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FreeSpirit-Rowan 10&10 Series: Farm Girl Reversible Apron in Felicity Miller/Charleston Farmhouse

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Today we're introducing a brand new designer for S4H, Felicity Miller. It was a suggestion from FreeSpirit to give her brand new collection, Charleston Farmhouse a try, and we are so glad we agreed. Everyone who came into contact with this fabric in the Sew4Home studios loved it. We knew we wanted to do an apron, and in order to be able to use a number of different fabrics from within the collection, we decided to make the apron reversible. We've done it up in vintage "farm girl" style with an over-the-head bib; a wide sash that ties low at the waist for a long, comfy look; and a deep bottom ruffle. 

The influence for this gorgeous collection comes not from the southern charm of our own Charleston, South Carolina, but from a Sussex farmhouse of the same name at the foot of the South Downs in England. The home's walls, doors, furniture, fireplaces and more were canvases for the famous "Bloomsbury" group of artists, writers and philosophers from the first half of the twentieth century. Felicity loved the play of paint, pattern and color in the home and used it to inspire her own Charleston Farmhouse

There is a free downloadable pattern for our apron sized to create a generous over-the-head loop, but if you feel uncomfortable with this style, you can always cut it at the back, bind the ends, and add a button or snap. And yes, that is me and our tractor. And although I appear to be channeling Eva Gabor in the old Green Acres sitcom, I do really know how to drive the thing.

Our thanks to the great folks at FreeSpirit and Rowan Fabrics for sponsoring these four weeks of Resolution Inspiration from ten of their amazing designers. What's Felicity's resolution? Short and sweet, but so wonderful.

"My 2013 Resolution is to draw and paint more, especially with my family."

Charleston Farmhouse comes out early next month, March 2013. Check with your favorite retailer for availability and/or to pre-order. Many of our Sew4Home Marketplace vendors offer this option

Remember, not all shops take delivery and/or display fabrics on the same schedule, so actual in-stock dates may vary. Also, you can always ask your favorite local independent fabric retailer to special order fabric for you. Check out the Westminster Fibers Retail Locator for shopping options near you for all the Designers and Collections from this series.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Yardages shown are generous to allow for pattern matching

Getting Started

  1. Download and print out the Apron Bib Part 1 & 4, Apron Bib Part 2, Apron Bib Part 3, and Apron Pocket templates. 
    IMPORTANT: Each of these four templates is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid lines. The Apron Pocket is a single piece. The Apron Bib is made up of four pieces. Butt these pieces together at the arrows as indicated on the templates and following the diagram on the printed sheets. Do not overlap. Tape together to form the complete template. If you are new to working with downloadable PDF patterns, we have a short tutorial.
  3. From the fabric for apron side A (Dahlia Leaf in Sea in our sample), cut the following: 
    Using the assembled bib pattern right side facing up, cut one bib on the fold
    Using the pocket pattern, cut TWO pockets
    ONE 19" high x Width of Fabric (WOF) rectangle (19" x 44")
  4. From the fabric for apron side B (Sampler in Parchment in our sample), cut the following: 
    Using the assembled bib pattern right side facing down, cut one bib on the fold
    NOTE: Flipping the pattern insures the two bib pieces will match up correctly back to back
    Using the pocket pattern, cut TWO pockets
    ONE 19" high x Width of Fabric (WOF) rectangle (19" x 44")
  5. From the fabric for ties and ruffle side A (Rhythm Stripe in Night in our sample), cut the following:
    TWO 8" high x 31" long strips for the ties
    TWO 11" high x WOF rectangles for the bottom ruffle
  6. From the fabric for ties and ruffle side B (B Dotted in Night in our sample), cut the following:
    TWO 8" high x 31" long strips for the ties
    TWO 11" high x WOF rectangles for the bottom ruffle

