Thursday, April 8, 2010

Apron Fest, Part III

The apron craze continues, this time with a vintage pattern printed in 1944, McCall 1124.  I redrafted it and made the first one in lavender.  I liked it but the pattern needed tweaking.

I tried a version with three fabrics in teal and brown.  The pattern was good but still not perfect, so I made more changes and tried one last time in my favorite colors of teal and purple.

That one is a keeper.

Next I copied a vintage bias apron with really beautiful hand embroidery.

No way will I ever be able to duplicate the hand embroidery, but I would like to have a pattern on which I could put some machine embroidery.
This pattern also had to be enlarged a bit (of course!).  I worked it up first in a red cotton tablecloth from the thrift shop.  I didn't really like the green bias on it, but that's one of the colors I have on big spools and the other colors (pink, lavender, black) didn't work at all.    The fit was close, tweaked the pattern again and cranked out an apron from a beautiful paisley.
And once again the itsy bitsy 40's pocket just does not work for me, so I create an homage-to-the-1940's heart pocket.   It looks silly, I think, but then silly is good, right?
This pattern is much faster than the earlier ones, and I will probably make one more with embroidery.

I'm sensing the end of Apron Fest approaching, but there are still a few more to go.  I'll make the very first one in the series again once I find the right fabric.  I will make a couple of cafe aprons for Emily.  I will embroider a bias apron one of these days.  I'm going to make the European clothespin apron that I saw on the Mother Earth News site.  By then I probably will have fallen in love with even more apron patterns.  I  picked up a copy of Apronology at Joann's yesterday, which was probably a mistake, but a very yummy one!

Why so many aprons?  The simple answer is that I have been having too damn much fun to quit.  These are quick and easy--at least compared to making quilts.  They have taken from 5 to 10 hours to make.  (Hence my standard answer to people who say "you should sell these":  Nobody wants to buy a $135 apron.  $10 for materials, and I think my labor is worth the same as the yard man, the handyman, and the former cleaning lady, all of whom earn around $25 an hour.  All of whom have specialized knowledge and skills, and two of whom own their own expensive equipment, just like me.)

In a way, this is just like doing social science research:  pursuing a line of inquiry to see how far it can take you.  I'm pursuing the making of aprons and I haven't reached the end of my inquiry yet.

So what will be the fate of these aprons?  I will keep the ones I like the best, which so far is the green Susan Branch, the dragon apron, and the purple and teal 1944 apron.  I've given Helen the blue and pink Susan Branch but the fit is not quite right for her and I plan to make her another custom-fit one.  Hey, she is the Best Mother-In-Law On The Planet*, and hence deserves the best apron possible.

          *Not an exaggeration.  Not hyperbole.  Just ask ANYONE!

Helen's church does a craft fair fund raiser around Christmas time, and she and I will be presenting a table of goodies for sale.  That's where the rest of the aprons will go.  That way my labor cost really doesn't matter to me!  Funny how psychology and economics interact......

All of the customers for these aprons will need to be my size, however, since I custom fit all of them.  So all you fat ladies with a right shoulder 2 inches lower than your left shoulder, have I got a deal for you!