Saturday, March 13, 2010

And More Aprons

as advertised, Apron Fest continues

This is a vintage (not reproduction) apron pattern, Simplicity 4492, I'm guessing from the early to mid 1960's.  It is definitely pre-1967, since there is no zip code in the address on the pattern.

It originally had 3 sizes (S-M-L), interestingly all on separate paper pieces rather than the combination of sizes on one piece that we see today.  And of course the large had to be missing, because that is the size I need. 

When I drafted the new pattern I also made it longer as well as wider.   The first attempt was the one in green shown above, and it was too large at the neck so I put in some neck darts.  Other than that the fit was fine, which is surprising given the fact that it was a re-draft of a vintage pattern, but I guess aprons are pretty forgiving as to fit.  Of course mine does not look much like the pattern envelope, probably because I don't have a 17 inch waist!

This was a fun pattern to sew.  The ties are attached by encasing them within the front darts, which meant that it was easy to adjust them to my waist position.  The pockets are humongous, and there are three of them.  Jean at Quilted Cupcake talked about having aprons for different purposes, and this is a good house-cleaning apron because you can stow cleaning supplies in one pocket, stuff to be moved to another room in the next pocket, and trash to be discarded in the third.

Having perfected the pattern, it was time to road test it again to make sure the pattern was just right.  You might think that with hundreds of yards of fabric in my stash it would be easy to pull out some great apron fabric.  But I learned on the first apron to avoid light colors and although the bottom of this apron looks like a straight line it is actually curved, which ruled out geometrics.  And I needed 2-1/4 yards.  And it needed to be a somewhat substantial cotton.  There probably is something suitable in the stash, but I couldn't find it.

I did however dig out a dragon bed cover and put it to work.  A dragon apron is perfect for the studio, natch.

And look how nicely the edges of the cover worked on the back panels.

Good thing Bob is used to living with a Dragon Lady.  He's not scared of dragons!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Apron Fest

I have been listening to the Quilted Cupcake podcast and got inspired to make some aprons. Thanks, Jean!

I started with Simplicity 3544, which is a re-issued (and resized for modern bodies) set of vintage aprons.  It's a great apron and I totally love it except for one minor point:  wearing it makes me look like a large, overstuffed chintz armchair.  I thought the lines would be slimming, and maybe they would in a different fabric.  I will make this one again in a darker fabric without big leaves and grape clusters!

It's a put-on-and-leave-on-all-day apron because of the fussy cross straps and buttons in the back.

Best of all are the deep, capacious pockets in the front.

Next I downloaded a free Susan Branch apron pattern, also very vintage-y, and also with nice lines.  I knew right away that it would be too small, so started by adding an inch to the front piece. 

A while ago on eBay I found 100-meter rolls of bias tape, and used the pink on this one and the green on the other aprons.  

It was still too small and also too short, so I lengthened and widened each pattern piece and tried again.

Finally, apron perfection.  I love it except for the lack of pockets.  I gave it some thought but decided that pockets would spoil the lines.

All three of these fabrics were from the thrift shop.  This black/fruit piece was 9 yards!  Thrift shop prices are usually 50 cents to $1 a yard. 

Apron fest is not over.  I will make the cross-strap one again, some cafe aprons for Emily and a couple more vintage patterns in my collection.  Those will definitely need re-drafting, so I wanted to start with modern patterns first.