I’m definitely not the seamstress in our family, so my sewing projects tend to go awry. I’ve had to scrap a lot of sewing projects in my day (ha, get it? Scrap). Anyway, thanks to my awesome mom, this sewing tutorial is possible. She’s been helping me conquer my sewing fears and learn new tricks, and I literally could not sew without her. I call her pretty consistently with issues about my machine or my fabric or how to piece something together. She’s the master.
You can make this really cute ruffled tulle apron using only about a yard of fabric, keeping the overall cost really low. Yes, it’s really girly but really cute too, so mix fabrics or colors to create your own special look with tulle.
- 1 yard of fabric
- 1/2 yard complementary colored tulle
- Sewing machine
First, cut two 5 inch wide pieces of fabric the length of the fabric piece. This will be the top band, so you want it to be long enough to tie around you. Match up the ends and sew them together to make one very long piece. Iron the seam open, fold the long side in half (bad sides in) and iron again.
Measure the fabric according to your body by cutting a piece that can wrap all the way around you and goes down to about your knees. You need the extra width to account for the pleats, and account for about 2 inches of seams. Mine measured about 37 inches wide and 19 inches tall.
Fold the fabric in half and use a bowl to trace the curve you want in bottom of the apron. You only need to do it on one corner (open side) because it’s folded, ensuring that your apron appears symmetrical. Unfold and iron half-inch seams all the way around. Then fold them over again – this keeps the edges from fraying in the wash.
Cut the tulle into 6-inch wide pieces and sew multiple pieces together using a really small zigzag stitch on the edge of the tulle, keeping them secure because tulle is such an open fabric. Using the largest regular stitch you have, sew down the middle of the now long piece of tulle, letting it gather tightly. Fold in half at the stitch, and pin the bunched up tulle around the sides and bottom of the apron and sew together with a regular stitch, trying your best to keep the gathering consistent.
Cut a two-inch piece of cardboard to use as a template to make your pleats. Starting at the middle of the apron, fold the fabric over the cardboard and pin it. Continue folding every two inches across the apron and sew all the way across the pleats carefully.
Match the middle of the top band to the middle of the apron and pin about one inch down to cover the raw edges of the apron. Pin and sew only the part that is attached to the bottom apron. Iron the remaining bottom edge on each side to meet the same edge at the apron, about one inch all the way across. Repeat ironing the one-inch seam on the top of the band and fold it in half. Match up the top and bottom and pin all the way across, folding the ends in to make clean ends of the band. Sew all the way across the top, around each edge and across the bottom, stopping only where it meats the front apron. Trim any remaining strings and ta-da!
It may seem like a lot of steps but it’s easier than you think and the tulle apron turns out really cute. Trust me – if I can make it, so can you. Even if you don’t have a lot of sewing practice, just give it a shot. Enjoy, and thanks for all the help, Mom!