These two projects for the week of the ‘Apron Challenge’ have certainly been all about time. My first creation is a vintage half apron, found at an antique mall back in 2005 or 2007. I bought it with the intention of turning it into a refashioned full apron, and only recently have I completed my goal after all those years. My second project is a mini apron, made with the leftover scraps from refashioning my vintage full-size half apron. The matching mini apron was completed in exactly 2 1/2 hours of straight no-break sewing – a one evening project. Apron #1 was the longest UFO to date that I have yet worked on and finished, and apron #2 (the mini) was the only project so far that I’ve ever started AND finished in one short stretch. Wow! Both #1 and #2 projects were done so close in time together…no wonder I fell sick the next week!
However, the wear and washing had made it super soft, but this apron was in need of a pocket and some TLC before I would wear it. I had bought some fabric years ago (why I bought only about 1/3 yd. strip I don’t remember) that was exactly the same aqua color stripes in a similar soft cotton. I apparently never got to sew on my apron because I folded it up and packed it in such a great spot in my room, it became mistakenly forgotten. I found this again in early 2011, going through old stuff, and left this apron out, so as to work on ideas for the top half and for the pocket. I was stumped for a good while on account of such a small amount of fabric to use for bodice. Early 2012, I actually started putting this project together, using McCall’s 5643 as my base idea for the bodice. I kept with the circle theme for the pocket when my husband found this quilting scrap big enough to cover the tears in the fabric. I am proud of how I went through the trouble to line both bodice and the back of the original half (using leftover cotton from my denim and plaid dress), making for a very stable, and still modernly fashionable, apron that should last many more years of home duties.
It must have been at least three times this year I was ready to throw this away, or at least banish it back to the UFO pile because I wasn’t sure the bodice, pocket, and trim looked o.k. together. I had to sew the bodice straps smaller and wear this a bit to fall in love with the way it now looks.
My matching mini apron, from Simplicity 1957, uses up the very- I mean the very- last scraps of the bodice material, together with some discount fabric and leftover rick- rack from another mini “red, white, and blue” apron. This tiny blue confection is the easiest mini apron I’ve done yet and makes me want a full size one, just like I said for my first polka dot mini apron. I am glad I used Wrights’ lace trim instead of solid bias tape, like the instructions wanted. The lace is more feminine and not as overwhelming. For the picture, I felt my newest mini apron seemed to match the pretty blue dressed lady crocheted to the corner of my handkerchief.
Not only was it ‘about time’ that I FINALLY finished this project, but I also believe aprons are all about time. They are symbols of a past time, a part of history-both culturally and fashion-ally. There are aprons that range from religiously ceremonial to multipurpose (i.e. an apron that transforms into a sunbonnet), from glamorous home couture inspired by designers to a utilitarian work apron (for x-ray techs or carpenters).
Aprons are a very individual piece of clothing. They stand for different things to different people, such as a time past, a time to work, or a time to take control and be efficient, and are as unique as the wearer. Sometimes even aprons that clash or contrast with the wearer’s personality are the cutest!
There are the ‘full protection’ aprons, a decent covering of the above and the below. Then there are the fun ‘half story’ waist and below aprons. Both kinds can mix-up, combine, hint at, or plain old state-out-loud in so many styles that aprons are so intoxicating! They can be delicate, confining, liberating, rugged, handy, showy, obnoxious, feminine, glitzy, sexy, basic, fashion-wise, cultural, historical…but always fun! They can show case your skill, but still look just as great if you are lucky to get this much put together.
So many women seem to fall into an “aprons are not my thing” trap. There may be a certain self-assurance needed for some to wear aprons, or maybe just the right appeal to taste, similar to ‘the wearing of hats’ for many people. I believe that both hats and aprons can be worn by all women. Aprons perhaps need a bit more understanding by the populace.
Now all this might be way too much to put into a mere yard or two of fabric that is meant to be used hard and dirty. But…maybe it’s all true after all because aprons are really the only fashion item that has versatility adjusted to fit every requirement of human necessity for most of human history.
So…when it comes to something handmade – especially an apron – please wear it with pride!!!
FABRIC: 100% cotton; I had everything already except for the body of the mini and that only cost me 60 cents
NOTIONS: had thread and left over rick-rack; bought the tape trims for both aprons
PATTERNS: McCall’s 5643, view C for bodice top, year 2008, and Simplicity 1957 for mini
TIME TO COMPLETE: for refashioned full apron, who knows??? How can I gauge hours put into this when it goes back maybe 7 years? Probably 9 hours were devoted to my apron re-fashion this year; for the mini, it took a 2 1/2 hour marathon