I had a last minute impulse to sew one of my Christmas presents this year. I have been known to handcraft gifts before, but it has generally been something knitted, and as such, it was something I had planned well before Christmas. This year I decided to make an apron for a very sweet lady I know. Once I started to think about aprons, I did a Google search on pretty apron patterns and this one pattern kept popping up, the Pretty Ditty Apron.
After seeing quite a few different versions of this apron and how truly pretty it always appeared I quickly ordered the pattern. Fortunately I got it in the mail very quickly which allowed me to go straight out to my local Joann Fabric store to find some pretty coordinating cottons. I found all sorts of lovely cotton fabric resources on the web but it was too late to order anything else online and get it quickly enough. My fault for waiting until the last week before Christmas to make it.
I forgot to take a picture of my coordinating fabrics before cutting them, but here they are before I had done much of the sewing.
I chose three fabrics for the apron, a large floral pattern in pink and yellow, a stripey yellow and a small pink print fabric. I think the pattern is designed for two fabrics if your are doing the single sided one and three fabrics if you are making the reversible version. I had planned on the single sided apron, but still decided to coordinate three fabrics for this. I used the large floral for the front skirt and bib, the yellow stripe for the elastic casing on the bib, for the small ruffle on the bottom and for the ties. I also ended up lining the bib with it. I used the pink print for the two front pockets, the neck ties and the midriff piece.
I made some slight changes when I cut out the pieces. I added half an inch to the width of the neck ties as well as half an inch to the width of the ruffle. Considering the half inch seam allowances they both seemed a bit skinny to me so I added the extra width. I also cut the apron tie open at the center front where the pattern it indicated it should lay on a fabric fold. I thought it was a typo, thinking that surely there had to be two separate ties that attached at the midriff sides. Later I found out that there is an error in the pattern concerning the length of the ties. They really should be cut much longer and if constructed according to the pattern, indeed the tie is in one piece
If I had read through the instructions first I would have realized that the construction calls for the tie to pass through the midriff piece as though this was a casing. In this case the tie really does need to be cut with the center front on the fabric fold and both long ends would extend out from inside the midriff.
I don’t mind having two tie pieces, since I didn’t really like the idea of inserting the ties through the midriff. I do regret not having realized that the ties were still rather short at this point. It would’ve been nice to be able to wrap them around the front as is shown on the pattern envelope.
The first thing I did was to sew the pockets on the skirt front and then hem this piece all around. Next I made the ruffle and attached it to the front of the skirt. This was actually the most time consuming part of the whole construction.
I pieced the two ruffle strips together, folded over the edges, and stitched a small hem all around.
I marked a crease down all the middle of the ruffle to guide where my gathering stitching would go.
And then attached the ruffle per the instructions. Here I am gathering and pinning the ruffle to the skirt.