Thursday, May 24, 2012

Modern or Vintage?...

via Anthropologie

Aprons... just the mention of these delicious little accessories brings to mind a plethora of images...

Barbara Billingsly as June Cleaver, "Leave It To Beaver"
couldn't resist this picture of June and Ward... isn't this apron glorious?

Donna Reed as Donna Stone, "The Donna Reed Show"

Jane Wyatt as Margaret Anderson, "Father Knows Best"

Lucille Ball as Lucy Ricardo, "I Love Lucy"

Marion Ross as Mrs. C, "Happy Days"

The apron represents the quintessential housewife in all her glory... fresh baked cookies... being "dressed for dinner"... nostalgia, plain and simple.  Or maybe the person that comes to your mind is someone more familiar... your mother, or perhaps a grandmother.  Regardless of the depth of the connection, there is no denying the fact that this little piece of vintage America has made a comeback.  They are everywhere and they are fabulous!  A quick little google search will yield you thousands of images and retailers.  Pinterest will point you to no-less-than a dozen tutorials on how to make your own slice of american pie.  Here are some of my favorites...

via Anthropologie

via Anthropologie

via Anthropologie

via Anthropologie

via ModCloth (no longer available)... inspiration, maybe?
via Pinterest
via Pinterest
free downloadable pattern here

I love them all!  Most of these run between $30 and $40 dollars, and while that is not terribly expensive, I am drawn to the idea of making my own.  I find the idea of selecting my pattern, fabric, and trim wonderfully tempting.  I set out to my favorite fabric store to find inspiration.  Here's what I found :)...

The Stella Apron by Grand Revival here... perfect!  Flirty but sensible.  Available in both full and half apron styles, with a selection of pockets if desired. 

I selected fabric from my existing stash and sat down at the machine.  It didn't take long and went together pretty easily.  The one exception is creating that "perfect binding" in the corners.  It took some work, and I personally think she skipped a step in her directions.  No problem.  I'll hook you up with what worked best for me...

I followed her directions for attaching the bias tape around the perimeter of the apron, but when I got ready to turn the bias corners to the right side I simply lined up the top of the perpendicular binding (right sides together) and stitched diagonally.  I tested my corner by turning it right side out, and trimmed when I was satisfied with the seam.  Hope that helps!  

Here is the end result...

The fabric is Large Whimsy Doozie by michael miller
Now, let me warn you, this pattern does seem a bit narrow in the bib.  After all, my daughter is only 9 and it fits her perfectly.  But, never fear, this pattern is super-easy to modify.  When making this as a gift, we simply moved each piece off the fold by 1", adding 2" overall to the size of the apron.  Because both main pieces are to be cut on the fold, this technique worked perfectly.  You could easily make this as large or small as you like. 

I see lots of possibilities with this flirty little apron.  Coordinating fabrics, trims, double skirts, patchwork... the sky's the limit!!

A little sneak peek at what's next on my list...

The Emmeline Apron by Sew Liberated

Hope you have been inspired to create a little vintage America for yourself :)   Happy Sewing!

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