Tuesday, December 8, 2009
It has been a while since I've sewn, so it was really nice get back into it with this easy apron project. This was actually a request from my mom - she had one particular apron that she really liked so she asked me to copy it but she wanted me to add a cellphone pocket on the chest. Her apron just resembles a large bib on the front and back, that ties on the side. It was so un-inspiring that I procrastinated for 6 months before making it. My friends and I dubbed it "the lead apron" because it resembles the cover they put over you at the dentist to protect you when they take x-rays. :-) I suggested to my mom a nice, vintage-style apron but she liked the practicality of hers. The back 'bib' kept her from getting the chills when she went outdoors.
I took the apron with me and had it for several months. Eventually, my mom needed it back but all I had done was write down the measurements. I had never drafted my own pattern before and thought this one would be easy. But as the end of the year came, more projects piled in and I just wanted to get it done. After searching sewingpatterns.com, I found this versatile apron pattern - Simplicity 4987. View 3 most resembled my mom's apron.
My mom's apron is shorter and has rounded corners, but I liked how the straight bottom made it look less "lead-like". View 3 is also a lot longer than her apron, so I shortened it to right below the pockets. Her apron was also unlined - the ones in this pattern are lined, which I liked. Better to keep the chill out, right? :-)
My mom had given me a cute cotton fabric with yellow print, with jugs of daisies all over. She wanted me to make two aprons but unfortunately she had the fabric cut in two 1yd pieces. Because it wasn't continuous, I could only make one. So I dug around my stash and found enough rose-patterned fabric leftover from the empire-waist dress I made (6th project.)
Aprons finally done!
For the Daisy Apron, I wanted to put lace on the outer edge, which was similar to my mom's current apron. I used a nylon lace since my mom would be in the kitchen most of the time and nicer lace would probably just get limp and ratty. I did not put lace along the bottom because both my mom and I are short, so I wanted to accentuate the vertical, not the horizontal. I used a pale plain yellow cotton for the lining, and Forest Green grosgrain ribbon to match the leaves on the flowers.
One thing I learned from adding lace is that when you get to the part in the pattern where you have to sew the side ties to the front or back, you will need to do the lace first THEN the ties. Otherwise your ties will end up on top of the lace.
My mom, modeling the Daisy Apron:
For the Rose Apron, I didn't have enough fabric for all the pockets so I used a pink fabric with faint swirls - same one I used on the Empire Dress. I thought the pink at the bottom looked too bare so I played around with some Sage satin ribbon. At first, I thought I'd put a horizontal stripe near the top of the pockets. But that whole horizontal-making-short-people-look-shorter thing kept bugging me. I suddenly had the idea to do a trellis-like pattern over the pockets. I really liked how it came out! First, I drew a diagram on graph paper so I would know how to space the ribbon. Then using the grid on the cutting board, marked on the front of my fabric where the ribbon should go. I sewed all the ribbon with the ends going passed the seam line so when I sewed the lining to the front, the ends were neatly tucked inside.
Trellis-like pattern on Rose Apron:
As far as things that can be improved in this pattern - the pattern requires you to sew the back and front seperately, outside-in, then flip it inside-out through the shoulder seam. Then you join the shoulder seam. The inside seam is suppose to be slip-stitched. i thought it was better to stitch through all layers, about a centimeter from the seam, so it has a double-stitched appearance. I thought this made it more durable by having all layers sewn together, rather than just one side machine-stitched. I also double-stitched the pockets.
In the end, I loved how the aprons came out (so not "lead-like") and so did my mom. I'll probably make her a few more, and myself one too - but the more stylish View 5 or 6. :-)