For our final day of Janome Week, we took all the techniques we've experimented with and pulled them together into one, fun project: our Everything Apron. It features embroidery, decorating stitching and quilting. We're using the brand new Memory Craft 9900 sewing and embroidery machine. The slogan for this machine is: As Unique As You! And we can certainly understand why. It gives you everything you need to take your creative expression in any direction you can imagine: from sewing to embroidery and beyond. It's a great machine to take on everything for our Everything Apron. The base design of the apron comes from the Vintage Modern Pleated Apron featured in last Spring's Kitchen Confections Series. We added pretty new embellishments to give it a whole new look.
We did a thorough review of the Janome Memory Craft 9900 when it debuted on the first of March. The machine is in-stock and available at participating Janome dealers around the US and the world. Contact your local dealer to find out more. This is a machine you really need to stitch with in person to get a true feeling for all it offers.
Our fave features: the quick change needle plate, easy-threading bobbin, and awesome new built-in designs and decorative stitches. Plus, you can change out the face plate. This doesn't necessarily alter the functionality of the machine, but it is fun to switch it out to match your mood: red, teal or white plates come standard... I like to think of them as fired-up-creative red, calm-cool-and-collected-teal, and clean-slate-white. There are more optional colors coming soon.
Even you're ready for even more sewing, embroidery and quilting flexibility; take a tour of the amazing top-of-the-line Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000. It's a machine so well designed and built, it feels like an extension of your own two hands.
As with store-bought aprons, our design is meant to be one-size-fits-all. However, we realize you may still wish to make yours smaller or larger. As a reference, the waistband of this apron is approximately 30" wide, the ties are each approximately 33" long, the skirt length is 19", and the bib is about 10½" at its widest point (along the bottom) and 10" high.
Sewing Tools You Need
Fabric and Other Supplies
- 1½ yards of 44-45" wide cotton fabric for the apron bib, ties, skirt border and pocket borders; we used Bella Solids by Moda in Porcelain
- 1½ yards of 44-45" wide cotton fabric for the apron upper bib, main skirt and main pockets; we used Hello Daisy in Blue by Riley Blake Designs
- ONE package of medium rick rack; we used Wrights ½" medium poly rick rack in white
- Tearaway stabilizer
- All purpose thread to coordinate with fabrics
- Embroidery thread colors to match your design
- Bobbin thread
- See-through ruler
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Straight pins
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Download and print the TWO patterns: Apron Bib 1 and Apron Bib 2
IMPORTANT: Each pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a rule on each page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
- Cut out each pattern along the solid line.
- From the fabric for the apron bib, ties and borders (Moda Porcelain in our sample), cut the following:
ONE 8" x Width of Fabric (WOF) strip for the bottom border
ONE 9" x 16" rectangle for the upper bib
TWO 9" x 8" rectangles for the pocket cuffs
NOTE: The above three pieces are cut oversize to allow for embroidery hooping.
SIX 2½ x 31" strips for the waistband and waist ties
FOUR 2½" x 24" strips for the neck ties
ONE 18" x 37" panel for the skirt lining
Using Apron Bib Part 2, cut ONE on the fold for the bib lining
- From the fabric for the apron upper bib, skirt and pockets (Riley Blake Hello Sunshine in our sample), cut the following:
ONE 15" x 37" panel for the skirt
FOUR 6" x 7" rectangles for the pockets
Using Apron Bib Part 1, cut THREE on the fold
At Your Sewing/Embroidery Machine & Ironing Board
Embroider all appropriate pieces
- Find the 9" by 16" rectangle of Porcelain.
- Select the appropriate hoop for your design. We used the MC9900 RE20 hoop.
- Hoop the fabric (oriented horizontally) with two layers of tearaway stabilizer.
NOTE: Our selected embroidery design is quite dense, which requires multiple layers of stabilizer for the best results.
