• Craft Cotton Co

'Happy and Glorious' Ruffle Apron

Project by Helen Bowes


What better way to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee than whipping up some sweet treats for a street party? And what could be more patriotic than doing it wearing this ruffle apron using this fabulous jubilee fabric. My daughter and I had great fun whipping up some cakes whilst she stayed clean in this apron.



Step one: Assemble Supplies


To make this apron you will need the following supplies:

  • 1m Jubilee Fabric

  • 1m Red fabric

  • Red cotton (I used Gütermann 156)

  • Quilting wadding

  • Pin and clips

  • Sewing machine

  • Iron and Ironing board

  • Tape measure

  • Fabric marker

  • Scissors and/or rotary cutter

  • Bib template



Step 2: Cut pieces


To make this apron, you will need to cut out the following pieces:

  • Apron bottom (2 pieces) - rectangle 23” wide x 15” high of Jubilee fabric (RA2)

  • Pocket (2 pieces) – 7” wide x 7” high of red fabric (RA3, 4, 5)

  • Bib (2 pieces) – 12” wide x 10” high of Jubilee fabric using the template (RA6

  • Wadding – 12” wide x 10” high using the template

  • Waist and neck ties (4 pieces) – 4” x 30” red fabric for 2 pieces and jubilee fabric for 2

  • Waist band (2 pieces) – 2.5” x 21” red fabric

  • Pocket ruffle (1 piece) – 2.5” x 14” red fabric

  • Bib ruffle (2 pieces) – 2.5” x 30” red fabric

  • Skirt ruffle (3 pieces) – 7” x 36” red fabric

  • Interfacing (1 piece) – 1.5” x 20”




Step 3: Make waist and neck ties


Take your 4 pieces of fabric to make the neck and waist ties and fold one end over 0.5” so the wrong sides are together. Then turn the fabric over and fold it in half lengthways so the right sides face each other. Use your iron to press them so they stay flat. Using a 0.5” seam allowance sew down the open long edge of the fabric. Once sewn, turn the fabric tubes the right way round, iron flat- and top stitch across the folded narrow end.




Step 4: Create your gathers


Take your 2.5 x 14” strip and fold in the short ends by 0.75” and press into place. The fold the strip lengthways so the wrong sides are together. Press the piece flat and then sew two lines of gathering stitch along the long edge.




TIP: To sew a gathering stitch, select the longest stitch length you can on you machine. Instead of doubling back on yourself at the beginning and end of each stitch to secure it in place, you just do one continuous stitch. Give yourself a good length of thread at the start and end as you will need this to pull the gathers. Make sure you don’t come off the edge of the fabric and that your lines of stitching don’t cross. If they cross or come off the material, then the gather won’t work.


To create the gather, you need to separate the top strands from the bottom strands of your sewn stitch. I use the top two strands and then, carefully, you want to pull on these two threads. This will start the gather. Sometimes it is easier to move the fabric along the cotton. Take care as you don’t want the thread to snap. If it does you will have to start over again. It is important to take your time – there is no rush. You are aiming for your gather to be 6” in length.



Next create the gather for the bib by taking the two 2.5 x 30” strips. Place them right sides together and stitch along one short end using a 0.5” seam allowance. Once stitched, iron this seam flat. Sew your gathering stitches and then gather this length from 59” to 39”.


Finally, create the gather for the skirt. Take your three 7x36” strips and place two of these right sides facing and stitch along one short end using a 0.5” seam allowance. Once sewn, press this seam flat. Repeat with the last piece so all three pieces are joined. At each end, fold the short edge in by 0.75” and press flat. Then fold the whole length in half along the long end wrong sides together. Sew your gathering stitch and gather the piece in so it reduces from 104.5” to 50”.



TIP: If you find the gathering stitch is snapping, try using a zig zag stitch instead. Remember to take your time.


Step 5: Create your pocket


If like me your pocket is plain, you can use applique to make it more interesting. For mine, I have cut out one of the corgis to create an applique patch on the pocket.


TIP: Applique – cut out the motif you want to the size you want. The use double sided fusible interfacing and following the instructions use this to bond the motif to your pocket. Then go round the edge with a decorative stitch or If you don’t have this option top stitch with two rows.


With the right side of the outer pocket piece facing up, lay the ruffle on top with the raw edges lining up. The ruffle wants to start and stop 0.5” in from each edge, so you may need to adjust the gathers. Baste the ruffle to the pocket using a 0.5” seam allowance.


The next step is to put the back part of the pocket onto the front side, right sides facing. Pin around the edge leaving a 3” gap on one straight edge.


TIP: Use different style pins to mark the start and end of the opening so you don’t sew between them and close the gap.


Using a 0.5” seam allowance, sew all around the edge leaving the 3” opening unsewn. Once the edge has been sewn, cut the upper two corners and clip round the lower corners. Now turn the whole thing the right way round by pulling the fabric through the opening. Use something like a bodkin, knitting needle, the wrong end of a pencil to push all the corners out. Press flat including pressing the edge inwards at the gap.


