Mini Frilly Apron for Little Girls

I am the Oprah of frilly aprons (“And you get a frilly apron!  And you get a frilly apron!”).  The sewing table has been consumed with making frilly aprons for Heather and Marilyn for Mother’s day and this little cutie for Caroline – a mini frilly apron: 

I based my pattern for the mini frilly apron largely on the adult sized version which I wrote up earlier.  I did a bit of shopping and found that most children’s aprons are 23″ in height.  So I got to work with my trusty calculator and began figuring out how to shrink down my pattern to this new dimension.  I realized quickly that children’s noggins are a lot larger proportionally than the adult version so rather than a single strap that loops over the head, I created strap ties in the kid’s version.  After a bit of trial and error and working with another apron that fits Caroline well, I had my plan.

Now to pick up the fabric!  In all honesty, I didn’t actually have to pick up much because I had leftovers from Heather’s apron (which of course I made to match the mini version!).  But if you are picking up fabrics for yourself, here’s what I’d call for:

  • Fabric 1 and 2: 1/2 yard each
  • Fabric 3, 4, and 5: 1/3 yard each

I’ve used 1/4″ seams for this project unless otherwise noted.  But you should have plenty of fabric if you would prefer 1/2″ or 5/8″seams.  Just adjust your cuts accordingly.

From Fabric 1 Cut:

  • Cut two trapezoid bibs.  Top length 7.5″ and bottom length 11″, 10.25″ tall.
  • Cut two straps 18″ by 4″
  • Cut one frill 34.5″ by 5.25″

From Fabric 2 Cut:

  • Cut one apron skirt 19.5″ by 7.5″
  • Cut one waist 19″ by 4.75″
  • Cut one frill 34.5″ by 5.25″
  • Cut two ties 22″ by 4.5″

From Fabric 3 and 4 Cut:

  • Cut one frill 34.5″ by 5.25″

From Fabric 5 Cut:

  • Cut one frill 34.5″ by 7″

So now you should have a pile of goodies that looks somewhat similar to this: Just pretend I haven’t already sewn one of the straps in the upper left hand corner, I was testing out final cut dimensions.

OK, now on to the longest part of this project: Frill prep.  If you have a serger, you can save a bit of time by serging the top and bottom of all the frills.  If you’re like me, then you’ll just need your good ole friend zig zag on the top of each frill.  For the bottoms, I used a rolled hem.  To create, press the bottom of the frill up 1/2″ Open the press you just made.  Fold your raw edge to the press line and press again.Finally, fold fabric to original press line and press once more.  See, I told you this is the part of the project that takes the longest!  Edge stitch your rolled hem in place.

Repeat the rolled hem on the bottom and sides of each of the frills as well as the sides of the apron skirt.

Sew a gathering stitch across the top of the frill.  OK, now all your frills should look like this:

You’ve got rolled hems on the bottom and sides, zig zag or serge across the top and a gathering stitch on the top.

Now it’s time to start making things happen!  Gather all your ruffles.  Pin ruffle number four (in my case, the brown fabric) right sides together to the bottom of the apron skirt.Directly on top of that, pin ruffle number five (in my case the blue fabric) with the right side facing the wrong side of ruffle four.Sew in place and press seam up toward the top of the skirt.

Next mark the ruffle placement on your skirt.  Mark a line 2.5 inches down from the top of the apron skirt and mark a second line 5 inches from the top of the skirt.  You can barely make out the light purple marking lines on this dark fabric I’ve chosen!Pin ruffle number three right sides together on the 5″ marking line.  (In all honesty, you could simply place the ruffle wrong side to right side, but I like the finished look of a folded seam even if it’s hidden by the ruffle above it!).  Sew and press down.Repeat for ruffle two.  For ruffle one, simply match the raw edge by placing the wrong side of the fabric to the right side of the skirt.  You should now have an adorable mini skirt. Now is the time I like to hold it up and dance around the house Can-Can style, but this step is optional.

