First, I took out a few of my own aprons, compared, measured, changed and adjusted. Allowing for a 1/2 inch seam allowance I drew my finished pattern on parchment paper, which is holding up quite well(I'm making a couple more) and aligning it on the fold of my main fabric I cut.
I then cut a matching (but much shorter) piece for the facing out of the contrasting fabric as I couldn't figure out another way to make a sort of sweet-heart neck line. I'm sure someone else has a much better (ahem, correct) way to make a sweetheart neckline, (please share!) this is just how I was able to finagle it.
Next I made all the ties, again from the contrasting fabric. I decided on a two inch thick tie for around the neck and 1/2 inch for the two around the waist then allowed for seam allowances and cut. I folded them in half right sides together and stiched and turned them right side out. Finishing the short edges was done by pinking them and folding them in about 1/2 inch, pressing and straight stitching.
Finally, it was time to put it all together. I placed the main apron piece and the facing right sides together. Next, placed the two neck ties inbetween the apron and facing piece at their appropriate places and pinned. Did the same thing for the waist ties. Stitched around the edges and pressed and clipped seams and turned it right side out.
I just wanted a slight gather on the ruffle so I cut a length of the contrasting fabric one and a half the width of the apron. I finished the bottom by turning it up twice, pressing and stitching. Then basted (is that how you spell the past tense of baste?) and gathered, matching the centers of the fabric to be sure it was even, pin right sides together and sew! I pressed the seam open, cut with my pinking shears close to the seam and called it a finished edge.
The sides were finished the same as the bottom all the way so that the ruffle was even with the apron body. I added some finishing touches like topstitching along the neckline, reinforcing the waist ties on the right side, adding a pocket and voila an apron!
It really was a fun adventure with my sewing machine! I will most likely not make another with the 'fake' sweatheart neckline until I find out how to
without pulling my hair out do it the right way. The rest was a fun way to involve a bit of myself in a gift for someone special. I'm planning another for my husband when he bbq's, without the ruffle of course!