Gift Sewing: A Reversible 1940s Apron

My most common item I create as a gift for someone is a really cute, finely detailed apron…and if not self-drafted, there is one pattern that I use for all of them.  It’s a vintage re-issue, Simplicity #1221, originally Simplicity #4939 from 1944.  This is a true winner of a pattern, with one cut piece needed to make it and a good design that has a complimentary fit.  Not every apron is so good at being fashionably waist slimming yet with full coverage for food stain protection, too.  Neither are all aprons so good at being a one yard, two hour project!  One of these days, I need to get around to making a version for myself, especially after making so many for others.  Here’s the post on my first gift version of this same apron pattern.  This particular one was going off to my hubby’s godchild as a present.   

This is the first time I had made a reversible apron, and I love how it turned out.  I wanted her (the recipient) to have something she would not find otherwise, something fun, and ultimately useful!  Just one layer of material (printed cotton) alone was too thin to be a useful against food splatters anyways.  As the apron design is so simple, it was easy to merely have the backing fabric become an optional, yet wearable, second side.  The entire raw edges are encased in ¼ inch bias tape so they look the same on either side, too, besides being an easy and colorful finish. 

The sizing is good for gifting, as well.  It is in loose, general blocks of measurements as small, medium, and large gradients rather than precise numbered sizing.  As long as I can estimate the recipient’s body as compared to my own, I can find the right size.  The waist of the apron should just about cover the front 2/3 of the wearer’s waist, so that always gives me a good way to choose what size to make after measuring the pattern in comparison.  The godchild is actually a 20-something who is my size body (or slightly smaller) so I made the apron to fit me.  However, it is always harder to let something go to someone else once you try it on for yourself, you know what I mean?

I made the ties as long as the pattern calls for, which is short enough for only a knot and not a full bow.  The neckline has no closures and flips over the head to lay on the neck and shoulders like a collar, so I feel the shorter ties complement the overall simplicity of the design.  At the base of the ties, I added a small name tag to credit me, the maker, so the recipient can remember who gifted it to her!

What is your go-to for handmade gifts?

“Retro Forward” Burda Style: Blog Post Series Announcement

This is the premiere post to a new series I will be featuring intermittently on my blog. Burda Style patterns are my new favorite brand (outside of the “Big Four”) to use for making garments and I have noticed a definitive “modern atheistic with a classic vintage-tinged style” in common with many of them. Now, I’m not getting paid or getting any benefits for this featured series, nor is it a sponsored collection through Burda Style. I just would like to share with you what I see in these clothes patterns.

RetroForward badgeJust because you are in a garment with vintage design, doesn’t mean you have to necessarily look like a photo from the past. Now don’t get me wrong, “going all out” isn’t a bad thing – I do full out authentic retro and vintage styles myself and am one of the biggest proponents for that, especially as a means of learning and understanding history. It’s just that this method of styling doesn’t appeal to everyone. Neither do you have to compromise on old time quality and style just to sew with a modern pattern, for there really are designs that still have those special details.

Thus, with this blog post series, I would like to ride a fine line and show both ways of how the integrity and creativity of past designs can be translated into something which can pass as current. No matter retro or modern, creativity is always the most beautiful way to interpret your personal style.