Lesson 3—Decorative Bands, Piping, Pockets and Ruffles

Click here for a printable version of this lesson.

Welcome back to our Oh! Christmas Tree Apron Sew-Along, sponsored by our friends at HUSQVARNA® VIKING®! We are so glad that you have joined us. This lesson brings additional embellishments of decorative bands, piping and pockets. If you are just now joining us, click here to visit the sew-along homepage, where you can download the free Oh! Christmas Tree Apron PDF pattern, enter for your chance to win an EPIC™ 95Q sewing machine from HUSQVARNA® VIKING®, and catch up on the first two lessons!

Oh! Christmas Tree Apron Sew-AlongSupplies Needed

  • Embellished Apron Front
  • Decorative Band pieces cut during Week 1
  • Pockets cut during Week 1
  • Pocket Linings cut during Week 1
  • Ruffles cut during Week 1 (if using)
  • Pre-made Piping or make your own using 1-1/2” bias strips of fabric and 5/32” piping cord
  • Construction thread to blend with fabrics
  • Glue pen
  • Piping trimming tool
  • Temporary fabric marker
  • Piping foot
  • Edge-Joining or Stitch-in-the-Ditch foot
  • General Sewing Supplies

Notes

All seam allowances = 1/4” unless otherwise noted. Stitch D:1 places the needle 1/4” from the right-hand side of a 9mm foot. You can also use a center straight stitch and the 1/4” indicator line on the bobbin cover. The advantage of using stitch D:1 is that the fabric will ride on all feed dogs and be completely under the foot. This will help the fabric to stay straight as it feeds through the machine.

All measurements given are for adult size. Measurements for child size are in parentheses.

Creating Piping (optional)

  1. Cut 1-1/2” wide bias strips of fabric for all piping. Refer to step 1 under Preparing Piping for lengths needed.
  2. If you need to piece bias strips for the longer length of piping, use the Laser Sewing Guidance feature as follows to piece the strips quickly and accurately:

a. Set the machine for a center straight stitch and activate the Laser Sewing Guidance using the function button above the needle.

b. On the screen, ensure that the laser is in position 0. This places the laser directly in front of the needle.

c. Place two bias strips right sides together on one short end with one strip perpendicular to the other.

d. Place the fabrics under the foot so that the needle will start in one overlapping corner and the laser intersects the other overlapping corner (photo 1). Stitch, keeping the laser focused on the intersection.

Christmas Tree Apron Sew-Along - Lesson 3 - Photo 1
Photo 1

e. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4” and press open.

3. Wrap the bias strip around the piping cord, keeping the cord snug in the fold and aligning the long raw edges.

4. Using a piping foot, stitch near the cord, creating the piping.

Preparing Piping

  1. Cut the created piping to the following lengths:
  • One piece 14” (10”) for the top band
  • One piece 45” (31”) for the upper outside edge
  • Two pieces 8” for the pocket bands (optional)
  1. Trim the seam allowance of each piece of piping to 1/4” using the piping trimming tool.

Creating and Attaching the Top Decorative Bands

  1. Place the 14” (10”) length of piping to one long side of the 2-1/2” x 14” (1-1/2” x 10”) piece of fabric for the top band, aligning the raw edges.
  2. Using a piping foot, stitch the piping to the band.
  3. Turn the seam allowance to the wrong side, aligning the piping along the edge of the band and press well (photo 2).

    Christmas Tree Apron Sew-Along - Lesson 3 - Photo 2
    Photo 2
  4. Place the band on top of the embellished apron front, aligning the long raw edge of the band to the top raw edge of the apron front, and having the wrong side of the band to the right side of the apron front. The band should extend beyond the drawn arm curves on both sides (photo 3).

    Christmas Tree Apron Sew-Along - Lesson 3 - Photo 3
    Photo 3
  5. Baste the band to the apron front at the top edge using a seam allowance of less than 1/4”.
  6. Attach an Edge-Joining foot or a Stitch-in-the-Ditch foot and select a center straight stitch. Align the flange of the foot in the ditch where the piping meets the fabric and stitch the band in place.
  7. Using the apron pattern and a temporary fabric marker, transfer the arm curves to the decorative band (photo 4).

