Sometimes you just couldn't be bothered to make a Halloween costume, but feel you need something as you'll be opening the door to trick-or-treaters. Well, we've a fabulous solution for you that can be used from year to year AND can keep you clean! This super scary silhouette appliqué apron is sure to turn heads (in shock, in fright, in awe). It looks super complicated but really isn't (well, it isn't if you don't go overboard with the design like we did, took an absolute age to sew all the teeny windows on our haunted-house-on-a-hill-with-obligatory-grave-yard-and-dead-tree scene). If our design is daunting, check out the patterns in the links for something with less fiddly bits but that could work well too- bats or a pumpkin. You can also try our house/graveyard scene design too- pattern here.
What we used for our apron:
How to make the apron:
- Cut a rectangle from both the orange cord and black jersey that both measure 70x50cm (this includes the seam allowance). These are the front and back of your apron.
- Cut out 3 strips from the rest of the cord that are approx 12cm wide and 75cm long (this includes your seam allowance). These will be the apron strings and the band at the top of the apron. The reason we used 3 strips is to save on fabric- otherwise you'd need a length of fabric measuring about 2.25m long.
- Sew these together short-end to short-end, ensuring that the nap of the fabric runs in the same direction on all three pieces, as in the photo below.
- Now for the pattern you're appliquéing onto the front of the apron. Take the full size image and draw it onto the paper side of the bondaweb. If your image only works one direction, you'll need to reverse it before tracing onto the bondaweb. You can do this with tracing paper.
- Iron the piece of bondaweb with your drawing onto the piece of leftover jersey (so not the piece you cut measuring 70x50cm). You can trim the bondaweb a little before but there's no need to cut it out accurately until it's been ironed on.
- Cut out your image. I use a variety of scissors for this- for example, the windows needed to be cut out with embroidery scissors.
- Peel the backing paper off the bondaweb. Then lay the bondwebbed-jersey on the right side of the cord (sticky side down) where you want to sew it. Iron this in place, taking care not to stretch the jersey.
- On the reverse side, iron on the interfacing or stabiliser; this will help to stop the cord or jersey buckling where you appliqué. (I thought I had more interfacing at home than I did, so I cut my irregularly shaped piece it into smaller shapes to use where I know I'd be appliquéing- you can see this in the image below).
- Time to begin appliquéing! Using black thread, sew a small zig-zag stitch around all the edges of the black jersey. This could take a while, depending on the size and detail of your jersey image.
- When you've finished appliquéing your image, you need to sew the black jersey apron back to the front piece of cord. To do this, lay out the black jersey, and place the cord with the image appliquéd on it face down on top of the jersey, matching the two fabrics edge to edge. Pin in place extremely well, using lots of pins to keep the fabrics from stretching as you stitch (as per photo below). Using a straight stitch, sew them together on the two sides and across the bottom. Clip the corners, turn the right way out, push your corners out as square as possible, and press the edges.
- Now to gather the top edges of your apron. Pin the top edges of your front and back fabrics together. Beginning on one edge (leaving long tails of thread), sew two parallel lines of the largest straight stitch that your sewing machine can muster along this top edge, between about 0.75 and 1 cm apart. DO NOT BACK STITCH AT THE START OR END (I forgot this part 3 times from habit and had to rip back and re-do!); cut the thread when you're done leaving long thread tails.
- Separate the threads on each end into top threads and bottom threads. Choose either the top threads or bottom threads to tie off with a knot (see photo above). Then, take the untied threads and pull the fabric along them from both ends to create bunching and pleating. Spread the pleats out so that they're relatively similar in size, then tie off those threads too.
- Nearly there! Next step is to prepare the waistband and apron straps. Iron the length of fabric in half along the long edge. Iron up a 1cm hem on the inside of each end of the fabric. You've essentially turned this into a very large piece of binding (though not cut on the bias).
- Open the waistband up and insert the pulled edge of the skirt inside right in the centre of the length of fabric.
- Close the waistband and pin all layers of the fabric together well. Pin the long straps together too (I wonderclipped these as opposed to pinning- the clips are easier to work with for something like this). Now sew the waistband and straps closed from edge to edge. I also cut a diagonal strip from the end of the straps too to make a point, but this isn't necessary.
- Et voilà! Your apron is now finished! Wear with pride this October 31st!