Phew! Birthday month is over and what a busy, fun October is was! But before I put it completely behind me and dive headfirst into all things Christmas I wanted to share a little bit more about how we made these adorable Cupcake Ruffled Aprons for Kaitlyn’s Cupcake Wars Birthday Party (which was a total blast! You can check out the rest of the party details HERE).
We started off with an inexpensive white apron from the craft store. This not only made the whole sewing process easier and faster, but with a 40% off coupon on a pack of three it was probably less expensive than buying the fabric and sewing it ourselves. Then I took my time wandering around the fabric section and selected some fabric that went with our party theme and colors. I ended up with a yard of the striped fabric and 1/2 yard of the other four fabrics. This was more than enough fabric for all four aprons. If you are only sewing one apron you would need 1/4 to 1/3 yard in each of three different fabrics.
Isn’t the glitter in the fabric pretty? I thought it was perfect for preteen girly girls.
On to the sewing process! We decided that 4″ was a good length for the ruffles so I cut the fabric into strips 4 1/2″ wide, three strips per apron (one of each color). One strip turned out to be the perfect length to go across the apron when ruffled so no piecing was needed for that. I simply ironed the bottom of each strip 1/4″ for the hem, turned it another 1/4″ and ironed it again, then gave it to Kaitlyn who sewed the hems herself. (Did I mention she is 12? She loves this crafting stuff) We did the same method for hemming the edges of each strip and since the top of each ruffle wasn’t going to be seen we simply zig zagged along the top edge of each fabric strip. Once all the edges were taking care of, we sewed on a couple of gathering threads along the top of each strip (about 1/2″ down from the top) and gathered the fabric.
In order to sew the ruffles on straight, I drew a line with a pencil 3 1/2″ from the bottom of the apron, a second line 3 1/2″ above the first, and the third line 3 1/2″ above the second line. This allows the ruffles to overlap each other. Experiment a little bit with yours to make sure that the spacing allows enough overlap so that your upper edge with the gathering threads is fully covered.
The guide lines need to be drawn on both the front and the back of the apron. You use the lines on the front of the apron when you are pinning the ruffles on to keep it straight. We found that it was easier to sew the ruffles on with the BACK of the apron on top as it goes through the machine, which is why you need to draw a second set of lines on the back of the apron.
Start with the bottom ruffle and pin it on the apron (keeping the pins pretty close together so the ruffles won’t move) then sew it on. Repeat with the second and third ruffles.
In order to cover up the top of the final ruffle, we decided to add another strip of fabric as a sort of belt or waistline. So, cut a strip out of one of your fabrics – 2″ high, by the width of your apron (plus 1/2″ for hem allowances). I folded over the sides 1/4″ (this gives you a nice clean edge on both sides without hemming) and ironed it down. I also ironed a 1/4″ hem along one side of the fabric strip (let’s call it the top). Using the second (unironed) side of the fabric strip, we sewed it up-side down on top of the top ruffle. This allowed us to then fold it over, right-side-up, along the seam and iron it flat. It is then a simple matter to top-stich along all four sides of the fabric strip to form your belt.
The final touch was the cupcake applique. Kaitlyn did the entire applique herself, so trust me it’s easy (as long as you get the fusing on the correct BACK side of the fabric). We just printed off some cupcake clip art to use as a pattern and traced the outline of it onto the backing of the Iron-On Adhesive (we used an adhesive product similar to THIS). If you are unfamiliar with the use of iron-on adhesives, they are pretty easy to use. You just iron the adhesive onto the back of your fabric (holding the iron on for the number of seconds specified in the directions), peel off the backing paper, then iron your applique directly onto your project. The key to this process is that after you trace your stencil onto the backing paper, roughly cut around it leaving just a little space outside the lines of your stencil. Once you iron the adhesive to your applique fabric, cut along the lines of the stencil before removing the backing paper. This gives you a cleaner line along the edges of the stencil than trying to cut the fabric to match the shape of your adhesive. As you can see, we cut two different pieces for the applique using one fabric for the top of the cupcake and another fabric for the bottom. Then just placed them on the apron and ironed both pieces on at once.
Finish it all off by top-stitching around the edges of the applique.
Then have your adorable, newly-minted 12 year old proudly model her creation! 😉
And there are the happy bakers at Kaitlyn’s Cupcake Wars Birthday Party.
As always, if you are inspired by this project and use it to create something of your own I would LOVE to hear about it! (and see photos!)