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Bib

  1. On both bib pieces, place the upper neck ends right sides together and pin in place.
  2. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch this short seam and press the seam allowance open and flat. 
  3. Place the two seamed bibs WRONG sides together, aligning all the raw edges. Pin in place.
  4. Open one package of bias binding. To create the smoothest look, work with the binding as one continuous length. Do not cut it first. It might seem awkward working with the long tail, but it's tough to measure a curve and easy to cut it too short!
    NOTE: We opted to to simply slip our bias binding over the raw edge and edgestitch it in place. This is cheating just a little, but with just the two layers of cotton and no super-tight curves, we were confident using this method. However, don't expect to just wrap, pin and stitch. Going too quickly or assuming everything stays put and never moves is where disappointment lurks: you pull it out of the machine and there's a big chunk of fabric that's slipped out and isn't captured within the binding. Save yourself some seam ripper time and some tears. Go nice and slow and feed a little bit at a time. If you'd prefer to use a traditional two-step binding application technique, take a look at our Bias Binding tutorial
  5. Pin the binding in place along the outside edge of the bib from the bottom corner to the opposite bottom corner. Trim away the excess binding.
  6. Edge stitch in place, starting and stopping 1" from the corner on each side. We used our Janome Satin Stitch foot to clearly see where we were stitching; it's red guide arrow also helps keep your seam straight.
  7. The 1" left unstitched is where the ties will connect later in the tutorial, and you will need the bias tape to be free in order to finish correctly.
  8. The inside edge of the neck opening is a continuous circle, so you will finish the ends prior to stitching.
  9. Start by pinning the remaining length of bias tape all the way around. Give yourself about ½" at the head and begin pinning at the top neck seam. When you come back around to where you began, overlap the head by another ½" (approximately) and trim away the excess. 
  10. Unpin a bit at the top and pull the binding away from the fabric. Unfold and flatten both ends of the binding. Place them right sides together. Pin in place.
  11. Place the binding back into position and make sure it lays flat against the fabric. If it doesn't, adjust the ends of the binding as needed. Stitch the ends together. 
  12. Re-fold the binding and re-pin it into position. Your binding seam should align with the top neck seam. Edgestitch the binding in place all the way around the neck opening.
  13. Cut two lengths of piping to fit the bottom edge of the bib. 
  14. Fold bib B out of the way and pin one length of piping to bib A. The raw edge of the piping should be flush with the raw bottom edge of bib A.
  15. Attach a Zipper foot. Baste the piping in place, running your seam as close to the piping as the foot will allow.
  16. Flip the bib to the other side and pin the remaining length of piping to bib B, folding bib A out of the way this time.
  17. Baste in place aa above.
  18. Set the apron bib aside.

Pockets

  1. Find the two sets of pocket pieces.
  2. Pin a length of piping along the top edge of one pocket in each set.
  3. Still using your Zipper foot, baste the piping in place.
  4. Place the plain pocket right sides together with the piped pocket, sandwiching the piping between the layers. Pin in place all around, leaving a 2" opening for turning along one side.
  5. Stitch together, remembering to pivot at the corners, go slowly and keep your curve straight around the bottom, and lock your seam at either side of the opening for turning. Clip the corners.

    NOTE: Your corner pivots will happen just beyond the piping. In may help with accuracy to stop, with your needle in the down position, and hand crank up and over the piping. Then, stop and pivot, and start up again with the foot pedal once you've cleared the piping cord. 
  6. Turn right side out through the side opening.
  7. Use a long, blunt-end tool, like my fave - a chopstick, to square the corners, gently push the piping into a nice straight line, and round out the bottom curve.
  8. Press well, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
  9. Repeat to create the second pocket for the other side of the apron.
  10. Find the two main 19" x WOF skirt rectangles.
  11. Place one rectangle right side up and flat on your work surface.
  12. Position the matching pocket on the left of this panel. It should sit approximately 6" down from the top raw edge, 9" in from left raw edge, and 6⅜" up from the bottom raw edge. Pin in place along the sides and around the bottom.
  13. Edgestitch the pocket in place along both sides and around the bottom.
  14. Backstitch at the top corners of the pocket to help secure these areas that will take the most stress. 
  15. Repeat to place the remaining pocket on the remaining main apron skirt rectangle.

