I was recently recruited to add ruffles to 14 aprons for my kid’s school musical.
They didn’t give me much time so this is the quick way I did it.
Cut a strip 6.5 inches by the width of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge).
Fold and press it in 1/2 lengthwise.
Set your machine to do a basting stitch, by setting the stitch length as long as your machine allows.
On my machine the longest is 6mm.
Then use a 1/2 inch seam allowance and sew one row of basting stitches along the raw edges of the fabric.
Make sure to leave a long tail at the end.
Stitch a second row of basting stitches using the inside of my presser foot as a guide, or a 1/8 inch seam allowance.
Separate the two top threads from the two bobbin threads and grasp these tightly. Carefully slide your fabric toward the center, creating the ruffle. Be careful not to break the threads as you work.
Do this from the other side as well until you have an even amount of ruffles all along the edge.
Lay the raw edge of the ruffle to bottom edge of the apron.
If the apron is already hemmed, as these were, trim it off to create less bulk.
I also took this opportunity to shorten these aprons as they are being used by kids.
On the ends, fold in the raw (short edge) of the ruffle twice and pin there.
Loosen or tighten up those ruffles until the ruffle fits the width of your apron and the ruffles are evenly distributed.
Reset your machine’s stitch length to 2.5 or 3.0 (I like a little longer stitch length to help me get over the ruffles.)
Stitch that ruffle on!
Now just stitch down the hems on the short sides of the ruffle.
Use a pinking blade or pinking shears to finish the raw edges on the wrong side of the apron.
Clip away any hanging threads, press the seam allowance up…
…and you’re done!