We continue our marvelous Moda Winter Series with a week of fantastic pre-cut projects, starting with today's apron made entirely from fat quarters. We chose the brand new Wee Wovens Brights by Moda Fabrics. One side is a brushed cotton, the other side a crisp cotton. How cool is that?! We used the brushed side as our "right side" for this project, which is what gives the apron its soft, flannelly appeal. Designed in-house by Moda, Wee Wovens Brights is a gorgeous collection of nostalgic checks, plaids and stripes in beautiful color combinations.
The apron's ties adjust with grommets and knots to fit a variety of sizes. Just like off-the-rack aprons, ours is a one-size-fits-all design. For comparison, the bib finishes at 10" across, the waistband at 20", and the waist tie at about 40". There is a single long tie at the waist for an easy, wrap-cinch-and-knot style.
Our thanks to Moda Fabrics for sponsoring this month's series. We have over three weeks of projects and how-to tutorials to get you through the holidays and thinking about those 2013 sewing resolutions.
Wee Wovens Brights starts hitting virtual and in-store shelves this month at your local, participating Moda retailers. Check out some of our favorite vendors in the Sew4Home Marketplace. A quick call or email, and they'll let you know the arrival date of this adorable collection.
Sewing Tools You Need
Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8200 QC)
Fabric and Other Supplies
We used FIVE Fat Quarters for our apron. Traditionally, these measure 18" x 22", however, the Wee Wovens Brights brushed cottons ran just a bit smaller, approximately 18" x 21-21½". Our cuts are adjusted for this sizing. If you choose not to use Fat Quarters, you'll need ½ yard cuts from FIVE coordinating fabrics.
- We used the following FIVE prints from Wee Wovens Brights by Moda Fabrics:
Wee Bright Buffalo Plaid Aqua (12127-16) for the center skirt panel and bib front
Wee Bright Tiny Check Aqua (12127-18) for the two inside skirt panels
Wee Bright Plaid Grey Aqua (12127-11) for the two outside skirt panels
Wee Bright Tiny Check Grey (12127-12) for the ties
Wee Bright Tiny Plaid Red (12127-14) for the pocket and bib back
- ½ yard of 20" lightweight fusible interfacing for the bow; we used Shir-Tailor® by Pellon
- 2 yards of jumbo rick rack to coordinate with fabrics; we used red
- Three 1 - 1.1 cm metal grommets and a grommet tool; we used a Dritz Home Nickel Plated Grommet Kit
- One ⅜" grommet tool; your grommets may come with a tool - ours did not
- All purpose thread to coordinate with fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
- Square each fat quarter by tugging on the the opposite corners. Then press to hold the shape. When cutting, use the lines of the plaid and/or check as your guide.
- Find the fat quarter for the two outside skirt panels (Wee Bright Plaid Grey Aqua in our sample). Cut it in half so each half now measures approximately 10½" x 18".
- Find the fat quarter for the two inside skirt panels (Wee Bright Tiny Check Aqua in our sample). Cut it in half so each half now measures approximately 10½" x 18".
NOTE: There's no need to remove the selvedge from either fat quarter. It is very narrow and will be enclosed in the French seams used to form the skirt.
- Find the fat quarter for the center skirt panel and bib (Wee Bright Buffalo Plaid Aqua in our sample). This buffalo plaid is a one way plaid, so care must be taken to keep the direction consistent. Place the squared fabric on your cutting mat. Cut a panel 11" wide from one side, keeping the plaid as centered as possible. The remaining panel is the center skirt panel. From the 11" wide panel, fussy cut an 11" x 11" square for the bib.
- Find the fat quarter for the ties (Wee Bright Tiny Check Grey in our sample). From this fat quarter, cut the following:
ONE 2½" x 21" strip for waistband
TWO 4" x 21" strips for the waistband tie
TWO 3½" x 18" strips for the neck tie
- Find the fat quarter for the pocket, waistband back and bib back (Wee Bright Tiny Plaid Red in our sample). From this fat quarter, carefully cut the following (you will use nearly the entire piece):
FIRST CUT: ONE 2½" x 21" strip for the back of the waistband
ONE 11" x 11" square for the back of the bib
ONE 7" x 15" rectangle for the pocket
ONE 1½" x 5" strip for the hot pad loop
- From the interfacing, cut the following:
ONE 11" x 11" square
ONE 2½" x 21" strip
- Cut the rick rack into one 35" length and one 21" length.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
For our sample, we chose to use the brushed side of our cotton as the right side, giving our finished apron the soft look of flannel.
