Just under a year ago, I bought the fabric for the apron pattern in the Amy Butler book, “In Stitches.” I had seen some cute kitchen-themed fabric on Sew Mama Sew and thought an apron was a nice simple project that would be very apropos to images of apples and eggbeaters. Plus with this apron I would learn to pleat on a “low pressure” project. (I.e. if the pleats looked a little funny, it’s just an apron! No stress!)
Even though I ordered intending to use the apples as the main fabric (rationale: black will camouflage stains), I went back and forth on which fabric to use as the dominant and which to use as the accent–though it was always pretty clear that the red print was meant to be the waistband and trims, and the black for the main skirt panel. “Clear” as it may have been, I just found that I loved the eggbeater print far more than the apples and hence I wanted to emphasize that design.
Cutting out the fabric is accomplished by creating a series of rectangles and cutting. I didn’t have a good work surface for marking my lines, nor did I have a yardstick, each of which would have helped considerably. (Yes, I have since acquired a yardstick. Of all the specialized equipment not to have!). Let’s just say my rectangles were a bit “abstract” in places. I pinned carefully enough so that the irregularity was hidden in a seam allowance that shifted in width, rather than stitching up an apron that looked off kilter, but it was just more evidence that my cutting was not quite up to snuff. I probably could have done even better with a rotary cutter, but my rotary mat is small and I thought it might be too hard to get some of these pieces done that way (folding, doing lots of math to figure out the new dimensions to cut that would magically unfold into the correct size, etc…).
The apron is not all that hard to put together–the instructions are clear, and it’s fun to see how the raw edges are all nicely hidden by folds and seams as you progress along. For me, the fun part of this was learning to make pleats. I’ve never made pleats or darts (not much use for either on clothing for baby and toddler boys!) but I know that in order to make clothes for myself one day, these are essential techniques to get under my belt. The pleats were easy enough with the help of an iron followed by basting the folds in place. (I don’t actually know how similar the technique is for darts, but I imagine there’s some crossover). And I was pleased to have another “technique” up my sleeve.
My poor job of cutting resurfaced when it turned out the waistband didn’t entirely match up with the skirt of the apron. I could have ripped it out and fixed it, but ultimately I didn’t think it was much of a problem, nor did I *care* enough about this project to bother (or, I was too excited to get on to the next ones).
I finished this project over 3 days at Thanksgiving. So here it is, a three-day project that actually took 10 months to make (if you count the time the fabric was sitting there between being ordered and actually dug out of storage). And two months later I am finally posting. The catch is that I am not in the ideal shape to be modelling much of anything that is not specifically a “maternity” item, and that is particularly true of items with a waistband as you can imagine. So my friend Liz who visited a few weekends ago is kindly working the apron for this post!