Ties

  1. Find the four tie strips, match them to one another in opposite pairs. In our sample, that meant pairing each stripe to a dot. Place the pairs right sides together, then stack the two pairs.
  2. Using a clear ruler and rotary cutter, slice off one end at a slight angle, cutting through all four layers.
  3. Separate the pairs again. Pin each pair together along both long sides and across the angled end. 
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch along each long side and across the angled end, pivoting at the corners. Clip the corners.
  5. Turn right side out through the open end and press flat, pushing out the corner and point with chopstick or knitting needle.
  6. Find the bib. Place it on your work surface with side B facing up.
  7. Fold three pleats into raw end of one tie, bringing it down to the width of the tab end of the bib. You are fan-folding the tie, which means the fabrics are alternating. Tie B fabric (the dots in our sample) should be against bib B. Adjust the folds as needed so the end of the tie fits nicely between the piping and the upper bib edge. Pin in place. The photo below shows us folding the tie end into position and you see it from the "dot-side" perspective.
  8. The next photo shows it folded into position from the "stripe-side" perspective.
  9. Wrap bib side A over the top so the two bib pieces are right sides together and the fan-folded tie is sandwiched in between. Pin well.
  10. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch in place through all the layers. Run a double or triple seam to secure well. 
  11. Trim back the seam allowance and especially the corners so they aren't so thick, but be careful not to cut into your seam.
  12. Turn the end of the bib right side out and pull the tie out into position. 
  13. Edgestitch that little bit of bias tape you left unstitched when first applying the binding. 
  14. Repeat to attach the remaining tie to the opposite side of the bib.

Top skirt

  1. Find the two main skirt rectangles to which you applied the pockets.
  2. Place them right sides together and pin along both sides. Double check that your pockets are both facing the right direction!
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch both sides.
  4. Press the seam allowances open.
  5. Turn the sewn panel right side out and press flat.
  6. Run a gathering stitch across the top raw edges of the sewn panel.
    NOTE: If you are new to gathering, check out our tutorial.
  7. Fold the panel in half to find the center and mark with a pin.
  8. Find the apron bib. Fold the bib in half it find its center point along the bottom piped edge, and mark with a pin.
  9. Gather the skirt panel so it matches the width of the bottom of the bib. Matching the center pin marks, adjust the gathers as necessary so they fall evenly across the top of the skirt.
  10. Pull apart the bib. Pin side A of the skirt panel (Dahlia Leaf in our sample) right sides together with side A of the bib. Using the center pins as your guide, pin all the way across the top of the skirt.
  11. Using a ½" seam allowance and a Zipper foot, stitch all the way across, running your seam just below the piping.
  12. Press the seam allowance up towards the inside of the bib.
  13. Flip the apron to side B and fold up the bottom raw edge of side B of the bib so the piping itself becomes the bottom edge of the bib. Bring this edge down into place covering the skirt seam and pin in place.
  14. Thread a hand sewing needle and stitch side B of the bib into place, hiding your stitches behind the piping. 

Bottom ruffle

  1. Find all four ruffle pieces.
  2. Sew each pair of like pieces together along one 11" end to make one very long strip in each fabric. 
  3. Place the two very long strips right sides together and pin along both ends and across the bottom,
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch both ends and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. Clip the corners.
  5. Turn the ruffle right side out. Push out the corners with a blunt tool and press the very long ruffle flat. Pin along the top raw edge.
  6. Run a double line of gathering stitches long the top raw edges of the ruffle panel.

    NOTE: Again, if you are new to gathering, check out our tutorial.
  7. Find the apron. Fold the bottom of the apron A skirt (Dahlia Leaf in our sample) in half it find its center and mark with a pin. You will align this center mark with the seam line of the ruffle panel, which is its center point.
  8. Along the bottom edge of the apron B skirt, fold up the raw edge ½" and press.
  9. Gather the ruffle panel so it matches the width of the bottom opening of the skirt. 
  10. Pin side A of the ruffle panel (the Rhythm Stripe in our sample) right sides together with side A of the apron skirt (Dahlia Leaf in our sample), aligning the raw edges and  matching the center skirt pin mark and the ruffle seam. Adjust the gathers as necessary so they fall evenly across the bottom of the skirt opening.
  11. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the ruffle panel to the skirt.
  12. Press the seam allowance up towards the inside of the skirt.
  13. Flip the apron to side B and bring the folded bottom edge of the skirt down into place covering the ruffle seam. Pin in place.
  14. Thread a hand sewing needle and stitch side B of the skirt into place.


