Welcome to the Pyjama Series, a series of how to videos in my sewing room. We show you some of the little things that we do that are maybe a little different or make your life easier.
Today we’re going to sew a Lined Apron. Click on the video to watch the whole process, plus this blog will walk you through it.
I love wearing aprons! My nana always wore an apron and had one there for me to wear when I was little. My son who loves to cook with me also wears an apron. I think an apron lasts far longer if you can line it. The instructions that are on all the apron fabric panels will not show you how to line it. They just have a basic “turn your edges under” approach. I find that those get crunched up easily and they just don’t wear the same way
Another benefit of sewing a lined apron, a little trick: you can turn the apron around the next day when it’s dirty on the one side and nobody knows that you’re wearing a dirty apron!
You’ll need an Apron Panel, 3/4 metre fabric for the lining, thread (including a coordinating colour for topstitching), pins, scissors, a rotary cutter and long ruler. We’ll discuss a few other helpful notions along the way, to make sure this isn’t a sewing job but a sewing joy!
Start by putting the lining fabric, right side up, and then lying the Apron Panel on top of it, right side down. I’ve grab my Pin Alert, a great tool because it’s magnetic and keeps your pins nicely organized. For this sewing project, I like to use Flat-headed Pins because I can sew or press around them easily.
Now pin around the of the apron panel because you don’t want the two fabrics shifting.
Then it’s time to cut out the panel and the lining. This is probably one of the few times where I’m going to use scissors to do the cutting. I’m going to cut on the lines but you can choose to give yourself a quarter of an Inch all the way around the line instead, if you prefer. That approach will make the apron a little bigger.
Next are the apron ties. Cut that section off the panel and give the whole ties section a quick press. You don’t have to use these ties in your apron; you can add a bit of colour by making ties from different fabric, such as leftover lining fabric – your call!
Cut apart the ties with your ruler and rotary cutter but don’t fold the ties section in half and do it. I find that panels are not printed exact or straight. It takes a bit more time but it is better to cut each tie separately.
Now for the Cobwebs way of doing nice durable ties without the agony of the “turny tubey” approach!
It is a bit hard to describe so you may want to go to minute 6 of the video and watch for a couple of minutes.
. First, you’re going to fold over one end of each tie, usually a large quarter of an inch, and press it.
. Then fold the tie in half, side to side, and press.
. Now fold each side of the tie into that middle press line and press firmly – press in small bits as the folds tend to widen on their own.
. Finally, fold along the middle fold line and uber press!
How do you “uber press”? Grab your Best Press, and for a notion that makes a job a joy, use the Best Press mister bottle with its nice diffuse spray.
Repeat this folding and pressing process with all four ties – two for the neck and two for the waist.
Now head to your sewing machine. You may want to have your walking foot on because you will be sewing through several fabric layers on your ties. Since the thread will be visible on both sides of the ties, use a coordinating thread colour in the top and in the bobbin. To watch the details, go to minute 8 of the video. Start with the unfinished edge, the one that was not turned under a large quarter inch, and do a back stitch or two. Sew as close to the edge of the tie as possible. Take your time with this sewing to make it as perfect as possible!
When you come to the end of the first long side, do a little back stitch, turn the tie, sew a couple of stitches slowly and carefully across the little folded end. Your sewing machine may not like this so be patient with your machine. Turn again, do a little back stitch, then continue sewing the other long side of the tie, again as close to the edge as possible.
Repeat for all four ties. Take a minute to look at the lovely professional finish…and remember that there was no swearing as there tends to be with the “turny tubey” method!
Now insert the ties in the pinned apron/lining (minute 10.30 on the video). Make sure you insert the folded ends of the ties, and leave the unfinished ends to be in the seam allowance of the apron/lining. Position the ties ¼” to ½” from the edges of the sides and the top corners of the apron so that you won’t have difficulty turning the apron right-side out later. Pin the four ties in place.
Back to the sewing machine to sew the apron together! You don’t need to have your walking foot on your machine but I must admit, I never take my walking foot off. You don’t need your coordinating thread for this step but if it’s in the machine and you have lots, go for it.
You need to leave a hole at the bottom of the apron so you can turn it later so start your sewing about 4” from one corner of the bottom edge. Each time you reach a corner of the apron and turn, do a couple of back stitches.
Another Cobwebs tip: if you keep your pins far enough out from the edge (minute 12 of the video), they’re still going to hold your fabric together beautifully and you don’t have to worry about grabbing them to remove them before you sew over them. And my lovely quilting friends, please know you should not be sewing over those pins for a number of reasons. One is the safety aspect of it: nobody needs a piece flying off in their face because that would be unspeakably bad. But another reason, and this is from sewing machine guy, Ralph, when you sew over pins, you actually start to dull your feed dogs and that is not an inexpensive repair!
Once you’ve sewn almost – but not quite – all the way around the apron, remember to leave a turning space at the bottom, about a hands-width from where you started sewing. Do a couple of back stitches and remove the apron.
Remove the pins. Trim a bit off the corners to make turning easier. Also make a few notches along the sides of the apron, to ease any bit of curve.
Time to turn! My favourite tool is an inexpensive wooden Point Turner. Gently poke the corners so that you don’t poke through the seam. And slide the tool along the seam line so the seam will lie nice and flat. Press carefully so the lining fabric doesn’t show on the apron panel side, and vice versa. Fold in the edges of the hole ¼”, to be even with the rest of the apron, and press.
Now for the finishing touch….and dealing with that hole at the bottom. Make sure the walking foot is on your sewing machine because you will now be sewing through four layers of fabric. And use the coordinating thread both in the top and the bobbin as you will be topstitching. Starting at the bottom, sew as close as you can to the edge of the apron, so as to catch all the fabric and make a more durable seam, as well as catching the edges of the hole to make sure it is closed. Again, make sure you take your time for this step, to keep it as neat and accurate as possible.
Another Cobwebs tip: what I then do – up to you if you would also want to do it – is I again sew all around the apron, very close to the first stitching line so the apron has a nice double edge all the way around. It’s also a great way to make sure the hole at the bottom is securely close.
Done! Head to the kitchen and start cooking!!! Or better yet, wrap it up in pretty paper and gift it to someone else so they’ll do the cooking.
Thanks for joining us! Hope you had some giggles and learned some new sewing techniques!
Click here to check out our Apron Panels…and we’re happy to select coordinating fabric for the lining!
NOTIONS WE FOUND HANDY FOR THIS SEWING PROJECT:
Just click on the blue wording to see the details of each.