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Haunted Halloween: Wicked Apron

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It's Halloween season and costume shops have popped up in all sorts of unusual places. We have one in a store front that previously housed a carpet and linoleum company. Everything smells like glue. They have all sizes and shapes of costumes for kids, and there seems to be endless options for buying and making kiddie costumes online. But... what about the grown-ups? If you don't want to be a glamourous vampire, a hot nurse, or Fred Flintstone, you're kinda out of luck. Sometimes, you don't want to get all decked out; you just want a little something fun to wear to go out trick-or-treating with the kids or to answer the door for the ghosts and ghouls. We think our Wicked Apron is the perfect choice. It's fun to make from pre-cuts, and with the faux front lacing, you'll be the most stylish wicked witch on the block.

This project isn't really difficult, but it does take some concentration to keep track of what is front, back, right and left. Kind of like learning to square dance, only without all the crinoline.

All our 2010 Haunted Halloween projects are made from pre-cuts, we used Haunted Mansion by Sanae for Moda Fabrics. We list the actual pieces we used in the instructions below.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • SIX Fat Quarters; if you are not using pre-cut Fat Quarters, you will need six pieces of fabric 18" x 22"
  • FOUR Layer Cake Squares; if you are not using pre-cut Layer Cake Squares, you will need four pieces of fabric 10" x 10"
  • SIX Jelly Roll Strips; if you are not using pre-cut Jelly Rolls, you will need eight strips of fabric 2½" x 44"
  • 1½ yards of 5/8" plain grosgrain ribbon: we used black
  • All-purpose thread in color to match with fabric: we used dark gray
  • See-through ruler
  • Seam gauge
  • Fabric pencil, pen or chalk
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins
  • 1 skein of embroidery floss to contrast with fabric: we used black
  • Large-eye hand sewing needle

Getting Started

  1. Download and print the Wicked Apron Bib/Lining Pattern.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern consists of FOUR 8½" x 11" sheets. You must print this PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Butt the pages together in order to create the full pattern. Do NOT overlap. Tape together.
  3. Cut out the pattern along the solid line.
  4. From THREE of the Fat Quarters (or the 18" x 22" pieces of fabric), you need to cut four pieces for the apron bib and two pockets. We used Purple Wallpaper for the sides of the apron front and the pockets, Green Campfire for the center of the Apron front, and Green/Purple Spider Stripe for the apron bib lining.
  5. Fold the Lining Fat Quarter (Green/Purple Spider Stripe in our sample) in half (18" x 11"). Using the entire paper pattern piece, cut one lining piece on the fold. It will just fit across the folded piece edge to edge.
    Diagram
  6. Cut the paper pattern piece along the vertical line as directed on the pattern.
  7. Fold the Side Front/Pocket Fat Quarter (Purple Wallpaper in our sample) in half (18" x 11"). Using the larger Apron Bib paper pattern, cut two bib pieces. You need to mark and cut an extra ½" beyond the long straight side for the seam allowance. From the leftover fabric cut two 6" x 7" rectangles for the pockets.
    Diagram
  8. Fold the Middle Front Fat Quarter (Green Campfire in our sample) in half (18" x 11"). Using the smaller rectangular paper pattern, cut one center piece on the fold. You need to mark and cut an extra ½" beyond the long side opposite the fold for the seam allowance.
    Diagram
  9. Transfer all pattern markings to your fabric.
  10. Cut the grosgrain ribbon into 6 pieces, each 9" long.
  11. From the remaining THREE Fat Quarters (or the 18" x 22" pieces of fabric), leave the piece you want for the center panel uncut. We used Purple Forest, running the trees horizontally for a 22" high x 18" wide panel. We figured it was a spooky forest that had fallen down. Cut the other two Fat Quarters in half to create 22" high x 9" wide rectangles. We used Green Wallpaper and Orange Campfire. Both of these are running horizontally as well to create the panel shape we need for a proper skirt length.
  12. The SIX Jelly Roll strips (or 2½" x 44" strips of fabric) remain uncut.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Flounce

    1. We used four Haunted Mansion Layer Cake Squares: Purple Campfire, Orange Spider Web, Green Dots and Black/Purple Dots.
    2. Pick two pairs and place them right sides together. We paired Purple Campfire with Black/Purple Dots and Orange Spider Web with Green Dots.
    3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around all four sides of both pairs.
    4. Using your ruler, and a rotary cutter if possible, cut diagonally across each sewn square, from the corner of your seam line starting/stopping point to the opposite corner. Trim the opposite two corners.
      Click to Enlarge
    5. You now have four triangles. Turn them right side out. Use a blunt edged tool, like a knitting needle, to push out the the bottom point. You want it to be nice and sharp. Press flat. Don't trim off those little 'ears' in the open corners yet.
      NOTE: Yes... you did cut through your seam. Not to worry, we'll secure it again when we attach the flounce.
    6. Overlap the four triangles, matching up the little 'ears' and pin in place.
      Click to Enlarge
    7. Create two lines of gathering stitches along the top of the overlapped flounce. To do this, stitch two lines of machine basting along the entire top edges, through all the layers. Do not back-tack at either end. One line should be approximately 1/8" from the upper edge. The second line should be approximately 3/8" from the upper edge.
      NOTE: If you are new to gathering, take a look at our tutorial:

  • Set flounce aside.

