Of course I wanted a smocked apron for my 1520's outfit, and it would work for the whole 15th century as well.
I used a length of unbleached linen. I started with hemming the sides, and then I smocked the top. I didn't mar out where I wanted the pleats to be, but instead I free-handed them, making sure that the gathering stitches were quite even by eye. I used 8 rows of gathering stitches.
I smocked the top with honeycomb smocking. To be honest I would have liked the pattern to be larger, this is perfect for a shift, apparently that's what my eye is calibrated to.
This is the back of the top.
When I had finished the smocking I made a long strip of double folded linen fabric and sewed the apron to it. I ended with hemming the bottom of the apron. That was a good thing. The smocking had also affected the length of the fabric. I had first planned to make a quite large hem, but I ended up with just double folding the fabric and do a similar hem to the sides.
It's a nice lightweight apron, and I am very happy with how the smocking turned out, even if it is a bit small. One thing I have done differently from the aprons that I have seen is that I have made the ribbons to tie it with so long that I can tie them on the front. I did it because my stiff shoulder makes it hard for me to work behind my back, now I can tie it a lot easier compared to my other apron with shorter ribbons.