How to: Make a quilted apron

I just can't stop making quilted garments- quilt coats, and now my new favourite- a quilted apron!

This is a REALLY fun and relatively quick project- see below for details on how you can make your own!

For this apron, we are using the quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) method. I first saw this on @sotakhandmade's instagram and if you are looking for some inspiration and great videos on how to use the QAYG method, be sure to check her out! Effectively, we are piecing and quilting as we go- so once you've finished piecing, you've also finished making your quilt sandwich and quilting and all you need to do is cut out your apron shape and add binding. So let's get started!

NB: This tutorial assumes a basic knowledge of quilting including how to bind and baste. 

So what fabric and other supplies do I need?

I have kits available in my shop to recreate both of the aprons which include strips of fabric (including enough for binding), batting cut to size and the printed templates. 

Here are the fabric requirements 

  • Back of Apron: 23" x 36" piece
  • Back of pocket: 8" x 12" piece
  • Batting (any batting is fine):
    • 23" x 35" piece  (apron back)
    • 8"x 12" piece (pocket back)
  • Front of apron and pocket: this is a great scrap busting project- you can either use scraps (generally around 2" width pieces are a good place to start) or if you want to be more precise, I used the following (this should also give you enough for binding)

 Fabric

Fabric Cuts

Fabric A

(1) 2" x WOF
(1) 2.25" x WOF

Fabric B

(1) 2.25" x WOF
(1) 2.75" x WOF

Fabric C

(1) 2.25" x WOF
(1) 2.75" x WOF

Fabric D

(1) 2" x WOF
(1) 2.25" x WOF

Fabric E

(1) 2.25" x WOF
(1) 2.75" x WOF

Fabric F

(1) 2" x WOF
(1) 2.25" x WOF

Fabric G

(1) 2.25" x WOF
(1) 2.75" x WOF

Fabric H

(1) 2.25" x WOF
(1) 2.75" x WOF

Fabric I

(1) 2" x WOF
(1) 2.25" x WOF

Fabric J

(1) 2" x WOF
(1) 2.25" x WOF

 (WOF: Width of Fabric)

Ok, i've got my supplies, now how do I make it?

Cut your fabric out per the instructions above.

We are then going to baste the back of apron fabric and back of pocket fabric to the batting. I would strongly recommend using basting spray for this (505 is my favourite) instead of basting pins as pins will start to get in your way as you make your apron!

After you've basted the backing fabric to the back of both your apron and pocket piece, it's time to start sewing. This video is a great introduction. Start off by folding your two batting pieces (with the backing fabric basted on) in half, then half again to find the centre of each piece of batting. Then mark this (just with a pen is fine)- so we can start in the middle and work our way out. 

Once you've marked the centre of each of your pieces of batting, centre piece, cut a small piece of fabric- maybe 2" x 2" (it doesn't have to be exact) and place it in the middle. Sew lines through it, similar to the photo below. Mine are just a bit over 1/4" apart (I just use the side of my sewing foot as a guide) but you can do whatever distance apart you like.

NB: We will be sewing through three layers- the top piece of fabric, batting and back piece of fabric. 

Grab your second piece of fabric and cut it to size- one side should be the same length as your existing piece (so in this case 2") but you can make it as wide as you like.  Place this fabric on top of the existing piece, right sides together, with two edges lined up and sew down the side using 1/4" seam

Then fold the second piece of fabric down (in this case the pink piece) 

 and sew your quilting lines down this piece!

We are then going to continue doing this, adding pieces to any side (totally up to you) and building it out. In this case, I'm adding a piece to the top, so one side has to be as wide as the two sides of already quilted fabric. 

You should sew your quilted lines in same direction that you sewed the piece on, like this:

 
Then we keep on adding pieces to any side to build our apron and pocket piece. 

Eventually as your apron and pocket pieces grow, the fabric pieces you are adding will get bigger and bigger. Instead of continuing to add larger and larger pieces of fabric, to add interest, you can start joining multiple pieces together to create one side.

To do this, we will first determine how many pieces we need along one side. To do this, cut smaller pieces (which have the same width as each other) and line them up next to each other with a 1/2" overlap between each one like this:

Then we will sew these pieces together before we attach them to the batting. 

You can finger press the seams either open or to the dark side. Then attach this piece in the same way as you have the others

As you are building it out, you may find your pattern is very wonky on the piece of batting- but don't worry, this just adds to the improvised effect! 

 
As you get closer to the edge, you can start to add half pieces or slimmer pieces like this (just make sure you have one side where they are all lined up):

Once you have your completely quilted piece, we are going to square it up- your squared up piece should be approximately 23 x 35" (you can cut along the batting). Your squared up pocket piece should be around 8" x 12".

Before squaring up:

Squaring up:

After squaring up (and on a really bad angle!- this is actually a rectangle, I promise- the angle just makes it look as though it's not!)

Next we are going to turn this into an apron!

Starting with the pockets (this step is optional), you can round out the bottoms. I did this by tracing a curve using a candle, but have also created a template which you can use to cut your pocket curves

(Optional): To ensure your curves are the same, you can also fold your pocket in half and use the first curve to trace the second one

For the apron itself, you can use these templates by aligning the corner of the paper with the corner of the apron and then cutting around it. There is one for the apron bottom and one for the apron top

Optional step- instead of using the template on both sides, once you have done one side, you can fold the apron in half and use one cut side as a template for the other side to ensure they are exactly the same, or use your cut out piece as a template:

You then have something that is starting to resemble an apron!

It's now time to bind our apron and pocket piece! You can do this in the same way as you would a normal quilt. I used 2.25" pieces.

NB: You may wish to make a bias binding because of the curves however I found that normal binding went around the curves with no issues.

For those of you using a solids kit from my shop, you can use the 2.25" leftover pieces for your binding. You will need approximately 4 yards of binding in total (which includes for the next strap and ties which we will come to shortly.

Attach your binding to the front as you normally would.

We will sew down the back (either hand stitched or machine stitched) once we have attached our neck loop and ties so that we can tuck the ends away).

Once you have attached the binding to the front, we will make our neck loops and apron ties. With the remaining binding, we are going to make this a double fold binding, but pressing each of your edges into the centre like this:

Then fold this piece in half (rough edges going into the inside centre) and sew down the side. I used a small zig zag stitch for a bit of extra strength:

The neck tie should be approximately 20" long and each of the apron ties  20"-25" each but you can test it out to make sure you are happy with this by pinning them in place and trying the apron on. 

Then we will attach them to the top and sides (on the back of the apron) with zig zig stitching just inside of where we as we have attached our binding

You can then sew down the other side of your binding either by machine or hand sewing- this hides away the edges of the neck loops and apron ties.

Attach your pocket as desired (Mine was 11" from the top). You can pin it in place to make sure it doesn't move while you sew it. 

And you're done! I hope that you love your quilted apron :-)  

 

 


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