Supplies and Tools:
- Basic sewing machine with decorative stitching function – the Brother Innov-ís BQ3100 from the Quilt Club Series was used in this tutorial
- Print out templates here for armpit area
- Sticky or painter’s tape
- Rotary cutter
- Quilting ruler(s)
- Cutting mat
- Fabrics, quilting cotton – Fabric requirements are based on 42in WOF.
- Fabric A (Front): 1⅛ yards (103 cm), cut one 27in x 34in rectangle for body, one 8in x 12in rectangle for front pocket. Cut one 2in x 42in rectangle for front pocket binding.
- Fabric B (Back): 1⅛ yards (103 cm), cut one 27in x 34in rectangle for body and one 14in x 18in rectangle for pocket lining
- Batting –
- 35in x 42in rectangle for body
- 14in x 18in rectangle for pocket
- Coordinating thread, 50wt cotton
- Brother Compact MuVit Digital Dual Feed Foot or walking foot attachment
- Basting spray or pins
- Measuring tape
- Heramarker or dull knife, i.e., butter knife to mark quilting guide lines
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Fabric scissors
- 1in wide belting straps, 4 yards (366 cm), cut two 4in lengths (for side loops) and two 50in lengths (for ties)
- Seam sealant or lighter to stop ends of belting straps from fraying (optional). The lighter only works on belting straps made of synthetic materials, i.e., polyester. This is because the heat melts the fibres together.
- Quilting gloves (optional)
- Two elastic bands (optional)
- Pattern weights or large washers (optional)
- Point turner (optional)
Please read through all the instructions before commencing. This will help you identify what supplies you will need and give you an understanding of what to expect throughout the project.
Step 1: Make Pocket Quilt Sandwich by placing the Fabric B 14in x 18in rectangle pocket lining fabric right side down, batting 14in x 18in rectangle on top, then place one Fabric A one 8in x 12in rectangle. Baste the layers using your preferred method. In this tutorial I spray basted.
Step 2: Attach Brother Compact MuVit Digital Dual Feed Foot or walking foot attachment and quilt as desired. In this tutorial I adjusted my straight stitch length to 3.0 and used the 60-degree angle guide on my quilting ruler and marked a 1in grid (see photo below).
Step 3: Trim excess batting and Fabric B to measure 8in x 12in rectangle.
Step 4: Take one Fabric A 2in x 42in rectangle for front pocket binding. Fold and press in half lengthwise.
Step 5: Attach pocket binding around all four edges of the Pocket Quilt Sandwich using preferred binding method. The example in this tutorial was machine binded (read ‘how to machine bind’ tutorial on Brother Stitching Sewical for details). Set binded Pocket Quilt Sandwich aside for step 14.
Step 6: Print out paper templates (download them here) at 100% scale. Test that the print out is to scale by using a ruler to measure the ‘1in test block’ square.
Step 7: Cut on the dotted grey lines on Templates A and B. Place Template A on top of Template B, line up and match the solid black lines on the two templates as shown in the diagram. Tape the two templates together. Cut on the solid black line to create Apron Template. Set template aside for step 11.
BASTING AND QUILTING APRON
A quilt sandwich usually consists of three layers – quilt top, batting and quilt back. For this project, the apron quilt sandwich is made up of two layers – front of the apron (Fabric A) and batting. This is because the backing fabric (Fabric B) would be attached to the project at a later step, and there is no binding involved. By creating a two-layer quilt sandwich, it would ensure the backing fabric (Fabric B) ‘sticks’ to the batting, and would not slip and slide as the apron is worn.
Step 8: Make a two layered Quilt Sandwich by placing Fabric A 27in x 34in rectangle on top of Batting 35in x 42in rectangle centrally and right side up. Baste the two layers together using your preferred method. In this tutorial I spray basted.
Step 9: Attach Brother Compact MuVit Digital Dual Feed Foot or walking foot attachment and quilt as desired. In this tutorial I adjusted my straight stitch length to 3.0 and used the 60-degree angle guide on my quilting ruler and marked a 1in grid.
Step 10: Trim off excess batting and square up Quilt Sandwich to measure 27in x 34in rectangle.
Step 11: Following the photo below, place Apron Template on the top right corner of the Quilt Sandwich. Use fabric pen or pencil to trace armpit curve onto the Quilt Sandwich.
Turn the template over and repeat step on the top left corner of the Quilt Sandwich to trace the second armpit curve.
Tip: Place pattern weights, large washers or something with a bit of weight (for example rotary cutter) on top of the template to prevent it from shifting. Ensure the weights or heavy item(s) are not obstructing the curve on the template.
Alternatively, the template can be pinned on to the Quilt Sandwich. However, it is not recommended as the pins can distort the template.
Step 12: Using a pair of fabric scissors, carefully cut on the drawn armpit curves to complete Quilt Sandwich.
