Perfect Hostess or Holiday Apron

  • 01 of 15

    Materials Needed to Sew a Retro Apron

    A free pattern and directions to sew the perfect bib and ruffle holiday apron
    Perfect Bib and Ruffle Holiday Apron. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com

    A party or holiday gathering is not the time to cover your best clothes with a stained apron. Sew a pretty apron that is perfect for a holiday or party. Use a fabric that follows a party theme or a holiday theme fabric for the perfect way to protect your clothes and contribute to the gathering theme at the same time.

    Note: This apron will require intermediate to advanced sewing skills.

    Materials Needed:

    • 2 yards of preshrunk 45" wide fabric. (Remember that a solid color fabric will show grease...MORE stains much more predominately than a small print.)
    • Thread to match the fabric (How to Choose Sewing Thread Color)
    • Optional but recommended - 1 1/2 yards of lightweight fusible interfacing or scraps long enough to interface the waistband sections and possibly the shoulder straps.(Interfacing Basics)
    • 2 Buttons - 1" buttons that will be on the inside of the apron.
    • Sticky Notes or a way to label the pieces after you cut them out.
    • Optional -- Rotary cutting tools to obtain accurately squared pieces (How to Use Rotary Rulers and Cutters
    • Standard sewing tools -- Sewing machine, measuring devices, iron and ironing board (Photo Gallery of Sewing Tools)
    Continue to 2 of 15 below.
  • 02 of 15

    Cutting Instructions

    Retro Apron Cutting Diagram
    Retro Apron Cutting Diagram. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    This cutting diagram will create an apron for a medium to large size women. You will need to adjust lengths and the ties for other sizes.

    Remove the selvedge from the fabric. Do not include the selvedge in your cut out pieces.

    Follow the diagram to cut:

    • 2 Tie pieces - 4" by the width of the fabric minus the selvedges
    • 2 Shoulder ruffles - 5" by the width of the fabric minus the selvedges. Use a round template to round off the ends of the ruffle strips.
    • 2 Waistbands - 2.5" by 30" (the...MORE 30" measurement can be adjusted to more or less depending on the distance you want the skirt to go around the body. The body or skirt of the apron will attach to this section, so the longer you make this section, the less gathering will be in the skirt to waistband seam or you will need to add more fabric to the skirt section by adding evenly to both sides of the skirt section.)
    • 4 Shoulder/Front Strap pieces - 3" by the width of the fabric minus the selvedges
    • 2 Pockets - 9" by 7"
    • 2 Bib Pieces - 7" by 12"
    • 1 Apron Body or Skirt - 24" by the width of the fabric minus the selvedges. (This piece can be lengthened or shortened by changing the 24" measurement. You would need to seam extra fabric to the 24" edges for more fullness on a large waistband piece.)
    Continue to 3 of 15 below.
  • 03 of 15

    Prepare the Skirt or Body of the Apron

    Hemming the Sides and Bottom of the Apron Body Section
    Hemming the Sides and Bottom of the Apron Body Section. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    The 24" Edges
    • Press under 1/8 to 1/4" on each 24" edge.
    • Press under 1", so the raw edges are enclosed.
    • Stitch the hem in place by sewing along the edge of the turned under edge.
    • Press

    The Hem
    • Press under 1/4" on the bottom (width of the fabric) hem edge.
    • Press under 2" to enclose the raw edge.
    • Stitch the hem in place by sewing as close as possible to the turned under edge.
    • Press

    The Top Edge
    • Sew three lines of machine basting stitches along the top raw edge, starting just inside the...MORE turned edge and ending just inside the turned edge. You will use these rows of stitching to gather the skirt to the waistband.
    Continue to 4 of 15 below.
  • 04 of 15

    Pockets

    Prepare the Pocket
    Prepare the Pocket. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    • Press under 1/4" on all pocket edges.
    • Press under another 1.5" on top 7" edge.
    • Stitch the 1.5" turned under edge in place.
    • Repeat for the second pocket.
    • Press. (Trim off any "ears" or corners of folded-under fabric so they will not stick out once the pocket is sewn down.)
    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15

