"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27

Monday, August 2, 2010

How to Make a Ruffle

What do you do with an old pair of jeans and a piece of a sheet?  Make an apron of course!  A friend of mine cut up a pair of her son's jeans into pieces, she was going to make pillows but gave them to me instead!  I had a piece of a gorgeous embroidered sheet that was given to me in a bag of scrap material.  I love scraps!
I used all the material I had for this project, it was just enough.  Isn't this pink material beautiful?  I'm just guessing that it was a sheet, it is pretty stiff though, so I could be wrong.  First I cut a wide strip off the top that I will use for my tie and waist band.  Then I measured my material to go go around about twice on my denim for the ruffle, then cut it with enough left over to make two pockets.  This is not exact!

I took my pieces to my homemaking fellowship at church to work on.  I trimmed up my denim some, notice the curve?  I did not do that on purpose, but left it and used it as the top of my apron.  I hemmed the very bottom only, I liked the frayed look on the edges, so I zig zagged along the sides with my pink thread to keep it from fraying more.  After sewing on my ruffle and tie, I sewed down the side of the apron through the tie and ruffle for reinforcements.

Not everybody sews at the Homemaking Fellowship, here is Susan knitting, and Tabitha is crocheting a blanket for her dad.  "She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.  She maketh herself coverings of tapestry;...She maketh fine linen, and selleth it..."   Proverbs 31:19, 22, 24
I chased that "rabbit" long enough!  Now I'm going to teach you how I made the ruffle.  I used the flowers as my guide because I wanted to make sure they all showed.  I only ironed down the top once, because otherwise I would have covered up the first row of flowers, so I cheated.  I then doubled over the bottom part and ironed it for the hem, then did the same for the sides.  Some people skip this step thinking it takes too much time, I disagree.  It makes your project look cleaner and crisper and instead of using pins, I just iron it, which works with most projects.

I set my sewing machine on the highest or longest stitch setting (I'm not sure what the correct term is).  In my case it is a four.  I then sewed along the bottom of my top fold.  This is where I will be gathering my stitch for the ruffle, so you want a big hem. You can do two of these stitches right on top of each other in case your string breaks.   (I didn't know this until afterwards - whoops!)  This gave me long, loose stitches.

After you sew on your gathering stitch (Which can also be done by hand).  I very gently (you don't want your string to break) grabbed my bobbin string (the string on the bottom) and started pulling gently.  Use your fingers to move the gathers along to the middle of the ruffle.  I pulled from both ends to keep from putting too much strain on the thread.  If your thread does break, you have your back up stitch.  Do not cut your threads when you are done.  I did, and you can see in the last picture my gather had come undone some, I didn't have a back up stitch so I used my fingers to fake it on the denim with straight pins.

I then laid my ruffle on my denim and tried to make it as straight as possible without messing up my gathers.  I started pinning the ruffle on the denim making sure my gathers were even as I went.

I then made sure I had turned my stitch guide back to 3and slowly stitched along the ruffle.  You have to be careful and make sure the gathers are laying the way you want as you sew.  Don't forget to remove your pins before you sew over them.  They break my needles.

For the pockets, I cut two squares the same size.   I ironed a hem with just one turn on three sides and on the top, where my flowers were, I  folded it under twice.  I ironed it all down then I sewed the top of the pocket.  I put the pockets where I wanted them on the denim.  First I folded the denim in half with the pockets in between to make sure the pockets were placed evenly apart.  I then took a ruler and measured to make sure they were an even distance from the top.  I pinned them into place and held the apron up to a mirror to make sure I liked the placement.  I then sewed the sides and bottom.  Be sure to reinforce your stitches at the top to make sure your pockets do not come apart.

I then folded my apron in half and made sure the sides were even.  I had to cut a little off of one side.  I found the middle of my tie and matched it up with the middle of my apron.  (I forgot to take any more pictures of the rest of the apron, though)  I put the material in the middle of the tie and sewed the tie onto the denim.  
Voila - You have an apron made out of old jeans and a sheet!

You can also make the ruffle smaller!  This is my first ever ruffle - yeah!  The pink one is my second!  LOL  I love ruffles!  If you have any tips on ruffles, please share!
Go check out this page http://keepsakesbymelissa.blogspot.com/2010/07/want-piece-of-cake-blogaversary.html  for a chance to win a cricut cake machine!

Happy sewing!


Kat said...

This is adorable! My daughters have been asking me to make them aprons and I have an old pair of my husband's jeans in my fabric stash. I think I might have to try this!

Pattilou said...

Clever use of a pair of jeans! You make a darling model of your new apron!

Sarah Craig said...

Whoop whoop! Cute apron and a great tutorial!!

Pam said...

A fabulous refashion!!! That gorgeous, ruffled, pink fabric co-ordinates so well with the denim. Thanks for leaving me a link on my Refashioning post so I could come over and have a look. I'd love you to share this at the ongoing Aprons link party.

"Oh taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him." Psalm 34:8