- Attach the hoop to the machine and select built-in Design 3 for the RE20 hoop. This is one of the exclusive Jane Spolar Designs.
NOTE: If you wish to substitute an alternate design, it should measure approximately 5" x 4¾" or smaller.
- Press the Edit icon.
- Reduce the size to 80%. Press OK.
- Press OK again to take the design to the main screen.
- Embroider the design following the suggested colors.
- When the embroidery is complete, remove the hoop from the machine.
- Remove the fabric from the hoop and carefully remove the excess stabilizer from the embroidery design.
- Using the cut bib lining as your pattern (cut using Apron Bib Part 2), trim the embroidered panel to the same shape.
- You will be able to see the embroidered design through the lining fabric, which will allow you to keep the design centered.
- Find the 8" strip for the embroidered border. Mark the strip for SIX embroidery designs, spaced 6" apart and 4" from one long side.
- Select your design and the hoop appropriate for that design. We used built in Design 18, another Jane Spolar design, for the SQ14 hoop
- Hoop the fabric with two layers of tearaway stabilizer, centering the first marking at the right hand end of the strip.
- Attach the hoop to the machine.
- On the screen, select built-in Design 18 for the SQ14 hoop. Press the Edit icon.
- Reduce the size to 85%. Press OK.
- Press OK again to take the design to the main screen. Adjust the needle position if necessary.
- Embroider the design, matching the thread color of the scroll to the thread color of the scrolls in the embroidery design used for the bib. We used Janome polyester thread #240. Match the color of the leaves to the color of the leaves in the embroidery design used for the bib. We used Janome polyester thread #206.
NOTE: See how easy it is to create coordinating designs just by coordinating the colors?!
- Remove the fabric strip from the hoop and carefully remove the excess stabilizer from the embroidery design.
- Repeat the steps for the next TWO marked positions.
- After the third embroidery design, press the Edit icon. Select Mirror Image and flip the design horizontally. Press OK.
- Press OK again to return to the main screen.
- Embroider the remaining three designs following the previous steps.
NOTE: As you work from right to left, roll the excess fabric to keep it out of the way.
- When all the embroidery is complete, press the strip from the wrong side. Trim the strip down to a width of 4" and a length of 37", carefully centering the embroidered designs.
- Find the remaining 9" x 8" Porcelain pieces. These should each be embroidered with a matching scroll design, following the same method described above. Flip one of the designs so the scrolls are mirror images of one another on the pockets.
- When the embroidery is complete, cut down each panels to 3" x 7", creating the finished pocket cuff pieces.
Quilting the pockets and upper bib
- Find the four 6" x 7" pocket rectangles. Layer the pockets as pairs, with both pieces facing right side up.
- Fold (3" x 7") and finger press each pair to find and mark the center.
- We did our lines of quilting with the Janome Border Guide foot to make our evenly-spaced parallel lines. You could also use a Walking foot with a quilt guide bar or draw in lines and follow along the drawn lines with your regular presser foot - just make sure the lines are done with a fabric pen/pencil that easily wipes away.
- Attach the Border Guide foot to the machine. Select Straight Stitch 1.
- Sew the first line of stitching along the center crease.
- Sew the second line of stitching using the marked line to the left side of the foot as the guide.
- Continue spacing the lines, using the previous line of stitching to guide the foot. This will complete the quilting to the right of the center line.
- Turn the pocket 180°. Continue in the same manner with the same spacing to stitch the quilting lines on the opposide half of the pocket.
- Quilt the second pocket in the same manner.
- Quilt the fabric for Apron Bib Part 1 in the same manner as well, using two of the three cut upper bib pieces (the third piece will be the lining).
Construct the pockets
- Cut TWO 7" lengths of rick rack.
- Center a length of rick rack ½" from the the top raw edge of one quilted pocket panel. Baste in place down the center of the rick rack, which should be a ½" seam allowance.
- Repeat for the second pocket.
