Retro Gathered Apron – Free Pattern

                 I inherited my nan’s collection of aprons when she moved into sheltered accommodation, and with my heart in my mouth, took to scissors to one to create this pattern, I think it was worth it!


Finished Size: Approx 20” waistband (plus ties) x 16”


16” x 31” wide main fabric                                           8” x 4.25” for pocket main
5.5” wide” x 4” for pocket top                                      8” x 4.25” for pocket lining
6” x 21” for the waist band                                          4” x 22” x 2 for the ties
54” bias tape or 9” x 22” to make the tape


Take your main fabric, fold it in half, right sides facing, and mark the bottom corner (opposite the fold) using the template.  Pin the two sides together and then cut.


Take your main pocket fabric, and fold in half with the wrong side facing you, line the template up with the fold, trace, cut out.  Repeat with your lining fabric (this will be hidden so can be anything).

Sew the two shapes together, leaving the top edge open.  Cut notches into the curves, up to the sew line, these help create a smooth shape when you turn out. Turn out.lining pocket
Fold in half and iron, open out, create a ½” pleat, when looking at the front of the pocket the first crease should appear in the middle of the gap between the two folds (image 3 shows the pleat from the back).pocketfolding
Take your top pocket fabric and iron ½” seams on to the left and right sides, then iron in half.  Open the fabric up and fold the bottom raw edge up to the crease, iron again, then take the top raw edge and fold down to the crease, iron once more.  Fold the whole tape back in half and iron flat.pockettop
Fan the main pocket piece out at the bottom, the fabric at the back of the pleat will be visible from the front (as a triangle) and the top of the shape will have curved slightly.  When you are happy with the shape of the pocket, iron to secure your new lines.

Open out your top piece and insert your pocket piece, so that the edges of the pocket line up with the edges of the tape and all raw edges are hidden,  Sew across the bottom of the top piece.pocketcontstruction

Place your pocket onto the main fabric, when you are happy with its position, sew into place, leaving the top free so that you can get into the pocket!

Next we are going to deal with the raw edge of the apron skirt, you can make your own bias tape to cover the edge (details below) or use ready-made tape (if you have bought ready-made bias tape you can skip the next three steps).

Take your piece of fabric, use your ruler to draw a line at 45 degrees (if you don’t have a ruler with angles fold a triangle on a piece of paper and use that (see 2nd image).  Draw another line 3” parallel to the first one, and continue drawing lines across the fabric, 3” apart. Cut out and arrange the strips in order of size, with the largest in the middle, the next smallest each side, and then the next smallest…. 


Fold ¼” over at the end of each piece of tape, and iron the crease into place.   Place two pieces on top of each other, one right side showing, one wrong side showing, so that the creases are lined up, sew along the crease.  Iron the crease flat and trim the excess fabric away.  Then attach the next piece, keep doing this until you have one long piece of tape.
(these images have been taken from another project, please excuse the fabric changing in the next image!)

To turn this into bias tape, fold the tape in half and iron the crease in.  Then open out the fabric and fold the bottom edge up to the crease, iron into place, fold the top edge into the same crease and iron into place, then fold the whole thing over again (using the first crease) and iron once more. biastapefolding
Open the tape up so that you are looking at one of the long edges, line this up with the raw edge on the apron skirt (we started at the top right side), pin round and then sew between the raw edge and first crease on the tape, using your longest stitch (the ends will be covered so can be left raw).  Fold the tape over the edge of the skirt, so that the middle crease is now the edge.  Pin and then sew a top seam along the tape using your normal stitch length.tapeonapron
To gather the skirt, measure in 2” from both outside edges and make marks.  Then sew a line of stitches ¼” from the top, using your longest stitch, from left to right, between the two marks.  Repeat ¼” lower.

Pull on the threads and the skirt will begin to gather, you can push the gathers along the skirt.  Keep doing this until the top of the skirt measures 20”.

To make the waistband take your piece of fabric and fold in half, iron, fold all the edges over ½” and iron again.

Place the waistband approx. ¼” down from the top of the skirt, right sides facing with the folded over edge of the waistband opened out (the top of the waistband will be in line with the 1st row of gathering stitches). Sew to the skirt, along the crease line, making sure that the left and right edges of the skirt line up with the edges of the waist band.


Fold the waistband over the top and pin along the back.  Hand sew into place so that the stitches are hidden (if you are not sure what stitch to use take a look at our curtain instructions).  Turn the apron over and sew a line of stitches along the top of the waistband, to give strength to the shape.finishingwaist
To make the ties, take a piece of fabric 4” x 22”, and fold in half, iron and open up, then fold the bottom edge up to the crease and iron, take the top edge to the middle crease and iron once more.  At one end fold the ends over into triangles (see image), then fold the tape over using the first crease and iron flat. Repeat for the second tie. Sew a top seam along the openings on each tie (see final image).

Insert the ties in the waistband, you can put them at a height to suit (top, middle or bottom) but make sure both sides are the same, put about ½” inside the waistband.  Sew top seams of the left and right edges of the waistband.


 Click here for templates.
Click here for printer friendly instructions
Click here for more free patterns, including more aprons!

Fabrics used: Riley Blake’s A Merry Little Christmas Snowmen on Green and Kona Green Honey Dew for trims.  In the Beginning Fabrics Its Christmas Fabric.

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