Thursday, 18 September 2014

DIY apron skirt.

An apron skirt is a really easy and fast to make project, and as such ideal for a beginner seamstress. I hope the above pic gives an idea of what exactly is an apron skirt - it's open at the back, tied around the waist like an apron and meant to go over another skirt.

This particular one is as simple as they come. Every piece of it is just a rectangle so no patterns are needed to make it. The above photo should give some idea of how much fabric it takes to make one, which is not very much at all (the yellow thing is just a regular measuring tape).

Cutting done. From bottom to the top the pieces are 2x ruffle piece (= at least twice as long as the skirt part to create a proper ruffle), 1x skirt piece, 1x waist band cut to the length of the wearer's waist circumference annnnd... the last one's in actually two pieces but was I smart enough to show that in a photo? No. Imagine, however, that the top rectangle is cut in two equally long pieces that will become the apron's apron strings. You can make longer ones too if you like. :)

The heap of fabric right at the top is the extra material left over. Nevermind the heap.

Length: there's no good rule to how long the pieces have to be, but here's some ideas. The ruffle and skirt parts added together should come to 45-55cm length, which imo is ideal for lolita. The waist band has to be minimum 10cm wide because it will be folded in half when attached, same with the waist ties. If at all possible add 2cm to all measurements for seam allowance.

Zigzag around all edges, or serge if you own a serger.

Sew the middle seam/s of the ruffle.

Fold waist ties in half and sew as shown above. Cut the corner as shown, turn around. You may use a knitting needle or some other tool to poke out the corners tidily.

You'll probably notice I didn't zigzag these pieces... it's cause I'm lazy and these particular seams will end up securely pocketed once the waist ties are turned around so it doesn't actually matter.

Ironing time! Iron all seams open (and always do this with seams because it makes everything so much neater-looking and easier to sew).

Fold the side and bottom edges of the ruffle as shown above, same with the side edges of the skirt part, iron in place. This will make stitching it tidily so much easier, especially if you plan on adding lace to the ruffle.

Fold waistband in half lengthwise and iron tidily.

Waist ties need flattening too. The one on the right has not yet been ironed, the one on the left is ready to be stitched.

Stitch around the waist ties a few millimetres from the edge. Also stitch the sides of the ruffle pieces and the skirt, if not adding lace to the ruffle you can also just go ahead and stitch the bottom.

If adding lace, pin it to the ruffle securely.

I would then go on and stitch around the bottom edge of the ruffle from the right side, careful to pull out the pins and not sew over them because that may break or bend your needle.

Ruffling time! Baste along the top of the skirt piece and the top of the ruffle as shown, ideally use a thread that's very different colour than your fabric. There are other ways of making ruffle, most notably this one*, but when dealing with thick material like the one used for this tutorial hand basting actually is far more reliable a way of creating the ruffle. When done, pull the thread gently and gather the whole thing up in a ruffle.

* The tutorial uses ruffle that's folded lengthwise in half but that part's not necessary. In fact a lighter, airier ruffle suits lolita style better.

Spread the ruffles evenly and pin the ruffle to the bottom of the hem part. Sew to attach. Do the same with top of skirt and waist band.

Iron the seams open again, press nicely flat on the front side. Stitch over ruffle top and skirt+waistband joint as shown above.

As a final step attach the waist ties. I simply folded the to-be-attached end over, pinned it in place and sewed over it twice.

Finished item with a matching gigantic head bow.

Hem detail.

Detail shot of the back and the waist bands.

And here's how an apron skirt looks when worn:

Front - the skirt underneath can peek from below although it's not necessary - with this type of overskirt both ways look correct.

Back. This is the reason why you always need an underskirt that's not just a petticoat - apron skirt flares out a lot and opens in the back. They're meant to. It's part of what makes them so cute.

Aaaand a quick shot of the gigantic headbow. :3


  1. Muistan, miten aloittelevana lolina luin silmät loistaen unjomadon ompeluksista pölössä! Paljon on muuttunut, mutta vanhan kunnon kainolieron nerokkuus käsitöissä sen kuin paranee! :)

    1. Hei, ja kiitoskia salaperäinen anonyymi pölöläinen! Olen ollut hyvällä tuulella koko aamun tämän kommentin takia. :D

    2. Hahhaa, sepä kiva! Terkkuja sinne lunneille :D