a) Have a hard time deciding on fabric for your aprons
b) Are a messy cook
c) Don't like to do laundry very often
d) Like garments to look finished inside and out
e) Prefer to have one apron with 2 looks rather than 2 separate aprons
f) Or any/all of the above
then this is the apron for you!
I was inspired to create it after reading Jona's tutorial for a quick apron on her fantastic site, Stop Staring and Start Sewing. She's got all sorts of great things on her blog, including some very useful tutorials, so go check it out! My apron is very similarly constructed, with some changes to a few techniques, different dimensions, and of course the whole reversible thing.
You'll need to start by choosing several fabrics that relate well together so that the waistband fabric looks good with both sides of the apron. This process, with my tired brain, took just about as long as making the apron itself! I ended up using fabric that is all by Amy Butler (from her Belle and Daisy Chain lines) except for the waistband, which is produced by ??? Not sure, but it sure works well with Amy Butler's lines and Sandi Henderson's Ginger Blossom!
The dimensions of the apron skirt are somewhat optional. Jona's tut called for a fat quarter (18" x 22") but since I'm not a skinny minny like she is I need more fabric to cover my, um, square footage. :-) For your reference, I'm a size 10/12 and the total dimensions of my apron measure 26" wide and 19" long (not including waist sash). You will obviously need 2 rectangles of the same size for your apron. I recommend deciding how large to make the rectangles, then drawing a little diagram to decide what dimensions to make the accent strips. On mine, the strips with the medallion fabric were cut at 3.5" wide, and the other one is 4.5" wide.
Cut two strips of the waist sash fabric at 5.5" x 42" (or whatever the distance of your fabric is from selvedge to selvedge...could be 43" to 45")
Sew your fabric together in the desired configuration you have designed, then add ribbon trim if that floats your boat. I can't resist adding ribbon to just about everything I sew, but that's just me.
Here's a detail of how I did the fabric border and turned the corner on the ribbon. I probably should have done mitered corners on the medallion accent fabric, but I was lazy. Oops. Without the mitered edge on the ribbon it doesn't really bother me, but when they're put together, ack. In real life it's a lot less noticeable than these photos show, so that's good.
....and here it is even closer. When you're turning corners, DON'T cut the ribbon! I sewed the inner edge of the ribbon first, and stitched the ribbon down beyond the corner a bit. I then lifted it away from the needle, cut the threads, and rotated it 90 degrees, folding the ribbon as you see it. Then I started stitching again on the inner side of the ribbon. Don't forget to backstitch when you stop/start sewing! Once that is complete, then sew around the outer edge of the ribbon, pivoting the needle at the corners.
Once both sides of the apron are ready, put them right sides together and trim off any bits that don't line up. Hopefully they're almost perfectly the same size so you don't have to whack off a big strip from one, which could potentially make it look off center.
Pin the edges together in several places, then carefully stitch a 1/4" seam down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side, pivoting the needle at the corners. Leave the top of the apron open.
Clip the corners as shown to reduce bulk, turn right side out, and press carefully so that the edges are nice and straight and you can only see the side of fabric you're supposed to see along the edges.
Now for the sash: take one of the 5.5" x 42"(ish) pieces and cut it in half = two pieces which are 5.5" x 21"(ish). The long, uncut piece will be the middle of the sash and you will need to sew the two shorter pieces on either side of the long piece to create a sash that is 5.5" x 84"(ish). If you want a longer sash than that, then cut 3 pieces of fabric that are 5.5" x 42" instead of two, and sew all three of them together.
Press the seams open (do not serge any of these seams, by the way = that would create much bulk).
With the middle of the sash centered over the middle of the apron (right sides together), pin along upper edge and stitch sash to apron with 1/4" seam.
Open sash up and press the seam upwards. Press under a 1/4" on the part of the sash that is above the apron.
Starting at the folded tip, carefully stitch a 1/4" seam all the way across the raw edges of the folded sash until you reach the apron. Do NOT stitch the part of the sash over the apron yet!
Do this on both ends of the apron sash.
Trim the edges of the sash as shown. In this photo, the left point is trimmed, the right one hasn't been trimmed yet.
Turn the sash ends right side out - this will take a little coaxing! I'm still trying to decide if I like this way of doing the sash more than the way I'll outline in the empire-waisted apron tutorial (more on that later). Either way, it takes a bit of time.
Press sash carefully.
Turn the sash over the raw edge of the apron, pressing carefully. Stitch across the apron. Now all the raw edges are completely hidden - hurray! For added durability, I went ahead and top-stitched all the way around the entire sash, hopefully you can see that in the photo. This will make it hold up better when it's washed, as well as resist stretching too much when it's tied. And that's it! Happy sewing!