The final stage is to edgestitch the pocket onto the front piece of the apron skirt. You can decide which side you would like the pocket to sit. I’ve put mine so it will be on the right side when I am wearing it as I am right-handed. Once you’ve decided where to put it, pin in place along the sides, lower corners and bottom edge. Remember not to stitch the ruffle edge or you will have a pocket you can’t use!! To edge stitch, just increase you stitch length slightly, then stitch just in from the edge. Make sure you generously back stitch at the start and end as these are stress points for the pocket, and you don’t want it to come flying off mid baking.





Step 6: Create the bib


Take your piece of batting and place it on your workspace. Then lay one of the bib pieces right side up on top of the batting. To quilt you want to be able to be able to mark your bib piece with a fabric marker that is removable – I’ve used a fabric pencil that can be rubbed out but there are other options such as pens where the ink fades as it is exposed to air or heat.


To quilt the bib, you need to find the centre and draw a diagonal line across the fabric. From this line you draw further lines at 1” intervals towards the top and bottom of the fabric. To create the diamond pattern, draw in lines 1” apart at 45 degrees to the lines already drawn. Once the lines are drawn, you can then sew along them using a thread colour that you want – I stuck with red to make a feature of it. Stitch in one direction first, then do the lines going the other way.


The next stage is to pin the bib ruffle around the edge of the quilted bib front. The raw edges should align so the ruffle points into the centre of the bib; once positioned, pin in place. Find two of your tie pieces and pin these on top of the ruffle at the top of the curves. They should be on a slight angle. Baste these pieces into place keeping within the 0.5” seam allowance.


Once secured in place with the basting, remove all pins. Find your lining piece and place this on top of the front piece, right sides together. Pin in place and sew around the edge using a 0.5” seam allowance. Leave the bottom edge unsewn. Turn the bib the right way round via the open edge at the bottom after you have clipped round the corners.


The final stage is to create the darts. To create the darts mark two triangles on your fabric following the guide on the pattern piece. Fold the fabric so the outside edges of the triangle come together right sides facing. Holding this in place, turn the fabric over and pin in place. Sew on the back of the bib following the line of the dart.





Step 7: Create the skirt


Take your front piece of skirt, right side up, and pin the ruffle around the sides and bottom starting and stopping 0.5” from the top of the skirt. As with the other two ruffles, the raw edges should line up and the ruffle be facing into the centre of the skirt. Once happy with the gathers, baste in place.


Place the lining of the apron skirt on top of the ruffles with the right sides of fabric facing each other. Pin into place making sure the ruffles are all sandwiched between the two layer of apron material. Don’t include the top edge in the pining as this needs to remain open. Once happy, stitch into place using a 0.5” seam allowance. Clip the corners and turn the right way round through the open edge. Pull ruffles into place and press.


Now to create the pleats in the skirt. Firstly, baste the top edge together keeping within the 0.5” seam allowance. Next, find the exact centre point of the skirt and measure 3” out in either direction and place a mark. Create another mark 2” out in either direction and make a point of the triangle between these two marks, 2” down. Fold so the lines meet and sew along the dart line. Press the darts towards the centre. The darts should line up with the darts you created on the bib.



Step 8: Create the waist band


Find your remaining fabric strips (2.5 x 21”) and your interfacing (1.5x20”). Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing to the centre of one of the fabric strips; this strip will become the front of the waist band. The press one 21” side down by 0.5” on each piece.


Turn the front waist band so it is facing right side up. At each end place the raw end of each remaining tie so the two pieces of fabric are right sides together and the raw end of the tie is in line with the interfacing and below the turned edge. Sew in place 0.5” in and press the seam towards the waist band.


Lay the skirt of the apron right side up on your work surface. Place the front of the waist band so right sides are facing and the seams with the ties line up with the side edges of the skirt. The raw edges of the skirt and waist band should be adjacent to each other. Pin in place.


Now flip the whole thing over so the back of the skirt is uppermost. Take the back of the waist band and place this so the raw edges line up with each other. Fold in the short edges so they match the seam between the front waist band and ties. Pin in place so you end up with the skirt sandwiched between the two waist band pieces. Stitch all layers together with a 0.5” seam allowance.


Press the waist band front and back up so that the folded edges meet. You may need to alter your folds to ensure all are flush when pressed. Slip the bib in between the layers of the waist band lining up the darts on the bib and apron. Pin in place. Finally edge stitch around the waist band including the short edges. Give it one last press and it is ready.





Step 9: Use it


Pop that apron on and get baking some lovely treats to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee.


To see more from Helen follow her on Instagram @phoenix_crafting, Facebook @PhoenixCrafting1 or visit her Etsy.



Made by Helen Bowes for The Craft Cotton Co 2022.


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