Ruffle Apron Tutorial

I am addicted to making aprons. I have WAY too many aprons. Seriously. But this is the first time I have made an apron like this. I’m calling it my ruffle apron (for obvious reasons).

Ruffle Apron Pattern

You know what I think would be adorable is a matching set of these. One for mom, one for daughter! (I don’t have any daughters-so you go ahead and do that with your cute daughter for me.)


Ruffle Apron Tutorial:

Supplies Needed:

About 1 yard of your main fabric (mine is the flowered one)

1 yard of a coordinating fabric for the back

1/2 yard each of 3 coordinating fabrics

1 yard of jumbo ric rac or ribbon to match


Start out by cutting out your apron piece. Fold your fabric in half and cut a shape like this: (the folded part of the fabric is on the left so that when you unfold it it is apron shaped)

It should be about 28″ long. Across the very top make it 11″ (so since you are cutting it with your fabric folded in half make that top part 5.5 inches. Across the bottom it is about 26″ (so 13″ with it folded). From the top to where the curved under the arms part ends and the wide part begins is about 12 inches. The nice thing about aprons is that they are very forgiving. So the measurements don’t have to be exact.

Now cut out a matching piece with your fabric for the back. Set these aside.

Let’s cut out the straps. For the neck strap cut a piece that is 26″ long and 5″ wide. For the straps do 36″ long by 5″ wide.

Now, with each of those strap pieces, fold them in half so that the right side of the fabric is on the inside. Sew them along the raw edge.

On the apron straps on one end stitch it like this:

And then snip it off:

Now turn them right side out and press them nice and flat. Set them aside as well.

Next, take each of your 3 coordinating fabrics and cut a piece that is 9.5″ by 44 inches. Hem both of the long sides of each of these pieces: (so that the top and the bottom are both hemmed)

Once you have both the top and the bottom hemmed, hem both of the short ends so that now all 4 sides are hemmed:

Do this to all three pieces.

Now we are going to gather them. To do this, run a baste stitch all the way across the top of each piece leaving the thread hanging on each side and don’t knot it.

To gather you will gently pull one of the threads (I usually pull the bottom one) and slide the fabric along it slowly. Don’t pull too hard-you don’t want to break that thread. Do this until your fabric is about the same width as your apron piece-but about 1-2 inches shorter. It should look like this:

Do that to all three pieces. Don’t cut the threads anywhere yet.

Now, starting with your bottom layer, pin your piece onto the front of your apron leaving 1/2 inch or an inch on each side.See how I didn’t pin it all the way to the edge? Leave a little space there.

Sew it in place.

Now layer your second layer on making sure to cover the top of the bottom layer:

And do the same with layer 3. Then add your Jumbo Ric Rac or your ribbon to cover the top of your top layer:

Sew the Ric Rac on. The front of your apron is done. Now all we have to do is put it all together.

Start at the top of your apron. Get your neck strap and lay it like this:

Then pull the back fabric over it and pin it in place leaving about an inch hanging out on either side. You can trim that off after you sew:

Do the same thing with the side straps:

Make sure to fold all the ruffles and things in and out of your way. When you sew this you DO NOT want to sew the ruffles at all.

Pin it all the way around:

Begin at the bottom in the center. Sew it all the way around making sure not to sew any of the ruffles while you are sewing. (Your Ric Rac though should go all the way to the edge and you SHOULD sew through that.) Leave an opening at the bottom that’s about 4-6 inches long. Snip off the ends of the straps that are hanging out.

Through that opening turn the apron right side out. Push out all the corners. Then fold that opening in so that it matches your seam and sew it closed.

Press the whole apron and you are done!

Want to make it for a child? Here’s a guess on some measurements: 21″ long, 17″ across the widest part, 7″ across the top and 9″ from the top to where you put the straps in. BUT even better, if you can measure the child to figure out how long to make it and things you will be better off since kid sizes obviously vary a lot.

Want to learn more about sewing? Join me:

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Hey there! I'm Amber, mom of 4 crazy boys, wife of 1 and non-stop, always busy, crazy project doer. (There's a reason why we call it *Crazy* Little Projects.) I love chocolate, reading, sewing and being with people!
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  1. Anne says

    Love this project! It would make a great gift! I’m actually on the market to get a new sewing machine. Do you have any suggestions/recommendations? What type of machine do you use?

    • Amber says

      I should put together a post with machine recommendations… hmmm. In the meantime, I use Janome and LOVE it! I believe it’s the same brand as Kenmore and I also love Kenmores. I am currently borrowing a friend’s machine and it’s a Brother and is a very nice machine too.

  2. Jess says

    Hi, I’m having trouble with the initial measurements for the main piece of fabric, specifically the curved part. I understand that the left side length (the folded part) is 28 inches and the top part is 5.5. I don’t understand the 12 inches from top of the curve to wide part on the right. It seems too much. Could you give me the length of the right side from where the curve ends? If your saying the curve takes 12 inches then the right side length would only be 16 inches right? Thanks!

    • Amber says

      I mean from the top of the apron to the part where the curve ends is 12″. So the distance between the top and the curve part should be 12″ just measuring straight up and down. Does that make any sense?

  3. holly m says

    Had some problems with the ruffles. Broke a few strings before i figured it out. Wish i would have bought the yard of coordinating fabric for the back so i could finish this apron. Oh well guess i get to do some more fabric shopping! Thanks for the great series, i am learning so much and finally getting confident using my machine.

  4. Deb says

    Unfortunately I did not know that the ric rac was supposed to go all the way to the edge. It doesn’t tell you that until you get to the step where you are sewing the back fabric on. The picture also does not show this. Mine only goes to the edge of the ruffles. Will this be a problem or should I remove the ric rac and attach a new piece that goes all the way to the edges?

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