Apron Dress Assembly
Assembling the dress itself is really easy. Sew up the gores, attach the gores to the front and back dress panels. Voila! Basic assembly completed. However, to make the dress truly fit, some adjustment is needed, as well as basic construction of straps and facing band. So, once the panels are all constructed, put the dress on inside out. This really is the easiest way when self adjusting to determine where fit needs to be made.
For me, I needed to pull just the top in approximately 1” on each side. So a hot minute later at my machine, and I get this:
Finish your seams in your preferred method and you are ready to make the straps and facing. Now, the strap measurement should go from the spot between your shoulder blades, over your shoulders, to the spot where the side/front gore connects. For me, that measurement was about 22”. So I cut my strap 5” wide by 47” long. This will let me sew once and cut the strap in half. In addition to the two main straps, I’m going to stitch another smaller strap approximately 8” long. This will be cut in half to form loops in front.
To determine how long I need to cut my facing piece, I put a pin in my apron dress to use as a start and stop point and measure around the top circumference of my dress. My measurement came out to 41”, but I cut my facing piece at 43”. This is so I can lap the band in back, as the apron dress tapers, I have to lap the band to close it.
Repeat all measurements in your interfacing fabric and you’re ready to sew. Straps are pretty straight forward, stitch right sides together with the interfacing out, so that when you flip the strap, the interfacing is in. Press all seams as you go, flip the straps and press flat. Cut in half and you’re ready for the facing piece.
After attaching the interfacing to the facing piece, determine which side is the back and locate the center back. Fold over 1/2” of the facing, and start pinning. Place the first strap down underneath the facing piece. As you pin around to the front, once you hit the front/gore gusset seam, pin down the first of your loops, making sure to fold the loop in half so it actually FORMS a loop. Keep pinning and repeat on the other side with the other loop. Continue pinning all the way around the back, pinning the other strap in place in back and lapping the facing in back. Stitch down, press and turn.
Now, I like the outward facings, which requires pinning and stitching again; however, if you’ve set your facing to fold to the inside, then you’re done! For me, the pinning commences again. But, after pinning it all down (again) and stitching (again), a simple 90 degree turn at the lapped location will present a finished back seam that looks like this:
And that’s it! The whole thing, once completed, looks like the cover shot of this post. Some decorative stitching at the side seams, some turtle brooches, and it’s ready to wear. For a quick video rehash, here’s the YouTube link: