This apron is SO easy and will look like it took a lot of time. It is also the base for a cute retro style apron. I got this pattern and measurements from Whitney Sews on YouTube. Her apron looks far more professional than mine but I like using ribbon. If my instructions aren't very clear (and my lack of photos may not help that situation) please watched Whitney's video. She's very good at explaining it simply!
I like having the option to add the top part for a Retro Style Apron.
What you need
15" x 22" fabric (this will be the front piece)
17" x 31" fabric (this will be back piece) - if you want lining you will need an extra piece.
2x 4.5" x 15" fabric - this is the front and back of the waist (if you like you can use interfacing and iron on - same measurements)
2x 9.5" x 30" pieces of fabric OR ribbed ribbon long enough to tie around you.
Sewing machning, scissors, pins, measuring tap, iron, thread (preferably a separate matching color for the ribbon or fabrics)
Taking the 15" x 22" fabric, iron a 1/4" seam around the two short sides and one long side.
Repeat again so you have a double fold.
Sew along the seams.
Repeat step with the 17" x 31" fabric.
Place 17" x 31" fabric pattern side up and place the 15" x 22" fabric on top, patter side up and make sure the raw edges meet.
Pin into place.
Using a long stitch sew two lines along the top edge. Do not back stitch. Make sure you have long pieces of thread on either side for pulling. If you have a thick or heavy duty thread that will work well for this step.
Grab hold of the thread from the two top side threads.
Gently pull and keep pushing down the material so it bunches.
Repeat on the other side until both sides are bunched.
Move the pleats around so the length of the waist reaches 14".
Once in the desired place sew another line of regular stitching across to hold the pleats in place.
Follow directions for EITHER Ribbon Tie or Material Tie.
Ribbon Tie - Take both of the 4.5" x 15" fabric pieces and fold down the center with the pattern facing in. Sew along the long edge. Cut off the extra. Flip inside out so the pattern is facing out and iron flat.
Apologies for the confusing different fabric - I forgot to take pictures on this project.
Sew the two waist pieces on the front and back of the skirt, tucking in and sewing down the ends.
Place your ribbon directly in the middle and pin into place. Using the same color thread sew down the two long edges of the ribbon to connect it to the skirt. Sew the ends of the ribbon to prevent fraying. And you're done!
Material Tie - Place on of the 4.5" x 15" fabric pieces pattern side down so that one raw long edge meets the top of the skirt. Sew with a 1/2" seam allowance.
Take the two 9.5" x 30" pieces of fabric for the ties and fold in half along the long edge. Iron flat and pin if needed. Sew a straight line down the long edge finishing with an angle for a prettier tie. Trim the edges. Turn inside out and iron flat. A good trick with turning thin pieces inside out is to attach a safety pin to the end point and push through the middle.
Sew the ties to the ends of the waist piece with the seam facing in. There will be a small pleat on the tie end.
Taking the last 4.5" x 15" fabric for the waist and iron a 1/2" seam down one long side.
Face the skirt down and make sure the ties are in the middle of the skit so they don't get sewed in. Place the waist piece on the skirt with the ironed seam facing toward bottom of the skirt and the non ironed edge in line with the top edge of the skirt. The fabric should be facing down (interfacing up).
Sew along the top edge of the waist and two short edges with a 1/2" seam allowance, and trimming.
Flip the waist band inside out (so now should be facing the right side up) and iron.
To close the opening of the waistband in the back you can hand whip stitch or sew across.