Neck and waist ties

  1. Find your SIX Jelly Roll strips (or your 2½" x 44" strips of fabric). We used TWO strips of Orange Campfire for the neck ties, plus TWO strips of Purple Campfire and TWO strips of Green Campfire for the waist ties.
  2. Mix and match the strips for the waist ties so you have different colors on the front and back of the ties. We used green for the back and purple for the front.
  3. Pin the waist tie pairs right sides together, matching all the edges.
  4. Make two marks: one 1" in from the top left corner and the other 8" in from the bottom left corner. These are the starting and stopping points for your stitch line. Using a ½" seam allowance, start stitching 1" in, go along the top, pivot and stitch down the short end, pivot again and stitch along the bottom, stopping at the 8" mark.
    Diagram
  5. Turn right side out and press flat. Remember to poke out the corners so they are nice and sharp.
  6. Fold in and press the raw edges ½" so they are flush with the sewn seam. This opening along the bottom of the ties will be used to insert the apron's skirt.
  7. Repeat to create the second tie, but remember... it needs to be a mirror image of the first tie. Mark the dots 1" in from the top right corner and 8" in from the bottom right corner.
  8. For the neck ties, fold each of the two orange jelly roll strips in half (2½" x 22"), right sides together, and sew both long sides together with a ½"seam. We finished our seams with a serger but you could use a machine sewn finish or leave them raw.
  9. Turn right side out through the open end and press flat.
    Click to Enlarge
    NOTE: For fast turning of narrow tube, check out our tutorial: Quick Tip: Tiny Tube Turning With A Hemostat.
  10. Set all your ties aside.

Apron front with faux lacing

  1. Find your six pieces of ribbon.
  2. Find the three fabric pieces for the front of the apron: two side pieces and the middle rectangle.
  3. Press the middle rectangle so it's nice and flat.
  4. Lightly draw a line ½" in from all sides to indicate the seam allowance.
    Click to Enlarge
  5. Arrange the six ribbon pieces in a criss-cross pattern as shown in the photo below. Play with the spacing until you are satisfied with the balance of your look. Remember, you won't see anything beyond the seam allowance line.
    Click to Enlarge
  6. Stitch down both sides, following your drawn lines, to secure the ribbons. Trim off the excess ribbon close to the seam (but don't trim any of the fabric).
  7. Pin one apron front side piece to each side of the middle piece, matching the long straight raw edges.
  8. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the layers together with the middle panel on top. That way you can easily see and follow along on your previous stitching line (the stitching line you made to secure the ribbons).
  9. Place the finished apron front and the lining, right sides together.
  10. Pin from the top edge along the curved arm hole, stopping at the marked dot (this is the dot shown on the paper pattern; you should have transferred this dot from the pattern to your apron front and lining fabric pieces). Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch from the top edge to the dot, back-tacking at start of your seam and at the dot.
  11. Slip the raw ends of the neck ties between the apron front and lining. Slide them up to and a little past the top edge and butt them right up against the stitch line on each side. Pin the ties in place.
  12. Using a ½" seam allowance, sew across the top edge, closing the top and securing the ties.
    Click to Enlarge
  13. Clip the top corners and the curved seam allowances.
  14. Fold back the lining from the bottom edge of the apron front, revealing the right sides of both the front and the lining. Pin the neck ties out of the way.
    Click to Enlarge
  15. Find the two waist ties. Open up the unsewn ends. Match the raw edge of what will be the FRONT side of your tie (the purple side in our sample) with the 'tab' on the bottom front of the panel, right sides together. Pin and then stitch together with a short vertical seam, using a ½" seam allowance. Repeat to attach the front of the opposite tie to the apron front.
    Click to Enlarge
  16. Repeat to stitch the end of the BACK side (the green side in our sample) of the ties to the bottom 'tabs' of the lining.
    Click to Enlarge
  17. Fold the apron front and lining back together (right sides together), and carefully continue your ½" seam from the dot on curved side to the top of the waist seam.
    Click to Enlarge
  18. When you turn everything right side out, your seams will come together into a nice, neat intersection.
    Click to Enlarge

Attach the flounce

  1. The final step in creating the apron top is to attach the flounce to the bottom front of the apron.
  2. Pull the basting threads to gather the flounce to fit the the width of the apron top - from tie seam to tie seam.
  3. Align the raw edges of the flounce with the raw edge of the apron front. Make sure you pull the lining out of the way; you only sew the flounce to the front, not to the lining. The flounce triangles are pointing up and the tips will extend just behind the tie seams. Pin well, and then stitch across the entire flounce, using a ½" seam allowance.
    Click to Enlarge
  4. When you press the flounce down, its ½" seam allowance should line up perfectly with the the bottom of the tie.
    Click to Enlarge
  5. However, on the lining side, you'll need to fold up and press the bottom raw edge ½" so that it too is flush with the bottom of the tie.
    Click to Enlarge
  6. Set the apron top aside.