    Christmas Tree Apron Sew-Along - Lesson 3 - Photo 4
    Photo 4

Piping the Upper Apron

  1. Starting on one side, place the raw edges of the seam allowance of the piping along the drawn arm curve with the piping cord toward the apron. Glue in place, clipping the seam allowance as needed. Take care to not stretch the piping as you glue.
  2. At the top of the arm curve, clip through the seam allowance of the piping all the way to the stitching. Turn the piping to align the raw edges with the top of the apron and continue to glue in place.
  3. When you reach the other arm curve, clip through the seam allowance of the piping all the way to the stitching and turn the corner to align the raw edges with the drawn arm curve.
  4. Continue to glue in place around the arm curve until you reach the other side. Let glue dry.
  5. Using a piping foot, stitch the piping in place. Do not cut the arm curves at this time (photo 5).

    Christmas Tree Apron Sew-Along - Lesson 3 - Photo 5
    Photo 5

Creating and Attaching the Optional Pockets

Note: Angled pockets are shown in the photos. Straight pockets are constructed in the same manner.

  1. Follow steps 1 through 3 under Creating and Attaching the Top Decorative Bands to create two pocket bands using the 8” lengths of piping and the 2” x 8” strips of pocket band fabric.
  2. Place the bands to the top edges of the pockets, wrong side of band to right side of pockets, aligning the raw edges at the top. The bands should extend beyond the sides of the pockets on both sides. Ensure that the bands for the Angled Pockets cover the entire top of the pocket (photo 6).

    Christmas Tree Apron Sew-Along - Lesson 3 - Photo 6
    Photo 6
  3. Follow steps 5 and 6 under Creating and Attaching the Top Decorative Bands to stitch the bands to the pockets. Trim the sides of the band to match the sides of the pocket (photo 7).

    Christmas Tree Apron Sew-Along - Lesson 3 - Photo 7
    Photo 7
  4. For each pocket, place the pocket lining right sides together with the pocket, aligning all raw edges.
  5. Stitch through both layers using a 1/4” seam allowance and leaving a hole in the lower edge of the pocket for turning.
  6. Clip the corners, turn the pockets right side out and press well. Press the opening closed.
  7. Align the pockets on the apron front as follows: 5” in from the raw edge of the side of the apron and 7” – 3” for ruffled version – up from the lower raw edge of the apron. Pin in place.
  8. Topstitch around the sides and lower edge of the pockets, reinforcing the stitching on the top edges (photo 8). This stitching will close the opening left for turning.

    Christmas Tree Apron Sew-Along - Lesson 3 - Photo 8
    Photo 8

Creating and Attaching the Optional Ruffle

  1. Fold one short end of the 8-1/2” x 56” (6-1/2” x 34”) ruffle strip in half, right sides together, and stitch the short end. Repeat on the other short end.
  2. Turn the ruffle right side out and press well.
  3. Mark the center of one long side of the ruffle at the raw edges.
  4. Run two rows of gathering threads (SL=4-5) through both layers, one row 1/4” and the other 1/2” from the raw edges (photo 9).

    Christmas Tree Apron Sew-Along - Lesson 3 - Photo 9
    Photo 9
  5. Find and mark the center of the lower edge of the apron front. Measure a generous 1/4” from each corner and mark on the lower raw edge.
  6. With right sides together, align the center of the ruffle to the center of the lower edge of the apron front. Gather the ruffle until the short ends of the ruffle meet the 1/4” marks at the corners (photo 10). Pin well.

    Christmas Tree Apron Sew-Along - Lesson 3 - Photo 10
    Photo 10
  7. Baste the ruffle to the apron front using a generous 1/4” seam allowance (photo 11).

    Christmas Tree Apron Sew-Along - Lesson 3 - Photo 11
    Photo 11

Your apron front is now complete! Join us next week as we learn how to make the straps and ties and put it all together!