Step 13: Measure 13in from the top of the Quilt Sandwich and use fabric marker to mark measurement.
Step 14: Match top edge of Pocket Quilt Sandwich with 13in mark, position the Pocket Quilt Sandwich centrally. Pin in place. Using the binding on the Pocket Quilt sandwich as a guide, sew two parallel straight stitches on the right, middle and left edges, leaving an opening on the top. Don’t forget to reverse stitch the start and end of the seams for additional enforcement.
Step 15: With right sides together, lay Quilt Sandwich on top of one Fabric B 27in x 34in rectangle. Align all the raw edges and pin to secure the layers. Then use a fabric pen or pencil, follow the outline of the Quilt Sandwich and trace both armpit curves on to the right side of Fabric B rectangle. Remove the pins and set Quilt Sandwich aside for step 17.
Step 16: With a pair of fabric scissors, carefully cut on the drawn curves to create Apron Back and set it aside for step 21.
Step 17: With a ruler and fabric pen or pencil, mark 1in from the bottom armpit area of the Quilt Sandwich on either side. These guides are used to mark the placement of the Apron Loops (created in the following step 19).
Step 18: With a ruler and fabric pen or pencil, mark 1in from the top corner of either side of the top of the Quilt Sandwich. Using the marked guides, align and pin 50in belting straps with the top raw edge of the Quilt Sandwich and 1in from either side of the guides, as shown in the image below.
Tip: The long belting straps can get in the way for the remainder of the project. Without tampering with the placement of the straps and pins, carefully roll the ends up and use elastic band to stop the straps from unravelling. Secure the straps to the centre of the Quilt Sandwich with pins.
Step 19: Fold one 4in belting strap in half width wise to create an Apron Loop. Using the 1in guideline from the previous step, align the raw edges of the folded belting strap with the sides of the Quilt Sandwich. Pin in place, as shown in the photo above.
Repeat this with the second 4in belting strap.
Step 20: Sew ¼in from the raw edge of the Quilt Sandwich to secure the pinned belting straps and loops from Steps 15 and 17. Don’t forget to reverse stitch at the start and end of each of these seams to provide additional enforcement. Remove pins.
Step 21: With right sides facing each other, lay Apron Back from step 16 on top of Quilt Sandwich. Pin to secure the two layers together.
Step 22: Adjust the seam allowance on the sewing machine to ½in. Following the perimeter of the apron, sew ½in from the raw edge and leave approximately 6in gap at the bottom of the apron (see photo below). Don’t forget to reverse stitch at the start and end of the gap for additional enforcement.
Step 23: Carefully clip the corners on the top and bottom of the apron. At the armpit curves, carefully clip a few notches into the seam allowance. Take extra care here. Don’t cut through your stitching in this area. Same applies when clipping the corners. These notches at the armpit area and clipped corners ensures the corners are looking pointy and sharp, and the curved armpit area sits better.
Step 24: Turn the apron right side out through the 6in gap at the bottom of the apron. With a point turner or pointier end of a pair of scissors, push out seams and corners. Then use an iron and press around the perimeter of the apron to set the seams.
Note: When pressing, take extra care around the belting straps and loops, especially if you have used straps made of synthetic materials, i.e., polyester. Adjust the iron heat setting to low. The high heat may melt or distort the straps.
Step 25: Adjust the seam allowance on the sewing machine to ⅜in. Sew around the perimeter of the apron to secure all the layers of fabric and batting, and close the 6in cap at the bottom of the apron. Be sure to reverse the start and end of the seam.
Step 26: Use a seam sealant or wave a lighter under raw edges of each belting strap to prevent them from fraying. The lighter melts the fibres together and only work on synthetic materials like polyester, and not cotton.
If using cotton belting straps, don’t have a seam sealant or not comfortable with using a lighter to perform the step, change the stitch setting to a zigzag stitch. Fold the raw edge towards the centre of the belting straps once. Then edge sew to secure in place twice. The additional stitches work as a cover stitch to prevent the straps from fraying. In the example. I left my Brother Compact MuVit Digital Dual Feed Foot attached because of the thickness of the material and used the 3 steps elastic zigzag stitch (decorative stitch #Q-11).
HOW TO WEAR THE APRON
Slide the left belting strap into the right Apron Loop and thread the right belting strap into the left Apron Loop to create a cross at the back. Bring the apron over the head so the belting straps are sitting on the shoulders.
Bring belting straps together at the back. Pull the straps to adjust the apron, ensuring the front of the body is covered well and apron is not too tight or loose. Combine the belting straps by tying and knot or bow (shown on the left below).
For a structured look (see photo above, right), once you have pulled and adjusted the apron to cover your body, instead of tying the knot and bow at the back, bring the straps around to the front of the body and tie.
The apron is reversible so you could get another look out of the one design. Just turn it around the other way when you put it on and again, you could tie the knot at the front of the apron as well to get a more structured look (see below).