Contributors
Project Concept: Alicia Thommas 
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

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Comments (47)

Amy C said:
Amy C's picture

Will this pattern fit me if I wear an American size 12?  Most of the aprons for sale have bibs that are too narrow.

How can I adjust it for my sister, who wears an 18-20?  The bib will definitely be TOO narrow for her.

A Beginner, ac4mail @gmail.com

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Amy C - We're sorry, but we are unable to create revisions to our patterns or projects for size or usage variations. It's a challenge to change dimensions long-distance, especially without access to the item and/or person for whom the project is being adjusted. We would feel awful if we gave you inaccurate advice that caused your finished project to turn out less than successful. Our standard recommendation is to measure your item and/or person and compare those measurements to our original dimensions. Do the math to make adjustments and scale the original dimensions up or down. Then use these new measurements to make a prototype out of a muslin or another inexpensive fabric you have on hand. In this case, we'd suggest printing out the free pattern and assembling the pieces. Hold up the finished paper pattern to yourself and see what you think. From there you can figure out how much to add for yourself and/or your sister.

ktvita said:
ktvita's picture

I love the colors. I would love to have this collection of Charleston Farmhouse by Felicity Miller!! I've never attempted an apron before. With these gorgeous fabrics, I'm inspired to attempt one :)

My 2013 resolution is to sort out, proritize, actually use my stash and implement at least 3 of the projects from my to-do list!!! One quilt, One handbag/may be this clutch and one skirt (yes want to start with a simpler one)! I've bookmarked so many projects and have bought many books on quilts, handbags, dress making and home decor in 2012.  

Picking one favorite designer is really hard.. I've collected fabric lines from Joel Dewberry, Ty Pennington, Jennifer Paganelli, Paula Prass, Sweetwater, Tanya Whelan and just love all other designers for their creativity!!! 

Okay, if at all I've to pick one now, I think it is Joel Dewberry :)f

DesignsbyJanet said:
DesignsbyJanet's picture

Now this is my kind of apron.  My daughter loves it too.  Will have to make us both one before the spring of 2013.  Love the ideas.

mygardenerjh said:
mygardenerjh's picture

What an adorable apron and to try making 1 w/ my favorite designer Philip Jacobs for Rowan, his September 12 collection, how unique! My 2013 resolution is finish a project before starting another. Registered w/ sew4home.com

goonybird said:
goonybird's picture

This is adorable! I LOVE aprons!

My resolution is to sew more and finish my projects! My favorite designer is Kaffe Fassett...

carlota said:
carlota's picture

I just love the country apron by Felicity Miller/Charleston Farmhouse.  It is so cute and reminds me of days gone bye.

Holly Ann said:
Holly Ann's picture

Cute and fun to twirl in! New year resolution: make more things that are twirly...

Dupcodeb said:
Dupcodeb's picture

This is a very feminine project. My favorite deigner is Anna maria Horner and my 2013 resolution is to finish a coat I have been working and and then moving to some of your projects.

Dena said:
Dena's picture

Another tutorial that has me ssaying - I could do that.  I love the farm girl look and this would make a perfect gift - - for myself

Cheryl B said:
Cheryl B's picture

I resolve to make one of these next week for my sister with some of the cute ladybug fabric I just bought!

glendasue said:
glendasue's picture

This style reminds me of aprons my grandmother had.  Would love to make some using most of the designers featured!

JennaH said:
JennaH's picture

I love aprons. And this one would definitely keep your clothes clean!

ginamari said:
ginamari's picture

Oh my, how I wish my dear mum could have seen this. Pattern and fabrick design are so complementary. 

sewalittle2 said:
sewalittle2's picture

Darling apron! My 2013 resolution is to spend more time creating! My favorite designer is Joel Dewberry.

ggiffinrao said:
ggiffinrao's picture

My resolution is to learn how to make clothing that does not look "home-made". My favorite designer is Valori Wells!

EstateTailor said:
EstateTailor's picture

A 'reversible' apron? WOW!  what a great idea!

