Thursday, 26 May 2011

Making the Apron... part two

To decorate the apron, I wanted to make it a girly as possible - my antidote to the yards of dark green!  I used my gorgeous floral ribbon to trim the bottom of the waistband, which I handstitched it on.

I then rifled my embroidery ribbons and chose a mid green,

which I used to sew on three large pink buttons.  
Normally I would dismiss them as pink, plain and ugly but they have a 50s feel to them that I liked for this project and they are a nice foil to the fancier ribbon (shame that the colour doesn't photograph well).  I alternated the stitches to look like waffle stitch, one of my favourite embroidery stitches.

Finally, the hem. 
The main idea for this apron was that you would not wear it at full length, but rather pin/button/tie it to the waistband to to create a large pocket in which you could keep or put things; such as the washing line pegs which started this idea in the first place.

 As I mentioned in my last post; I kept thinking about buttonloops but I was adamant that I wanted to use a buttonhole.  I started first on my sewing machine; the programme has gone awry and five failed attempts and a hole in my apron hem later, I did my first rehem... I then decided to handstitch the buttonholes using tailors buttonhole, another of my favourite embroidery stitches... one dogs dinner later (there really is no other description for the utter mess that I had created) and I was on my second rehem!  As well as this, using a buttonhole had one downside that I couldn't quite get past, as I buttoned the hem up, you would see the underside of the apron.  As I was having so much trouble with it, I decided to sleep on it and in doing so figured out that the buttonloops that my intuition kept bringing up would a) work and b) solve my problem.

Buttonloops:
A few years ago I made a blind.  It was purely decorative and so it didn't need to be drawn up or let down.  I sewed buttons across the top of the blind and then buttonloops out of embroidery thread to hang the blind in place.


Using a purple embroidery thread that matched the thread that I'd used for the hem.  I sewed two long stitches, the width of the button.

I then sewed a blanket stitch along the length of the threads.

  

Continuing to the end, finishing with a single knot and then running the thread back through the hem to hide it before trimming it.  I twisted the blanket stitch slightly so that it's "spine" spirals for a decorative effect.

As it is looped over the button, the hem folds with the right side visible, a finish I prefer to the wrong side being seen.

And there it is... my quick little project has taken far too long and been far more involved than I had originally anticipated; but I am pleased with the results.  The three buttons allow for lots of permutations in playing with the hem; the pocket it creates is good and deep and open enough that its quick and easy to put things in/get things out of; and it has that slightly fanciful feel that I love about a good 50s apron!


The colour reminds me so much of my Nan, and I hope that Grandma Edith would have appreciated the effort!  Its practical and pretty and best of all thrifty, it could become a favourite.

Materials:
1 1/2 yds 44" wide material
 Buttons
Ribbon
Embroidery Threads
Any other decoration that you like
And, in my case, patience!

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