~Gathering Apron Tutorial~

| Gardening, Homemaking

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Learn how to sew your own gathering apron to bring in the garden harvest (tutorial)

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!!

While this tutorial includes the instructions for lining the skirt portion of your apron with muslin to make it a bit more durable, I no longer line mine. I found it just added to the weight when I was gathering and over time it shrunk at a different rate than the cotton so it doens’t press nicely anymore.

Learn how to sew your own gathering apron to bring in the garden harvest (tutorial)

{Materials}

2 1/2 yards of fabric
1 yard muslin, optional
50″ length of 3/4″ grosgrain ribbon.

I chose this fabric from Hancock’s of Paducah
Learn how to sew your own gathering apron to bring in the garden harvest (tutorial)

{Cutting the Fabric}

For this step, you’ll need your waist measurement at your natural waistline where you’ll tie your apron. 

Skirt: Cut 1 at 30″ x 40″
Lining: Cut 1 at 30″ x 40″
Bib: Cut 1 at 14″ x 40″
Waistband: Cut 2 at 4″ X your waist measurement divided by 2
Tie Ends: Cut 2 at 4″ X 35″
Necktie: Cut 2 at 2″ X 35″

**If you would like to download free instructions for an unlined gathering apron click HERE. These directions aren’t as detailed, but it does have the instruction in the most effiecient workflow, combining steps in groups that are done at the ironing board & at the sewing machine so there isn’t so much going back and forth. I would thoroughy read and understand the tutorial first. 

{Skirt}

•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 2 gathering lines across the top at 5/8″ &  1/4″.

{Bib}

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, 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. (This step simply makes the gathering on the top of the bib look neater when the apron is finished.)

•Run 2 gathering lines across the top at 5/8″ &  1/4″.

{Necktie & Tie Ends}

•To sew the necktie end and tie ends, fold each in half lengthwise then stitch 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.

{Assembly}

•Pin the open ends of the tie ends 5/8″ from the top of one waistband section (we’ll call it Waistband #1), raw ends even. Baste.

•Hem Waistband #1 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.•Pin Waistband #1 to the gathered edge of the skirt, right sides together. Pull up the gathers, matching the center of the skirt to the center of the waistband. (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. (We’ll call it Waistband #2.)

•Measure and mark in 4″ from the edge of Waistband #2 on each side. Pin the wrong side of the bib to the right side of the Waistband #2 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 to the top of the Waistband #1 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.)

•Lay the loose waistband flat and pin turned in edge to the skirt/waistband gathered seam.

•Topstitch the waistband on all sides.

{Buttonholes}

Size them to account for the 3/4″ grosgrain ribbon.
• Sew 2 buttonholes on the right and left bottom corners of the skirt.
• Find the center of the bottom of the skirt and sew 2 buttonholes- 1/2″ to the right and left of center.
•Find the center of the waistband and sew 2 buttonholes- 1/2″ to the right and left of center.
•Open the buttonholes with a seam ripper or pair of embroidery scissors.
•Feed the grosgrain ribbon through the buttonholes in the waistband and tie a bow.

{Finishing Touches}

•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.

Learn how to sew your own gathering apron to bring in the garden harvest (tutorial) All done!

Learn how to sew your own gathering apron to bring in the garden harvest (tutorial)

Learn how to sew your own gathering apron to bring in the garden harvest (tutorial)

Learn how to sew your own gathering apron to bring in the garden harvest (tutorial)

Learn how to sew your own gathering apron to bring in the garden harvest (tutorial)

Learn how to sew your own gathering apron to bring in the garden harvest (tutorial)

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.)

Gathering Apron Instructions**If you would like to download free instructions for an unlined gathering apron click here. These directions aren’t as detailed, but it does have the instruction in the most effiecient workflow, combining steps in groups that are done at the ironing board & at the sewing machine so there isn’t so much going back and forth. I would thoroughy read and understand the tutorial first. 
Happy Sewing!

Quinn

Not a sewer? Check out these for some alternative gardening aprons you could purchase!

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19 Comments
  • Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

    Do I understand right that only the bottom is lined?

  • Judy

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

    • 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.

    • 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!

  • Judy Coche

    How many yards for the apron and how many yards for the lining please? Thanks

    • 2 yards should do you fine.

      Here’s my math on the lengths: I cut a 30″ apron, 2 waistbands @ 4″ each, a 14″ bib, 2 tie ends at 4″, and 2 neckties at 2″.

      30+8+14+8+4=64″ length of fabric.