    Place the Pockets

    Place the Pockets
    Place the Pockets. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    On the skirt body of the apron
    • Measure 6" from the bottom edge and 9" from the side edges.
    • Place the bottom corner of the pocket at this mark.
    • Keep the pocket an even 6" distance from the bottom hemmed edge and flat to the body of the apron.
    • Pin in place on all edges of the pocket except for the top hemmed edge.
    • Sew the pocket in place by sewing along the folded under edges of the pocket. Back stitch at the top edges of the pockets to reinforce the top edge.
    • Set aside.
    Continue to 6 of 15 below.
  • 06 of 15

    Prepare the Ties

    Prepare the ties to sew a retro apron
    Prepare the Ties. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    • Press the tie pieces flat.
    • Press under 1/4" on the long edges.
    • Press under again to enclose the raw edges.
    • Stitch the turned under edges in place, stitching as close to the turned under edge as possible.
    • Turn under one end of the tie.
    • Turn under again and stitch in place as you did the long edges.
    • Repeat for the second tie.
    • Press the ties and set them aside.
    Continue to 7 of 15 below.
  • 07 of 15

    Assemble the Bib Section

    Assemble the Bib Section
    Assemble the Bib Section. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    • Place right sides of the bib sections together, aligning all the edges.
    • Sew a 1/2" seam along the top 7" edge.
    • Press the seam to one side.
    • Turn right sides out, align all the edges and press along the sewn edge so that the seam is at the edge.(Grade and Under-stitch the seam if desired)
    • Baste the raw edges together 1/4" from the raw edges.
    Continue to 8 of 15 below.
  • 08 of 15

    The Ruffle

    Prepare and Sew the Shoulder Ruffle
    Prepare and Sew the Shoulder Ruffle. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    Prepare the Ruffle
    • On each end of the ruffle strips, measure 9" from the end on the long edge and 1" from the opposite bottom edge.
    • Make a diagonal line as shown in the photo and trim the triangle off the strip.
    Sew the Ruffle
    • Turn under and press under, the new angled edge and the adjoining long edge of the strip.
    • Turn under again to enclose the raw edge.
    • Sew along the folded under edge to stitch the hem in place.
    • On the remaining raw edge, sew 2 -3 rows of machine basting stitches to use...MORE later to gather the ruffle to the shoulder strip.
    • Set aside.
    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    The Front/Shoulder Straps

    The Front/Shoulder Straps
    The Front/Shoulder Straps. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    • Place a shoulder strap flat on a flat surface with the right side up.
    • Place the bib section to the outer edge and bottom edge.
    • Place another shoulder strap on top of the first shoulder strap, right side down, sandwiching the bib section.
    • Pin the edges in place.
    • Sew the long outer edge, using a 1/2" seam allowance.
    • Repeat for the second side of the bib.
    • Press so the right sides are out and the seams are pressed flat.
    Continue to 10 of 15 below.
  • 10 of 15

    The Front/Shoulder Straps 2

    Attaching the Ruffle to the Shoulder/Front Strap
    Attaching the Ruffle to the Shoulder/Front Strap. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    • Measure 8", 18" and 28" from the front bib bottom edge.
    • Mark on the outer raw edge of the straps.
    • Fold the length of the ruffle in half and mark the fold at the raw edge.
    • Working on one layer of strap, pin one end of the ruffle at the 8" mark and one end at the 28" mark.
    • Pin the fold mark of the ruffle to the 18" mark.
    • Gather to fit the strap and evenly distribute the gathers. (More on gathers)
    • Baste the ruffle to the strap using a 3/8" seam allowance.
    • Repeat for the ruffle on the other strap.
    Continue to 11 of 15 below.
  • 11 of 15

    The Front/Shoulder Straps 3

    Finishing the Straps
    Finishing the Straps. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    • With the right sides of the fabric together, bring the raw edges of one strap section together.
    • Carefully tuck the ruffle and bib well inside the strap away from the raw edge.
    • Sew the strap end (the end away from the bib end) and raw edges together using a 1/2" seam allowance.
    • Pull the bib out of the newly sewn strap and work the remaining unturned strap right side out.
    • Repeat for the second strap.
    • Press well.
    Continue to 12 of 15 below.
  • 12 of 15