ChristyL said:
ChristyL's picture

great gift idea with the cooking utensils and cookbooks!

jovy.ann said:
jovy.ann's picture

Cute.  I might add another pocket, just because one can't have enough pockets.  I wonder how feasable it would be to add a side pocket, between the two layers. 

Pam S said:
Pam S's picture

What a delightful apron! The lively fabric makes it sing.

newsew11 said:
newsew11's picture

I've never like aprons that tie behind the neck (I find the knot uncomfortable).  This neck opening will be great for an apron I want to make my sister (I purchased the fabric last summer but hadn't settled on a design).  Thanks so much for this pattern!

corsetkitten said:
corsetkitten's picture

This is a fanb tutorial! Thanks for putting it online!

My 2013 sewing resolution is a 2-part resolution: 1) that I would like to become a better quilter--since I'm self taught and I'm only making miniature quilts (1:6) and I make a lot of it up as I go along and it's not always "right" and 2) that my goal for 2013 is to start  a Log Cabin quilt to use as a quilt on the couch (and for guests) in our home. It will be the first human size quilt I try to make.

You have fantastic designers and it's really quite difficult to pick just one.  If I had to though I would go with Jane A. Sassaman. Her designs seem to be so vibrant and alive! They jump out and make me want to use them! (a close second is Mark Cesarik -- his designs and colors are ace too!)

If you need to you can contact me by email (I'm registered with the site).

ssmullis said:
ssmullis's picture

ADORABLE apron! I really want to make one! My 2013 sewing resolution is to actually start machine quilting my own quilt tops. My favorite designer would have to be Jennifer Paganelli. Her fabrics are so full of joy! Thanks so much for this most awesome giveaway!

Rina said:
Rina's picture

I love reversable aprons!  It's like having two for the price of one and this one is just to cute not to make.

kplaposata said:
kplaposata's picture

If I hadn't just made a bunch of aprons for Christmas, I'd be right on this one.  Very nice.  I'll keep in mind for my next apron making event.  

Sandy A in St. Louis said:
Sandy A in St. Louis's picture

Adorable! I can see it made for mother/daughter matching aprons. Now, if I only had a daughter... :P

AlphaBecky said:
AlphaBecky's picture

What a charming pattern!!  I have resisted the apron craze, but this one may make me give in - I really like it!

Gale W. said:
Gale W.'s picture

These are so cute - I want to make my daughter one. :)

Mama Lusco said:
Mama Lusco's picture

I always wear an apron at home and this one will be a daily winner in my house! Thanks so much for the tutorial.  Beautiful new fabrics!

bec.nichols said:
bec.nichols's picture

How cute! I love these aprons!  I was just looking for a new apron pattern the other day!  Thanks for sharing!

Savannagal said:
Savannagal's picture

I totally love this. I can't cook a meal without spilling or splattering something on myself. It would be great to have several cute aprons to switch out during the week.

squigglytwigsdesigns said:
squigglytwigsdesigns's picture

This apron and it's details are beautiful.

sarahkate said:
sarahkate's picture

I love how full this apron is! Need to make this one for sure!

deede said:
deede's picture

I love this apron! This year, I plan on making time to make an apron for MYSELF instead of for a gift. This fabric would be the perfect fit for me, too; LOVE the colors/patterns!

KnittyWhit said:
KnittyWhit's picture

I like the tiny piping detail! And tsk, tsk, cheating on the binding... :)

Fawn B. said:
Fawn B.'s picture

This seems like a great gift for someone who loves the kitchen (or perhaps a housewarming present).

Heather81203 said:
Heather81203's picture

Great tutorial! I can't wait to get back to Texas! My dad has chickens and ducks and I would love to rock this awesome apron while getting eggs in the morning! Thanks!

MooMommy said:
MooMommy's picture

Cool fabric! At first I thought the bottom layer was very tightly gathered - looked like a lot of work; then I read the directions 

Kathyatemily said:
Kathyatemily's picture

This is a vey lovely apron.  Certainly too pretty to cook dinner in. 

GypsyThread said:
GypsyThread's picture

Reversible aprons are great. I might alter the pattern a bit and make the neck adjustable, perhaps with buttons... or snaps. Thanks!

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