One of my favorite local Antique Malls occasionally has some wonderful vintage fabrics. I’ve always eyeballed them with longing, but on a visit two years ago I was lucky enough to pick some up finally: A pillow sham with a beautiful Floral print for just under a dollar. Unfortunately it was old and torn and couldn’t be repaired enough to continue using it for its intended purpose. So instead, I chose to re-purpose it as my first Apron.
If we’re being honest, the apron is a quintessential component to that Housewife look that we’re all familiar with. Few people wear them now, however. But despite their relative lack of use after the turn of the century, they’re actually quite practical in many ways; whether you’re cleaning or cooking, they’re a wonderful aid to help you protect your clothing.
I’ve always wanted one, personally, but I’ve never been a huge fan of Reproductions or modern Aprons. I just don’t like the fit of them. So making my own was the best route for me- and I set off to do so with absolutely no sewing skill. It was a daunting task, to be sure, but ultimately I love how it came out!
I started by ripping out all of the seams. Since the back was in two short pieces and the top in one long one, I discarded the second back piece then stitched the remaining two pieces together into a rough apron shape using a basting stitch.
At this point I began to cut it to a better size since it was still too big for my rather petite frame. Using a round planter as a guide, I also curved the top into a sweetheart neckline. The neckline ended up being too large to work the way that I had intended, though, but with a few well placed darts I wound up with an adorable (and rather unique) neckline regardless.
I removed the basting stitch holding the two pieces together, ironed the fabric out flat, and traced a lining for it in a plain, color matched cotton quilting fabric. This was then sewn to the outer fabric right sides together but leaving the bottom open. Both pieces were flipped out correctly and top stitched for added seam durability (as well as overall appearance as I find top stitched items to look far more professional and aesthetically pleasing). A band was created for the waist, and the two pieces were joined into the almost completed product.
The only thing left at that point was the band for the neck. I attempted to make the ends of the neckband look like hearts in order to match the last minute pocket that I added, but unfortunately they did not come out too well. Needless to say that my curved seams still need a bit of work.
Once finished, I added a few cosmetic top stitches to make everything look nicer- and to keep the front from pulling away from the lining in that annoying bubbling way. That was that… However, it was still a vintage fabric. It wasn’t meant for the sort of rigorous trials I would be subjecting it to. So when it was all finished I sprayed it with a durable outdoor grade waterproofing spray in order to protect the material and keep it from staining.
Two years later (yes, it has been a while) it is still my favorite Apron. I wear it when cooking and cleaning both, and it has held up well over the years- though at this point it does need to be waterproofed again. Still, being my first major sewing project I’m happy with the result and will be sad when it comes time to retire it.
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