    Waistband Sections and Joining the Bib Section

    Waistband Sections and Joining the Bib Section
    Waistband Sections and Joining the Bib Section. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    • Fuse the interfacing to the wrong sides of the waistband pieces.
    • Place the waistband pieces right sides together, aligning all the edges.
    • Fold the length of the waistband pieces in half and mark the fold line in the seam allowance area.
    • Fold the bottom of the bib section in half and mark the fold in the seam allowance area.
    • Insert the bib section between the waistband sections, bringing the raw edge of the bib section to the furthest edge of the waistband sections as shown in the photo.
    • Match the...MORE marks on the waistband pieces with the mark on the bib section and align the edges.
    • Sew a seam, using a 1/2" seam allowance, to join the bib and entire waistband edge. (Grade and Under-stitch the seam if desired)
    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    Attach the Ties

    Attach the Ties to the waistband of a retro apron
    Attach the Ties. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    • Place the bib and attached waistband section on a table with the right side of the bib section up and the waistband section opened out flat.
    • Fold the raw ends of the tie sections in thirds, starting with the right side of the tie down on the waistband and ending with the wrong side of the tie up. (The fold looks like a squished S from the end of the tie.)
    • Take the end of the ties with the raw ends and place them right sides down on the bottom edge of the waistband section.
    • Press the fold flat and...MORE place it along the seamed edge of the waistband section as shown in the photo.
    • Baste in place.
    • Repeat for the second tie on the opposite end of the waistband.
    • With the right sides together and the tie sections inside the waistband section, sew the short ends of the waistband section, using a 1/2" seam allowance.
    Continue to 14 of 15 below.
  • 14 of 15

    Attach the Apron Skirt/Body Section

    Attach the Apron Skirt/Body Section
    Attach the Apron Skirt/Body Section. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    • Fold the long edge of the apron skirt in half and in half again. Mark each fold in the seam allowance area of the raw edge.
    • Fold the raw edge of the waistband section in half and in half again, marking where the folds are in the seam allowance area of the raw edge.
    • Place the bib section, right side up on a flat surface, with the waistband section spread open.
    • Place the skirt section up side down with the right side of the section down, so you matrch up the waistband section and the raw edges of the...MORE skirt section and the skirt section is on top of the bib section.
    • Match the marks on the waistband and the skirt section. Pin the skirt section in place.
    • Bring the ends of the skirt section to the end seam of the waistband section and pin in place.
    • Use the basting stitches to gather the skirt section to fit the waistband section.
    • Sew the skirt section to the waistband section using a 1/2" seam allowance.
    • Turn skirt section down and press in place.
    Continue to 15 of 15 below.
  • 15 of 15

    Finishing the Waistband and Shoulder Strap

    Finishing the Waistband and Shoulder Strap
    Finishing the Waistband and Shoulder Strap. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    Finishing the Waistband
    • On the inside waistband section, press under 1/2" on the unattached raw edge.
    • Match the marks with the marks on the skirt section and slip stitch the waistband in place.
    • Press well.
    Shoulder Strap Attachment
    • If possible, try the apron on and mark where you want the straps to attach to the back of the waistband.
    • Mark the location on the waistband and the straps.
    • Sew buttonholes on the strap where it will attach to the waistband.
    • Sew a button on the inside of the waistband...MORE where the strap will attach.
    • Place the button in the buttonhole and enjoy your new apron.
    • If the apron is a gift, sew a button on the inside of the waistband 3" from the ends of the waistband.
    • Starting 10" up from the end of the shoulder strap, sew a button hole every two inches toward the end of the strap.
    • Note: If the straps are extremely long, cut them off leaving them approximately 1" longer than you want the finished strap. Turn the raw edges inside the strap and slip stitch or top stitch the ends in place in the strap.