~Gathering Apron Tutorial~

| Handiwork, In the Garden, sewing

I’m incredibly excited to share this tutorial with you today!After mentioning that I was in the market for an apron that would be long enough to accommodate impromptu garden harvests, I was introduced to the concept of a gathering apron. Obviously, I immediately loved it! A gathering harvest apron is perfect and was better than what I was looking for!

But if I’m to bother with wearing an apron, it must have a bib. I’m not the tallest of ladies and if an apron is to protect my clothes, it needs to have a bib since that area is more prone to splashes for me than below the waist would be. The skirt is long for plenty of room in the gathering pocket and lined with muslin for strength.

Combine the functionality of this apron with the compliments I’ve been getting around here on the beauty of it,  and I may finally have enough reason to commit to consistently wearing aprons! Until now, aprons have only served as a handy towel for me, but I often have a towel on hand and am apparently too lazy to pull one of the wrinkled balls out of the drawer in which they reside. (To remedy this, I’m going to attach a hook to the side of my hutch to hang these on.)

Update: I’m now selling Gathering Aprons on Etsy! If you don’t want to sew your apron, I can do it for you!!

I chose this fabric from Hancock’s of Paducah
apron pinterest.002
You’ll want to begin by figuring out your measurements for your bib and your skirt. I’m not going to tell you exactly how to figure your measurements, I can’t commit to the responsibility of telling you the wrong way ;D  For the skirt, choose your length and measure where on your waist you’d like the skirt to hit from side to side. Add extra fabric for gathering. I wanted mine to have extra gathering in the event I’m trying to stick a basketball belly and vegetables in there someday. I used my total hip measurement (and then added an inch simply to make it even.)
For the bib, measure from where you want it to start above your bust to your natural waistline. The width will be the same as that of the skirt.
Use judgement for how long you’d like your tie end and necktie to be.

My Measurements: Bib– 12″ x 40″

Skirt– 1 cut  at 30″ x 40″ & 1 cut of muslin at 30″ x 40″
Neck Tie- 2″ x 53″


Waistband- 2 @ 4″ x 21 1/4″


Tie Ends- 2 @ 4″ x 35 1/4″ In addition to material and possible contrast material if you choose, you’ll need to obtain 50″ length of 3/4″ grosgrain ribbon.

1. Cut all pieces to size.
2. Pin the right sides of the skirt and muslin together on 3 sides only, leaving the top open.
Stitch the seam of the 3 pinned sides.
Trim seam & clip the corners.
Turn the piece right side out, poking into the corners for a nice right angle. Press.
Topstitch the 3 sides.
Run a 2 gathering lines across the top at 5/8″ &  1/4″
3. Next we’re going to make a opening in the top of the bib to run the neck tie through.
Fold the 2 side edges under 1/4″, press and fold in again 1/4″, press & pin.
Fold under 1/4″ on top edge. Press.
 Fold the top edge of the bib over 1 1/2″. Press & pin.
Stitch up one side,  just to the bottom edge of the top fold.
Stitch across the bottom edge of the top fold, turn and stitch down the other side.
Stitch 3/8″ across the top edge of the bib… leaving an opening for the neck tie to slip through.
Run  2 gathering lines across the top at 5/8″ &  1/4″
4. To sew the necktie end and tie ends, fold each in half lengthwise.
Stitching a 3/8″ seam allowance, sew across one short end (I did the tie ends on a diagonal), turn, and then down the long end, leaving the other end open for turning.
Clip corners, turn right side out, and press.
For the necktie, slipstitch the open end closed.
5.  Pin the open ends of the tie ends 5/8″ from the top of one waistband section, raw ends even. Baste.
Hem waistband sides by turning in 1/4″, pressing, turning in a 1/4″ again, pressing again. (On the piece with the tie end, be sure to hem on the back… away from the tie end.)  Stitch.

5. Now it’s time to attach all the pieces together. Pin the waistband piece with the tie end to the gathered edge of the skirt, right sides together. Pull up the gathers, matching the centers. (Pin the tie ends together towards the middle to prevent catching them in the next few steps. ) Sew a 5/8″ seam. Press the seam up so that it will be inside the back waistband section and look neat.

Press up 5/8″ on the bottom, inside of the other waistband. Measure and mark in 4″ from the edge of the waistband on each side. Pin the wrong side of the bib to the right side of the waistband at the marks.  Pull up the gathers, matching centers. (The waistband will extend 4″ past on each side of the bib.) Stitch. (Note: In the following photos I did not measure in the 4″ and had to go back and pull it out and redo this step. Remember, I sew everything 1 1/2 times?)

Pin the bottom seamed end of the bib waistband to the top of the waistband on the skirt, right sides together.  Stitch a 5/8″ seam.

When you fold it open, it will look like this. (Except the bib will in 4″on each side.)

Trim out the bulk on the seams near the waistband.
Lay the loose waistband flat and pin turned in edge to the skirt/waistband gathered seam.
Topstitch the waistband on all sides.
I cleaned up the waistband edges by slipstitching some of the openings.
Then I removed the basting stitches from the tie ends that were holding them towards the front.
Insert the neck tie end through the opening in the bib.
6.) Finally, some buttonholes are added. Size them to account for the 3/4″ grosgrain ribbon.
Two just to the right and left of skirt bottom center; two on the right and left bottom corners of the skirt; and two just to the right and left of the waistband center.
Feed the grosgrain ribbon through the buttonholes in the waistband.

The finished product:

Inspiration for this project is found here & here. And if sewing is not one of your strengths (or if you’d rather be outside gardening than stuck indoors sewing) you can find a simple and inexpensive alternative here.)

Happy Sewing!

Not a sewer? Check out these for some alternative gardening aprons you could purchase!
Mountain Rose Herbs. A Herbs, Health & Harmony Com
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  • Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

    Do I understand right that only the bottom is lined?

    • http://www.reformationacres.com Quinn

      Yes ma’am! :)

    • http://www.reformationacres.com/ Quinn

      Yes ma’am :)

  • Judy

    which side of the apron skirt is the top? The 30″ or the 40″???

    • http://www.reformationacres.com/ Quinn

      Hi Judy!
      It’s the 40″ wide one which seems big I know, but it gets all bunched together on the neck tie so it ends up being about half that width. :)

  • Judy

    thanks Quinn, I originally had the 36″ at the top/bottom and It just seemed to be too long in lenght of apron, thus my question. I figured it out myself and undid the three seams redoing them and now I am back at it with the top/and ties!! lovely apron. will post when I am done

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  • Christine

    cut idea, but for me I would leave the top part off. Aprons with neck ties bother the back of my neck, especially after you have the weight of the fruit or veggies in the apron.

    • http://www.reformationacres.com/ Quinn

      You’re right Christine- I wouldn’t recommend bringing in a big haul with this apron. I’ve gotten some surprise harvests that were bigger than I bargained for and it is a literal pain in the neck :)

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  • Elizabeth Jessup-Piazza

    I used this idea (not the tutorial) and made a waist apron yesterday. I took the advice of others that the bib/neck would get heavy once the apron was filled. I put three holes in the bottom of the apron (left, right and center) and added a pocket on the front. It turned out well. Thank you for the wonderful idea!

  • Pamela Graham

    I have to second this….you have a double whammy of memories of giving this gift….so awesome!