- Place one embroidered cuff right sides together with one pocket, sandwiching the rick rack between the layers.
- Stitch the layers together, sewing with the quilted pocket panel facing up so you can follow along in the rick rack basting seam.
- Press the seam allowance up toward the cuff.
- Repeat for the second pocket.
- Find the two 7" x 8" pocket lining pieces. Place a finished pocket front right sides together with a lining piece and pin in place, leaving a 3" opening along the bottom for turning.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around all four sides of each pocket, remembering to pivot at each corner and to lock the seam on either side of the 3" opening left for turning.
- Trim the corners and turn each pocket right side out. Gently poke out the corners so they are nice and square. Use a long, blunt-end tool, such as a knitting needle or chopstick. Press flat, folding in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Set the pockets aside.
NOTE: The remaining steps follow the original apron instructions, therefore photos have been kept at a minimum. You can always refer to the original instructions for additional step-by-step images if need be.
Darts in the lower bib
- Find the embroidered lower bib and the lower bib in the lining fabric.
- Following the marked lines from the pattern, mark and sew the two darts along the sides of each piece.
- Press the darts toward the bib center.
- If you are new to making darts, see our easy, step-by-step tutorial.
Assemble the bib
- Place the quilted upper bib right sides together with the embroidered lower bib , aligning the bottom edge of the upper bib with the upper edge of the lower bib. Pin in place
- Stitch the two pieces together, using a ½" seam allowance.
- Press the seam allowance towards the upper bib.
- Find the upper bib lining (Hello Sunshine in our sample) and the lower bib lining (Bella Solids Porcelain-with the two darts sewn in place).
- Place the two bib sections right sides together as above. Pin in place.
- Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance. Press the seam open.
Prepare the ties with decorative stitching
- Find THREE of the 2½ x 31" waistband/waist tie strips and TWO of the 2½" x 24" neck tie strips.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the three 31" strips together end to end to create one long length.
- Set up the machine with embroidery thread and bobbin thread.
- Cut strips of tearaway stabilizer to match the length of the fabric strips. The stabilizer doesn't have to be continuous; you can butt together shorter strips. You simply want to have stabilizer in place along the entire length of your stitching.
- Place a fabric strip over corresponding strip(s) of stabilizer
- We used our Janome Border Guide foot again to center our lines of decorative stitching. You could also use a drawn line.
- We selected Decorative Stitch #11 on the Janome MC9900.
- Sew a continuous line of decorative stitching on each of the two neck tie strips and the one waistband/ties strip.
- Gently tear away the excess stabilizer.
- Find the remaining three 2½ x 31" waistband/waist tie strips and stitch them together end to end to create a matching lining strip for your decorative-stitched strip.
Make and attach the neck ties and finish the bib
- Find the remaining 2½" x 24" neck tie strips. These are the neck tie lining pieces.
- Place a lining strip right sides together with each decorative-stitched strip. Pin in place.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across one end. Leave the opposite end open for turning. Remember to pivot at the corners.
- Trim the corners.
- Turn right sides out, and press flat, gently poking out the corners so they are nice right angles.
NOTE: Even though these aren't super tiny ties, you might want to check out our tutorial for an easy way to Turn and Press Tiny Tubes.
- Place the exterior apron bib right side up on your work surface. Pin the raw open end of each tie to the upper edge of the apron bib, placing the ties ½" in from each side edge.
- Layer the front bib and lining bib right sides together, sandwiching the ties in between the layers. Pin along both sides and across the top; leave the bottom open for turning.
- Stitch the front and lining layers together, using a ½" seam allowance. Remember to pivot at the corners.
- Trim the corners at an angle.
- Turn right side out, push out the top corners and pull up the ties.
- Press well.
- Find the 15" x 37" skirt panel and the embroidered skirt border.
- Place the border right sides together with the bottom of the skirt panel. Pin in place.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the border to the skirt panel
- Press flat, pressing the seam allowance down towards the border panel.
