16 November 2008

Cutting the Apron Strings

Everybody should have an aunt like mine who has either mastered or tried every craft out there. And even if she hasn't tried it, she probably has all the stuff to do it (staining glass? yeah.)

If you had an aunt like mine, then you would be able to buy sewing patterns that are beyond your abilities, then make your aunt hold your hand for a weekend while you learn how to do things such as gathers and ruffles. I present to you...the most technical thing I have ever sewn...the Emmeline Apron.

I bought this pattern like...forever ago. I, like the rest of the world, am so into aprons. They're so hot right now. Of course I could say that I liked them before they became popular...but I'm sure nobody would believe me so whatever. On to the apron details.

The pattern sat on my to-do pile taunting me with its gathered bust and reversible-ness. (uh-yeah...it's reversible. Gah! Two aprons in one!) When Aunt Kathy and my mom came to visit she was telling me all about the aprons she had been making. I showed her my pattern and it became her mission to help me finish it COMPLETELY (she was so appaled by my "unfinished project bin") before she went back to Idaho. So off we went to the fabric shop.

We turned up our noses to the $10/yard Heather Bailey fabric (except I actually drooled on it and cried myself to sleep because I couldn't afford it) and found these lovelies on sale at Joann's. Aunt Kathy was helpful right away because she could not figure out why in the world the pattern called for so much coordinating fabric (the fabric used for the straps); so, she refused to buy as much as it called for. I should have learned rule number one right then...

1. Patterns are great and all, but you should figure out a way to do it easier and cheaper.

I saved some cash by making the opposite side of the apron the same solid color as the ties. We bought the 1 & 3/4 yards that it called for, but instead of buying another yard of pattern fabric for the opposite side, we risked the chance that I would be able to get all the fabric I needed out of the solid coordinating fabric.

Whew. Of course it worked out. I got a little creative with the cutting (no no no, Aunt Kathy got creative) and the only thing that had extra seams was the bias tape used around the neck...no biggie. This would have been another great time for me to commit Aunt Kathy's rule to heart...but alas...

While I diligently read the pattern (I'm not sure if you know what a rule follower I am) Aunt Kathy kept trying to suggest easier ways to do things.

(1. Patterns are great and all, but you should figure out a way to do it easier and cheaper.)

As I was nearing the end of my project I noticed that the pattern instructed me to sew something-er-other onto something-er-other...by hand. That was when Kathy had had enough. She was all "nuh-uh...you're not sewing that by hand. Here's what you're gonna do." She gave me some fantastic tips about bias tape and tah-dah! A lovely apron that looks just like the pattern with no hand-stitchery*. Now if I could only work up the nerve to wear it while cooking!

And now...the apron world is mine. Aunt Kathy gave me a little pep talk about my pattern reading skills and said I was ready to do just about anything. I also gathered from some of our conversations that I need to quit being such a baby and just try sewing crap to other crap until it looks right. Next on my list of things to be sewn is an adorable skirt for Z-cakes...and I need to finish that diaper bag...and that skirt for myself...and these dolls...and hello! did you see the Lola Apron on Sew Liberated? *Sigh* There's just no stopping me now.

*I wanted to learn how to make ruffles too so we decided to modify the patten. I keep saying "we" when I actually mean "Aunt Kathy," please keep that in mind. I cut three inches off the bottom of the skirt so I could add the cute little ruffle.



Serin said...

I was gonna ask when you were going to take orders, but I see your hads are full for the next 5 years! ;)

noisy penguin said...

Um hi. This is adorable and awesome. I LOVE the fabric you chose. LOVE IT. You guys did a great job. Now you can come visit and teach me how to sew ruffles.

Spencer and Kimberlee said...

OHMYGAH! Adorable. Looking at it with envy!

Kricket said...

I love it! So fun to read your blog.

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