After being excessively frustrated with that blasted wallet, I decided that I needed something that was nearly guaranteed to turn out well. Something that didn’t need a lot of fussing. But something that was slightly out of my comfort zone. And the idea came: the apron, the little half-apron that bunny has said she wants for dressing up like little house on the prairie. I’ve had some nice cotton fabric, with pre-embroidered pink flowers on it forever and wondered what to do with it. Well this was perfect. And the “out of my comfort zone” parts: 1) no pattern (as if you really need one for this) and 2) I busted out the scary looking ruffler foot that I bought about 4 years ago and never used.

Here are a couple of samples of the finished product:

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Do you love how perfectly even the ruffling is? The ruffler foot was really easy to use, especially after watching this tutorial from Bernina (Bernina has videos demonstrating the use of most of their feet at their site). You can make things look really gathered, slightly gathered (like I did for the apron) or more of a pleated look. You can also ruffle while simultaneously attaching to a flat piece of fabric. I didn’t do that with the waist band because of how I wanted to construct this, but seriously–how cool is that?

The waist band is an adaptation of a purse pattern I found with an awesome way to 1) extra pad handles and 2) avoid the nasty sew inside out and then use a pin to pull a very small tube right sides out. I’ll do a little tutorial on it some day soon, but the idea is to cut the width of your fabric twice as wide as you want the finished product. Then you iron it in half and fold the outsides half again to the inside (Yeah, i don’t think I’m following either), then you fold the whole thing and stitch up the outsides wiht an edge stitch. Voila, finished looking strap with no turning. Ok, I just re-read that. There is a tutorial with photos in our new future here.

It seriously took me about 20 minutes to put this thing together from first cut of fabric to attaching the waistband. And all because of the lovely, scary-looking ruffler foot. I am making an affirmative goal to find another project to use it in ASAP. (Oh, but, uh, make sure you have cleared your prior settings before using the foot, especially if you had the needle position off center. That is some serious metal on that foot, but it snapped my needle right in half and dented (with a small hole even) the actual metal near the hole of the ruffler mechanism. I bent it back out but, uh, you might want to avoid that.)

And the best part of this project (other than it having turned out well, despite my crappy sewing before and other than an unexpected thing to throw on my Christmas pile) is that I have just the right amount of fabric to make bunny another fabulous twirly skirt in the spring using House on Hill road’s fab tutorial! Hurrah!