The skirt

  1. Find the five pieces that make up the skirt: one full Fat Quarter for the middle, and two half Fat Quarters for each side. Also find the two 6" x 7" pocket pieces.
  2. To create the pockets, turn under the top edge ¼" and press, turn another ¾", press again, then stitch in place close to the fold. Turn in the remaining three raw edges ¼" and press.
    Click to Enlarge
  3. Repeat for the second pocket. Set both pockets aside.
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the skirt panels together along the 22" sides. We stitched ours in the following order: Orange Campfire half, Green Wallpaper half, Purple Forest full, Orange Campfire half, Green Wallpaper half.
  5. We did a nice finish on all our seam allowances because they will show on the back of the skirt.
  6. Make a narrow double fold hem along both sides and all along the bottom of the skirt. To do this, fold in the raw edges ¼" and press, then fold in another ¼", press again, and stitch close to the folded edge to secure.
    NOTE: If you are new to hemming, we have a good step-by-step tutorial: How To Make A Simple Hem.
  7. Place your pockets on the front of the finished skirt at an angle across the outside seams. Rotate the pocket so the top opening of each is facing its outside edge. This will make it easy to slip your hands in the pockets. Pin in place.
    Click to Enlarge
  8. Edgestitch the pockets in place along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners.
  9. Thread a large-eye hand sewing needle with embroidery floss.
  10. Hand-stitch large "Xs" along both sides and across the bottom so the pocket looks like a hobo patch.
    Click to Enlarge
  11. Create two lines of gathering stitches along the top of the skirt. To do this, stitch two lines of machine basting along the entire top edge. Do not back-tack at either end. One line should be approximately 1/8" from the upper edge. The second line should be approximately 3/8" from the upper edge.
  12. Gather the top of the skirt to approximately 28". Adjust the gathers so they fall evenly side to side. Fold the skirt in half to find the middle, and place a pin at the center point.
    Click to Enlarge
  13. Insert the skirt into the bottom of the apron front/ties unit, matching the center point pin on the skirt to the center point of the apron's faux lacing center panel. You should also be able to line up the panel seams with the tie seams.
    Click to Enlarge
  14. Pin in place and stitch close to the fold, through all layers, across the entire apron front and the ties... from tie end to tie end. This closes the tie opening, secures the skirt in place, and attaches the lining to the front all in one seam.
    Click to Enlarge

Contributors
Project Design: Alicia Thommas 
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever

Other machines suitable for this project include the Bernina artista 635 Limited Edition and the Elna 5200.

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Comments (13)

Sewing is my thing said:
Sewing is my thing 's picture

 i love your ideas they are sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cute im going to make it!

Amy H. said:
Amy H.'s picture

I am thinking of using this pattern and doing renaisance style. I will let you know how it turns out.

 

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

@ Mary clark - as with storebought aprons, ours are designed as a "one-size-fits-all" - probably the best way to decide is to look at the size of the bib and the length of the ties. The bib is 10.5" at its narrowest part at the top and 18" at the base; each tie is 41" from the edge of the bib base to the end, the skirt is 20" from waist to hem. Our model is about a size 8. Hope that helps. 

Mary Clark said:
Mary Clark's picture

I have made 3 and have to make another  for another daughter   .   The Girls  love this pattern   Thank you very much    you made our  holloween   

Mary Clark said:
Mary Clark's picture

Thanks    yes it did help  lots    as I am a  size 18-20  I will enlarge it      

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi julialensi -- the pattern is correct. Odd things can happen when we "chop" a pattern to allow it to print on sequential 8.5" x 11" printer sheets. In this case, it left just a bit of the curve on page two. When you butt the pages together, you'll see how it works. Remember, as I mention above, butt together - do not overlap. If it helps you, when everything is taped together, you can connect the cut lines from piece to piece to make the cutting easier.
julialensi said:
julialensi's picture
beautiful pattern.... but, i can't see any pattern on page 2 of the pdf except a small curve on the bottom of the page....am I missing something? It looks fine with pages 1, 3 and 4. can't wait to make.... love halloween....thank you.
Erika said:
Erika's picture
Matches my witches hat perfectly - will definitely need one for answering the door this year! Thanks!
kath said:
kath's picture
What a fun apron to make and wear! Will start this one after my "think pink" apron for sure! Thanks for sharing
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi Lora, we're so glad you found us. This is an awesome apron, if we must so say ourselves. It would be equally cute made from non-Halloween pre-cuts.
Lora said:
Lora's picture
ADORABLE!!!! I just found your site this past weekend when looking for ways to doll up tea towels and I am in love with all of your projects. I may just have to make this apron... TOO CUTE!!!

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