- Cut a 37" length of rick rack.
- Pin the rick rack to the bottom raw edge of the embroidered skirt panel. Center the rick rack on the ½" seam line (on other words, the center of the rick rack should be ½" from the bottom raw edge of the skirt panel). Pin in place.
- Fold over the starting end of the rick rack so it sits ½" in from the side edge of the fabric.
NOTE: You fold the rick rack over rather than under because the trim is designed to drop down to become the bottom edge of the apron. When this happens your "fold over" changes position and the raw edge will be secured and facing to the back.
- Baste the rick rack in place, using a ½" seam allowance.
- When you come to the opposite end of the apron skirt, the rick rack may have shifted slightly. If necessary, unpin the end of the rick rack and fold over the end so it is ½" from this opposite raw edge. Trim the rick rack if needed.
- Find the finished pockets. Fold the apron skirt in half and finger press to mark the center point.
- Position the pockets on the apron skirt. The pockets are 4" from the upper raw edge of the skirt. The inside edge of each pocket is 5" from the center line of the skirt (in other words, 10" apart). Pin the pockets in place along the sides and bottom.
- Edgestitch the pockets in place. We used the off white thread to edgestitch our entire pocket. You could also take the time to switch your thread colors to make sure the upper thread is an exact match to the pocket cuff and then to the pocket bottom.
- Stitch along the sides and across the bottom. Leave the upper edge of the pocket open. This stitching closes the opening left for turning in the bottom of each pocket.
- Find the 18" x 37" skirt lining (Bella Solids Porcelain in our sample).
- Place the skirt lining and skirt exterior right sides together, sandwiching the pockets in between the layers. Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom.
- Sew the apron skirt to the matching lining with a ½" seam along the sides and across the bottom. Remember to pivot at the corners. Sew with the exterior fabric facing up so you can carefully follow the previous rick rack seam line as your guide along this bottom edge.
- Trim the corners and turn the skirt right sides out. Press.
- Create a group of three knife pleats at each side of center along the upper edge (both layers) of the apron skirt. The pleats are spaced 1" apart and each set starts 3" from the center front. Pin in place.
NOTE: If you are new to creating pleats, take a look at our tutorial: How to Make Knife Pleats.
Attach waistband and waist ties
- Find the two long waistband/tie strips: the one embroidered length and the one plain length.
- Place these two long strips right sides together, lining up all raw edges and the center seams.
- Using your see-through ruler and fabric pencil, measure and mark the openings needed in the waistband to insert the apron bib and the apron skirt. Measure and mark carefully to insure the openings are centered. You need a 10½" opening along the top of the waistband and a 30" opening along the bottom of the waist band.
- Stitch the two waistband/tie pieces together, using a ½" seam allowance. Start at the bottom opening, stitch down one side, pivot at the corner, stitch across the end, pivot at the corner, and stitch along the remaining long side to the top opening.
- Remove from machine. Move to the other end of the top opening. Start stitching again, down one side, pivot at the corner, stitch across the end, pivot at the corner, and stitch along the remaining long side to the bottom opening.
- Turn right side out through the middle openings. Press. You might need to reach in to the corner points with a blunt-edged tool, like a large knitting needle, to help push out the seam and make a nice point at all corners.
- Make sure you press the raw edges of the openings so these edges (top and bottom) are flush with the sewn edges.
- Edgestitch along your finished seams, pivoting at all corners, but still leaving the top and bottom openings free and clear.
Attach skirt and bib to waistband
- Find the completed skirt.
- Insert the skirt into the bottom opening (the 30" opening) of the waistband. Pin in place.
- Find the completed bib.
- Insert the bib into the top opening (the 10½" opening) of the waistband. Pin in place.
- Edgestitch along both openings, catching all the layers and securing the bib and skirt in place. Be careful that your new edgestitching matches the existing edgestitching on the waistband/ties piece.
- Press well.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Michele Mishler