Once you’ve stopped dancing, take your waist band and fold one edge up 1/4″ and press.  Match the centers of the unpressed edge of the waistband and skirt and pin right sides together.  You should have a 1/4″extra length (Your seam allowance) on each side of your waistband – see how it sticks out past the side of the skirt?  That’s good, you’ll need that later.Sew and press seam down toward the skirt.  Be sure you don’t have any zig zag or gathering stitches peaking out on the front of the skirt at the waistband.

Next prepare your waist ties.  Fold the tie in half on the long side, press and stitch one short side and length of long side.  Turn the tie, press again and top stitch.

Match raw edges of the tie to raw edges of the waistband.  Fold waistband over the tie so it is sandwiched into place.Sew, open waistband and press.

Now we’re ready to move on to the strap ties.  Create a rolled hem as before on one short edge.  I hate turning tiny things and since the finished width of this tie is only one inch, I decided there was no way I was going to turn that.  So I folded the tie in half and pressed.  Then folded raw edges into the center press mark and pressed again.

Finally I folded along original press lines and pressed a third time.  Top stitch around the strap and repeat the whole process on the second strap.

Pin straps to top of one apron bib, raw edges together, 1/4″ from the sides of the apron bib.  Place apron bibs right sides together with straps sandwiched between.  Sew sides and top of apron.  Clip corners, turn press and top stitch the bib.

We’re almost done! Place skirt front side down.  Place bib front side down.  Match centers of bib and waistband and align raw edges. Fold raw edges under along the waist band pressed fold.  Pin in place.  Top stitch waistband.  One more press and we’re ready for our model!   Look at Caroline work that frilly skirt over her party dress!  So cute.  I hope we can get up to some cooking in this apron!

–Martta


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16 thoughts on “Mini Frilly Apron for Little Girls

  1. Pingback: Frilly Apron | HMH Designs

  2. Hi Martta , this is awesome! I love the tutorial, color choices and theme! Very fun!

    We would LOVE for you to stop over and link up this awesome idea in our Crafty Saturday Showcase. The Showcase runs Saturday through Thursday. Then our Designers will pick their top linked up picks and feature them on Friday! Stop over and join in the fun!

    Have a great weekend,
    Susie
    http://bowdabrablog.com/2012/05/26/saturday-showcase-craft-projects-3/

  3. Hi, what a great design and tutorial and I am cutting the material around my typing here! I cannot find the measurements for the straps of the waist band? You only have three cuts listed that I can see. But the picture shows five cuts of fabric two. Am I mistaken! I tend to be blind sometimes and question too quickly when it is in front of my face. Forgive me if this the case, but did you use the same cuts as the ties for the neck or should I cut two waistbands and cut the second in half? Or did you just measure your very cute model and go from there? I am learning to sew and your tutorial is perfect and clear! Thanks for it! My two little ladies (Allie 5 and Lizzie 2) will adore these if I finish them!

    • Whoops! It looks like I forgot to include the ties in my cut sheet! Sorry about that. Cut two ties 22″ x 4.5″ from fabric 2. Thanks, I’ll be sure to update the post with this information. I can’t wait to see how yours turn out!

    • Hi Em, the Apron is sized to be 23″ from top to bottom, which might be a bit big for a 2-3 year old. I’d recommend shortening the bib for a better fit for the younger set.

  4. Hi there, this is a great tutorial, thank you so much for sharing! I’ve just finished making this for my 2yr old niece – i down sized all your measurements by 20% to get achieve a smaller size for her, Its turned out great! Thank you again 🙂

  5. Thank you for your tutorial.
    I just made the mini frilly apron in blacks & whites. It is too cute. I found a shortcut for the bib accidentally: I put the bottom edge of the bib on the fold. After thinking about it, I decided to leave it. I seamed the other 3 sides leaving a couple inches open on one side. The bottom edge is already finished. Then after turning it right side out, I closed the opening when I topstitched.

  6. I love the apron! I made it for my niece and she loves it too. I was wondering if you let others use your pattern to produce and sell the aprons as long as pattern credit is given to you.

    Thanks

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