I remembered while I should have been sleeping that I forgot to mention how I had gathered the ruffles on the aprons. I used the overlocker to quicken up the process.
This is a great way to gather large amounts of fabric using your overlocker. The picture above shows what happens after it goes through the needle.
Use these settings (or fiddle around to get what works best, or check your manual)
Stitch length 5
Needle thread tension 6 to 9
Upper looper tension 3 to 4
Lower looper tension 3 to 4
then serge away! Just keep a reasonable lengths (tails) of chain at the beginning and the end so that if you need to reduce the gathers you have enough thread so it does not unravel. Much faster than stitching 2 rows of basting stitches and pulling up.
In fact the gathering for all 6 aprons would not have taken more than 5 minutes! Got to love that!