Edwardian-Inspired Apron



Alison Nugent


(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

Entry inspired by Ethel Williams, in Fall of Giants by Ken Follet. I love to bake. But the only apron I owned was from the waist-down. For years, I've wanted to buy an apron that would cover my upper body as well. In the previous few years I have followed many people on Instagram that are heavily into historical costuming. When I found out about this competition, it gave me the inspiration and encouragement required to MAKE something that I'd truly love.

I decided to create an Edwardian-inspired apron to have a little bit of historic flare in my everyday life.

I took inspiration from one of my favourite books, Fall of Giants by Ken Follet.

Ethel Williams is from a poor mining town in Wales. She starts the book as a housemaid in the country estate home of the Earl Fitzherbert, Ty Gwyn, on the eve of World War One. While she does not stay a housemaid for long, I chose to use her humble beginnings as my main source of inspiration.

Life kicks Ethel down throughout the book, but her determination, bravery, and endurance are something that I sought after in my sewing journey. I wanted to dive into a world I'd never been before and have since discovered something I truly love.

Outline the construction…

I technically made two aprons.

When testing the waters to see if this was even possible for myself, I made a miniature "mock-up" out of fabric that I already owned. This way, I was able to try things out on a smaller scale and see what techniques made sense for this construction. The bonus was that I was able to then give the apron to my nearly 2 year old daughter.

With my daughter's apron complete, I committed to entering the competition and purchased a plain, white cotton. I originally wanted to purchase the same fabric as my daughter's (which was more of a white stretch-denim) simply because I knew how it sewed already. However, there was not enough.

I did not use a pattern, but rather used the mock-up as my guide and tweaked it slightly to make it bigger or to improve where I could.

Prior to the mock-up, all stitches aside from the running stitch had to be learned and I also learned how to use a thimble. Youtube videos by Burnley & Trowbridge, Abby Cox, and Bernadette Banner helped with this. And my final apron gave me the opportunity to practice them all on a larger scale.

Stitches I used: running stitch, running back stitch, hem stitch, felling stitch, and rolled hem stitch. I used the gathering technique for both the skirt and the ruffles and actually took some inspiration from the free tucked petticoat article here on Foundations Revealed for the front panel.




  1. Avatar Natasha Cosier on March 12, 2021 at 1:05 am

    I love this whole outfit!! It is wonderful!

  2. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 9:52 am

    It’s gorgeous! Well done

  3. Avatar Mathilde on March 12, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    I love it, it’s so impeccabely done. It realy could be mistaken for an antique apron. I fell some Downton Abbey vibes

  4. Avatar Ame Blue on March 12, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    This is beautiful! I love how you did the ruffles, and the pin tucks on the bib are a really nice detail.

  5. Avatar Carolien van Alphen on March 12, 2021 at 8:35 pm

    Very cute! Now I need my own to cook in 🙂

  6. Avatar Valerie Meachum on March 15, 2021 at 1:29 am

    Neat as a pin! You look ready to do credit to any Edwardian kitchen. The shape of the ruffles is just perfect.

  7. Avatar AnnaCatherine Sendgikoski on March 20, 2021 at 4:43 am

    Simply beautiful. I love the crispiness of the apron! Stunning! Thank you!

  8. Avatar Laura Ingalls Gunn on March 21, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    An absolutely lovely apron. Great work!

  9. Avatar Peta Pendlebury on March 22, 2021 at 6:04 pm

    Those ruffles are delightful and such an elegant addition to any kitchen. I’d be worried to spill anything down something so lovely. Beautiful stitches too.

  10. Avatar Benigna on March 25, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    This apron looks lovely! I really like the ruffles.

  11. Avatar Alyss Dethomas on March 28, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    Very well made, with neat hand stitches. An amazing first work IMHO. I wish you a lot of pleasure while cooking with it, I’m sure you form a beautiful Edwardian kitchen duo with your daughter!

  12. Avatar Nina Martin on March 29, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    What a cute apron! (And now I want to read this book!)

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