41" x 8" strips you prepared earlier plus the piece
of strip remaining from the bottom trim. (If you are making the longer ties,
simply use the 3 remaining strips - do not use the short
Sew the three strips together like so, right sides together, with a 1/4" seam allowance. For the shorter ties be sure the short strip is in the middle. Press seam allowances open. (For the longer ties, it won't matter which is in the center because all 3 strips will be the same size.)
The right side of the strip will look like this.
Re-fold the strips in half along the center. It's a good idea to press again here to be sure that this long strip is flat and folded in half evenly.
Now tuck in the 2 short edges of the strip about 1" to conceal the raw edges. Press.
You are now ready to attach the sash strip to the apron rectangle. Stay with me here - we're almost done.
Center the apron fabric on the sash strip.
Align the top of the apron fabric with the 1" fold in the strip.
Fold the strip in half with the apron fabric sandwich in between and pin. Make sure you have pinned through both sides of the sash strip with the apron fabric sandwiched in the center.
Starting at one end (where the apron body fabric meets the sash) sew along the bottom edge with a 1/8" seam allowance. Continue sewing along the edge of the sash strip until you are 1/8" from the end. Stop with the needle in the down position, pivot the fabric sash and sew along the 3" end edge.
Turn the apron to sew the other half of the sash strip closed. Begin sewing exactly where you began the previous seam - this time sew in the opposite direction. Sew along the length of the sash with a 1/8" seam allowance until you are 1/8" from the end. Stop with the needle in the down position, pivot the fabric sash and sew along the 3" end edge. All done!
Here's the back. Notice the absence of any exposed seams.
Now put on your super-cute new apron and dance around the living room. (Or take pictures of yourself in the bedroom mirror)
Be Warned: Partaking in household activities such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry is not required in order to fully enjoy this apron.
Have a wonderful weekend friends!