Assemble the skirt panels
- Find the five panels that make up the skirt. Arrange them as shown in the diagram above. For the purposes of the instructions below, we are referring the panels as shown, reading left to right: panel 1,2,3,4,5.
- Our apron skirt is not lined, but instead is finished with pretty French seams. If you are new to this technique, we have a step-by-step tutorial coming up tomorrow.
- Attach panel 1 and panel 2 with a French seam. As we mentioned, we have a tutorial coming up on this technique, but in summary, a French seam starts with the panels sewn wrong sides together.
- The seam is trimmed, then the panels are folded right sides together and stitched again.
- The result is a beautiful seam inside and out.
NOTE: The traditional garment French seam is based on a ⅝" seam allowance, with the first seam stitched at ⅜" and trimmed to ⅛" from the stitching (trimming off ¼"). The second seam is then stitched at ¼". Because we had such narrow panels, we instead chose to use a scant ¼" for the first stitching with no trimming, and a generous ¼" for the second stitching.
- Continue in this same manner to complete the skirt, stitching panel 1/2 to the center panel 3 with a French seam, panel 1/2/3 to panel 4, and panel 1/2/3/4 to panel 5.
- Finish the sides and bottom edge of the sewn skirt panel with a narrow ¼" double turn hem. To do this fold, the raw edge in ¼" and press, then turn under an additional ¼" and press again.
- Stitch in place staying close to the inside folded edge.
NOTE: For more information on this type of narrow hem and the steps to create a pretty corner, see our tutorial: ¼" Double-Turn Clean Finished Corners.
- Find the 7" x 15" pocket piece.
- Fold it in half, right sides together, so it is now 7" x 7½".
- Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch along both sides (the 7½" edges are the sides) and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. Leave an approximate 2"-3" opening along the bottom for turning. Clip corners. Press the seam.
- Turn the pocket right side out through the bottom opening. Push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. A chopstick or long knitting needle works well for this.
- Fold in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Press flat.
- Find the sewn and hemmed skirt panel. Place it right side up on your work surface.
- The pocket should be centered over the leftmost panel seam (panels 1 and 2) and 4" down from the top raw edge. Pin the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom.
- Edgestitch the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners and with a generous backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam, ie. at the pocket top. This is a stress point for the pocket and it's smart to secure the seam well.
- Find the 11 x 11 bib front, the 11 x 11 bib back, the 11 x 11 interfacing, and the 35" rick rack length.
- Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the bib front.
- Place the rick rack along both sides and across the top of the bib front. The rick rack goes on the right side of the bib and should be centered on the ½" seam line, ie. the center of the rick rack should be ½" from the raw edge. Pin in place.
- Machine baste the rick rack in place.
- Place the bib back right side together with the bib front, sandwiching the rick rack in between the layers. Pin in place along both sides and across the top.
- Stitch the two layers together, working with the bib front on top so you can stitch directly over the original rick rack machine basting stitch line.
- Turn the bib right side out through the open bottom edge. Gently push at the corners and press flat. Trim away any excess rick rack from the bottom edge.
Waistband and tie
- Find all the following pieces:
ONE 2½" x 21" strip for the front of the waistband
TWO 4" x 21" strips for the waistband tie
ONE 2½" x 21" strip for the back of the waistband
ONE 2½" x 21" strip of interfacing
ONE 21 length of rick rack
- Following manufacturer's instructions fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the waistband front piece.
- Place this fused piece right side up on your work surface.
- Place the apron bib right side down on the waistband, centering the bib side to side on the waistband. Pin in place.
- Find the waistband back piece. Press under one long edge (one 21" edge) ½".
- Place the back piece right sides together with the front piece, aligning the 21" raw edges and sandwiching the bib between the layers. Pin in place.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch from one end of the waistband to the other through all the layers.
- Flip to the front; press the front of the waistband down and the back of the waistband up (the back will now be behind the bib).
- Pin the rick rack across the lower raw edge of the front waistband piece. As above, the rick rack should be centered on the ½" seam line.
- Center the rick rack side to side then fold back each end onto itself ½". Pin in place.
- Machine baste the rick rack in place. Add a dab of seam sealant on the raw folded-back ends of the rick rack.
- Find the two 4" x 21" waist band tie strips. Pin them together end to end, and then stitch them together, using a ½" seam allowance, to create one long tie.
