Sew: Nurse Apron

Sew: Nurse Apron

I've shown you how to sew a nurse hat and how to sew a skirt for a nurse costume, now it's time to show you how to sew a nurse apron. You can make this apron for children or adults for any fancy dress occasion. Originally I made this costume for my sisters hen-do but the theme changed, so now I will be wearing it for Halloween!

What you'll need
1 Sheet of Red Felt*
White bias binding (Optional- 1m or less).

Making the Crosses

For the top of the apron you will want to make a cross with these dimensions if making for an adult size, if making for a child, make the cross with smaller dimensions.  Every edge of the cross has length 6cm/(2.25"). Make sure you mark this out before cutting to make sure your lines are straight.
Once done you should have something that looks like this:

For the cross at the bottom of the apron you will want to cut the cross with these dimensions. Every edge of the cross has length 3cm/(1 1/8"):
Making the top of the apron
When making the apron you will need to adjust these dimensions for the person you are making it for.  
The top of the apron is a rectangle, add 2" to the height and 2" to the width of your desired shape. I cut a rectangle with the dimension 28cmx30cm (11"x12").

Finish the top edge and two side edges by folding under 1/2", pressing, folding under another 1/2", press then stitch.

Pin the large cross into place at the centre of the rectangle with the top of the cross being 1 or 2" away from the top of the rectangle.

Sew this cross into place, remember when doing this you can sew it in one motion, sew a straight edge, leave needle in the fabric when at a corner, lift the presser foot, turn the work, lower presser foot and start again.

Making the bottom of the apron

When determining the size of the rectangle for the bottom of your apron you should measure from waist to desired length and add 2" to this measurement. For me this was 50cm (20"). When deciding the width of this rectangle measure across the front of your body and multiply this by at least 1.5. The wider the rectangle the more full and gathered it will be. For me this was 80cm (32").

This meant I cut a rectangle sized 80cm x 50cm (32" x 20").

Finish the two short sides and the bottom long side in the same way we did for the top of the apron.

Now it's time to gather your rectangle. We will be using a basting stitch (or two) in order to gather our rectangle. Set your stitch length to the longest it will go and use a regular straight stitch.

Sew one (or two) parallel lines of stitching at the top of the rectangle, do not back stitch! Leave long tails of thread at the beginning and end. Pull on the top threads at both sides of the line of stitching and push the fabric along. Make sure you distribute the gathers evenly. Continue to gather your fabric until it measures to your desired width. For me, I gathered until it measured 35cm (14") long.

Once gathered I tied the top and bottom thread at each end and then sewed along my basting stitches with my regular straight stitch and regular stitch length to secure my gathers into place.

Now its time to sew the small cross onto the bottom of your skirt piece. Sew this onto the skirt the same way we sewed the other cross. I decided to sew my cross on the bottom left corner.

Making the waistband/ties for your apron

When making your waistband and tie you will need to cut a rectangle that is long enough to wrap around your waist twice and it should have width 4". You may need to sew two pieces together in order to get a piece long enough.

Once you have your rectangle cut you should fold it in half, right sides together, so that it's width is now only 2". 
It is time to sew your tie, so you start from the folded corner and sew the short edge, turn the corner and sew to the centre of the tie leaving a 2 inch gap. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end. Now, start sewing again after this gap, finish sewing the long edge, turn the corner and sew the other short edge shut.

Here is the sluggish part, time to turn the waistband/tie right sides out, by pulling it through the two inch gap. This usually takes me a while so why not read my blog posts for a nurse hat tutorial while you do it. (Like what I did there?). Once you have turned it right sides out use something pointy to such out the corners so that they are nice and sharp. I like to use a chopstick because they are long and pointy.

I like to hand sew the gap closes using a ladder stitch, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials on how to do this if you get stuck.

Assembling the apron

First we will connect the bottom of the apron ("skirt") to the waistband. Place your waistband onto your surface. Now place your skirt right side down onto the waistband making sure to match the centre of the skirt with the centre of the waistband. I used a pin to match the two centres.

Now, sew the skirt to the waistband using a regular straight stitch. Be sure to use a seam allowance big enough so that the gathering stitches from earlier will be inside the seam allowance.

At this point we are ready to connect the top of the apron to the waistband of the apron. We won't be sewing this in the usual way, we place the top of the apron on our surface right side up. We now place the waistband onto this piece right side up as well.

Remember to match the centre of top of the apron with the centre of the waistband and make sure you pin the two pieces together so that the top is sewn on straight.

We will be top-stitching the top onto the waistband, this means that we place the pinned apron under the machine and sew a regular line of stitching close to the edge of the waistband, catching the top piece underneath. Make sure you keep this stitching as straight as possible as it will be shown on the outside of the apron.

At this point the apron should look almost complete.

Making your neck tie

I decided I wanted a thin tie for around my neck so decided I was going to use white bias binding as my neck tie. I measured how long I wanted my neck tie and cut the bias binding to this length. I folded under the edges of the bias binding into the fold. I then sewed the open edge of the binding closed with a regular straight stitch as close to the edge of the binding. 

Pin both ends of the tie onto the top of the apron, making sure not to twist them. Sew them onto the top by sewing a rectangle with a cross through it.

If you would like larger ties cut a rectangle to the length required and four times the width of your desired tie. Fold the two outer edges into the centre of your tie and then fold in half. If this isn't clear I used the same method when making the straps for my lined tote bag.

It's finished! Feel free to add any trim/ embellishments that you like. I think some white lace at the bottom of the apron would look very cute and girly! Hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and find it helpful! If you don't understand a step as always comment below and I will try help you. Keep your eyes peeled for a new tutorial for the last part of this costume, why not subscribe by email by entering you email address into the left sidebar of this page (It's FREE!).

p.s. Sorry this tutorial was a little late posting, went home from Uni for the weekend and ended up spending lots of time with family so didn't post!

Goodbye For Now!



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