Saturday, 21 May 2011

Making the Apron... part one

I decided that I'd make this apron using materials from my stash; thrifty, my Grandmothers would have approved of!  The two colours that I remember Nan wearing most were green and brown, and so I decided to use the dark green cotton left over from the 9yr olds Victorian costume last year.  Honestly, it may not be my favourite colour, but it's a lovely cotton and it goes well with the most gorgeous ribbon that I bought on a whim and have not dared use for about 5 years now!  Again, I think the Grandmothers would approve.  Added to that, I raided the store of buttons and bits that my mother gave me last year, I'll have a play with them later.

The Waistband:
I have no firm interfacing, but I do have some leftover coutil, so I cut a 23" x 3" length to use instead.
I used this as a template to cut two lengths of the green, 25" x 3.5".
Right sides together I lined the two layers of green and the coutil up and stitched a line straight line down the edge, 1/4" in.
 I pressed the seam open and then folded in closed and ironed both sides again for a crisp finish.

The Ties:
Thank you prudencerabbit at BurdaStyle, I first used this method of inserting ties into a waistband when making her Obi Apron and decided to repeat here, but with a far deeper gather (x2 waistband width) than was used on the Obi Aprons.
On the fold, I cut two pieces 22" x 6".  I kept them folded and sewed 1/4" seam from the top (open) end down to the fold.
 I turned them inside out and pressed them.
 At the open end, I sewed three gather lines, using the longest stitch on my machine.
 I pulled the gathers until the ties were the same width as the coutil in the waistband, 2 3/4".
With the waistband opened out and turned over, I pinned the ties onto the front panel: this is the side that lays directly against the coutil.  When pinning there are three important things to remember: 
1) the gathered end of the ties face the unfinished end of the waistband, with the end of the ties laying at the middle of the waistband;
2) the tie needs to be laid as close to the sewn top seam of the waistband for the nicest finish;
3) the tie must not be wider than the coutil underneath.
Once pinned, I folded the back panel over the top of the pinned tie (i.e. right sides together) and sewed the tie in place.
 Once sewn in, the tie was trimmed to 1/4" of the seam, any visible gather threads removed and the entire waistband turned outside in.  I do love this finish.

The Apron Skirt:
To achieve the final look that I want, this apron needs to be longer than the classic knee-length, so I measured from my waist to my knees and added 6".  In my case, this came to 30", with another 2" for hemming.  The fabric I am using is 44" wide and I wanted to use the full width to get the deepest gather possible.  I sewed a deep hem (1") with a contrasting thread and three gather lines at the top. 
 I decided to leave the side seams as is, they suit my functional mood.
 I liked the stitch detail on the hem so much that I added it, retrospectively, to the ends of the ties.
 Being careful to neatly tie the threads off and then sew them back into the fabric, before trimming them, for the neatest finish. 
 Once gathered, the skirt was pinned right side to right side to the front panel, only, of the waistband.
 It was sewn onto the front side of the waistband following the bottom edge of the coutil.
 Once sewn on, turn the skirt seam into the waistband, over the coutil and underneath the back waistband panel.  Press lightly and then fold and pin the back panel of the waistband in place, slipstitch closed.
And you have one apron - picture tomorrow, it's too dark for a decent photo tonight!
Tomorrow I will pretty it up and add the final touches.

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