- Place the apron bib right side up on your work surface. Unfold the the ½" folded hem of the back of the waistband a bit just at the left end.
- Place one end of the tie right sides together with this end of the waistband. Pin in place.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, sew this short vertical seam. Press flat.
Make the hot pad loop
- Find the 1½" x 5" strip for the hot pad loop.
- Fold the loop piece in half wrong sides together so it is now ¾" x 5" and press.
- Open it back up, wrong side up, so the center crease is visible. Fold in each long side to meet in the middle along the center crease. Press. Fold in half along the original crease line so the folded edges align and press again. Pin in place.
- Edgestitch along the folded edges to secure. Both ends are raw.
- Fold this thin loop in half, aligning the raw edges.
- Place the loop on top of the stitched-in-place rick rack. The raw ends of the folded loop should be flush with the raw bottom edge of the waistband. We placed ours just inside the right edge of the apron bib. Hand or machine baste the loop in place within the seam allowance.
Assemble the bib to the skirt with the waistband tie
- Find the skirt panel.
- Run a gathering stitch along the top of the skirt. To do this, stitch one or two lines of machine basting within th ½" seam allowance. Do not lock the beginning or end of the seam.
NOTE: If you are new to gathering, take a look at our tutorial: How to Make Gathers by Machine.
- Pull the row(s) of machine basting to gather the skirt to approximately 20". Adjust the gathers so they fall evenly.
- Place the waistband/bib right sides together with the gathered skirt panel. You are aligning bottom raw edge of the waistband front (the piece to which you basted the rick rack and loop) and the top gathered edge of the skirt. The waistband should be centered on the skirt so there is ½" free on both ends of the waistband; in other words, ½" extending beyond the gathered top of the skirt. Make sure the back of the waistband is folded up and out of the way. Pin in place.
- Stitch in place with the waistband on top so your new seam can follow the original rick rick machine basting stitch line.
- Fold the waistband and bib up into position and press well, pressing the seam allowance up toward the waistband. Your rick rack and loop now show along the bottom edge.
- You waistband tie is still one long flat piece hanging off the left side of the waistband. Let's finish it! Fold the tie right sides together, aligning the two long raw edges. Pin in place across the end and along the side.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch across the end at a 45˚ angle.
- Pivot and continue stitching all along the side, ending and locking your stitch in line with the skirt's side hem.
- Trim the end of the tie.
- Turn right side out through the opening at the waistband end of the tie. Press flat.
- At the right end of the waistband, you should still have ½" of raw front and back waistband fabric extending beyond the skirt panel. Fold the waistband front and back right sides together, aligning just this short ½" tab.
- Pin and then stitch in place with a ½" seam allowance, which means your seam should be directly in line with the skirt's side hem.
- Turn the waistband right side out and back down into its final position so its long folded edge is covering the skirt's top seam.
- Edgestitch in place through all the layers from the top of the waistband.
- Edgestitch around ALL four sides of the waistband: the long top and bottom edges as well as both short ends.
Neck ties and grommets
- Find the two 3½" x 18" strips for the neck tie
- Place the two strips end to end, right sides together. Pin in place and then stitch together, using a ¼" seam allowance, to make one continuous length.
- Fold the strip in half lengthwise, right sides together. Pin in place along both ends and along the side, leaving a 3" opening for turning on the side.
- Using a ¼" seam allowance, create a 45˚ angle on both ends as you did with the waist tie above. Pivot and stitch along the side, remembering to lock your seam at either side of the 3" opening.
- Trim the corners and turn the tie right side out through the opening. Poke out the corner points so they are nice and sharp, a long knitting needle or chopstick works well for this.
- Press flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Hand stitch this opening closed.
- Following manufacturer's instructions, add grommets to the bib and waistband. The placement for the grommets for the bib is 1" from each side at the upper corners of the bib. 1" from the center of the grommet's hole to the edge of the bib.
- The position for the waistband grommet is 1" from the end.
- Thread one tie end through each of the two bib grommets to make the neck loop.
- Holding the ties in place, slip the loop over your head and adjust the tie ends until the bib hits comfortably against your chest but is still loose enough that it can be pulled off over your head.
- When you have it just the way you want it, tie a knot in each end to secure.
- The waist tie is secured in a similar manner. Wrap the tie around your waist to a comfortable fit. Slip the tie's end through the waistband grommet and make a "sloppy knot" or one-loop bow to secure.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Michele Mishler