February 03, 2024
We have been excited to get our 303 English Cottage Kitchen sewing pattern back out into the world! It is such a great pattern with so much to make inside of it, and so much information and sewing inspiration. It is certainly beloved for the pinafore apron that can be made for girls (sizes 2-10) or for women. The size range for the women's apron is somewhat limited, so we wanted to include a tutorial on sizing this pattern up.
In general aprons are very adjustable. They don't close in the back so you have usually have ample room for different sized bodies. The pinafore version of this apron does close in the back with buttons. So if you are making the pinafore, in particular, you will want to make sure the waist fits your body. The other parts of the apron that might need adjustment are the skirt and the bib. By design, the bib is fairly small, so a larger bust might want a little more coverage. However, it is up to you! The final adjustment that might need to be made would be for the straps. If you have large shoulders or back, you may want to make the straps a little longer.
This blog post will show you how to make all these adjustments. Plus, we have a video that shows how to make the adjustments on the pattern as well!
The waistband is sized by waist size. You can choose the size closest to your waist measurement. There is about 1.75" (4.4cm) of ease at the waist, however if you are going to have a closed back apron/pinafore, you will take up about at least 1" (2.5cm) of this ease with a button and overlap. So keep that in mind.
Each size up for the waistband adds 1/2" (12.5mm) to each end of the waistband. So if you want to make a waistband for a 31" waist, you would add 1/2" (12.5mm) to each end of the waistband. If you want a waistband for 32" waist, add 1" (2.5cm) to each end of the waistband, and continue that pattern for each size up you want to go.
You can see there is a 1/2" (12.5mm) between each waistband size.
Mark 1/2" increments for each size up you want to make the waistband larger.
Be sure to do this to both sides of the waistband!
You may or may not need to adjust the apron skirt. The top of the skirt is gathered into the waistband, so especially if you are making an open-back apron, you may be able to just cut the largest size skirt for women and be done. But, if you want it to button in the back (like a pinafore), you may want a little extra room. The largest size of skirt finishes at about 53" (135cm) at the hip, but you will loose an inch or so if you are adding buttons to the back. So if you want to add more room in the skirt, you can just add to the folded edge of the Front and Back of the apron skirt and even amount.
For any Skirt and Waistband adjustments, be sure to gather the skirt evenly into the waistband. You may need to adjust the marks on the waistband for the sides seams (or ignore them) and just make your skirt gathers evenly all the way around the waistband.
The apron bib is fairly narrow, but also fairly tall. You probably won't need to make adjustments for height on the bib, but if you do, you can draw a lengthen/shorten line above the notch on the bib and lengthen it as needed. Be sure to adjust the star notch on the straps (or ignore it) when you got to put the strap on the bib if you adjust for height.
To make the bib wider, you can add to the center at the fold. Add the extra width you need, and be sure to remember that whatever you add there will double. So if you add an extra inch to the center fold line, you are adding 2" to the width of the bib.
Here I am adding a 1/2" (12.5mm) to the center of the bib pattern piece. This will add 1" (2.5cm) to the center of the bib and to the width of the whole piece.
The bib is gathered at its bottom and top. To add a little extra width, you can also not gather it as much as indicated by the notches on the waistband (and by the bib stay, but we'll get to that in a minute). Again, either ignore the notches on the waistband or adjust them to the width you desire. However, do line up the center of the bib (notch 6) with the center notch on the waistband so everything comes out evenly.
If you are making the bib wider (or just not gathering it in as much), you will also need to adjust the Bib Stay. This is a small rectangle of fabric that goes over the gathers at the top of the bib to create a ruffle at the top of the bib.
The Bib Stay is a simple rectangle. You can add 1/4" (6mm) to each side for each size up you want to go. OR, add the extra length you need to get the size you desire.
Here I used my ruler to add 1/4" (6mm) to one end of the Bib Stay to make it a size larger. You can add as much as you need to get the width you want for this.
Be sure to add the same amount to the other side of the bib stay as well!
Your straps may or may not need to be adjusted, but if you have large shoulders or back, you may want to add some length to them. The longest straps are 33" (84cm) and cross in the back. There is a little extra length built into them so you already have some adjustment room. But, you can easily add length to the front and back of the strap. Again, use your ruler to add the same size increment to create larger sizes for the straps. Do this to the front and back of the straps.
Back of the strap with markings for adding larger sizes (just as the waistband).
Front of the strap with length added for larger sizes. Be sure to add to both sizes.
Another thing to note about the straps, is that adding length to the straps will make the notches on the bib and strap not match. You can adjust your notch on the strap by the same amount you added to the strap front, or just match the pieces together and ignore the notches.
If you lengthened the straps, you may or may not need to adjust the Strap Ruffle. If you didn't add much length to the straps, you may not need to adjust the ruffle since it is gathered and will easily gather into the strap. If you don't adjust the ruffle and you added a lot of length to the strap, your ruffle just may not be quite a full as normal. However, if you want to, you can adjust the ruffle by adding length to the ends or at the shoulder. Just extend the ends by the amount you want to add. But if you want to add more than a 1/2" (12.5mm), you can add to the shoulder. Just cut the pattern piece at the shoulder line and spread apart the pattern by the same amount that you increased the straps (or as much as you want to add), then tape a piece of paper in place to keep the new length. This will also keep the ruffle very full.
Ends of strap ruffle. You can add a bit to these ends to make the ruffle longer.
Or . . .
Add length to the Strap Ruffle at this shoulder line. Spread the tissue apart here to add length.
You can always add extra buttons to the strap ends with a few inches between them so that you have an adjustable apron for different sizes. You can do this with both straps (instead of sewing one side to the skirt waist).
I hope this tutorial helps you to adjust the sizing of this apron. If you have questions, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or drop a question in the comments below!
February 22, 2024 1 Comment on Sizing up the Apron from 303 English Cottage Kitchen
February 14, 2024