I ‘Heart’ Aprons! – A Remake of a UFO

If you care to learn something about me, know that I love aprons. I will…and do…wear my collection of aprons A LOT, which is the great thing about making more aprons! (There is always someone to give one to as well.) My cooking, my gardening, my housework just isn’t right if I’m not wearing an apron, and an apron has more than once saved me from an unexpected change of clothes.

This is my newly finished apron. I started this in 2008 (I think) and just recently found it in my parent’s basement to finally pick it up and complete it. Now that I’m finished, this apron might be my new favorite!  Please excuse the non-me-made, non-vintage attire underneath, I can’t always look like a perfect June Cleaver.  For now, it feels good to finish another UFO (Un-finished Object).

Vintage inspiration was a big influence behind this creation.  I am still growing and adding to my stash as my pocketbook provides, and as I figure out what my tastes are with what I make. These are patterns I do not own which inspired me.

This apron originally started out as a short skirt bought from Goodwill for a few dollars.  Finding cheap, second-hand mini skirts (or even mini sundresses) at thrift stores is a very fun, creative, and easy way to make aprons.  My mom and I have a number of such projects always on hand.  There are more ideas in my head than time on my hands!

For my heart apron, I simply cut off the side seams, and kept one half for the top bib and the other for the bottom.  After deciding on a design, I cut the two pieces into the shapes I wanted.  I kept the waistband for support from the pulling of the ties, and I also kept the skirt’s lining, sewing it into the back of my apron for a perfect finish.  The heart bib is actually two pieces sewn together vertically because cutting the heart in one piece messed with the fabric’s bias and it would not have hung correctly.  All the edges are finished in lavender bias tape.

A bit of Disney’s “Tangled” vibes, here, huh?!

By the way, it might be helpful to add that I think I found a trick which helps heart shaped aprons fit much better.  On Nov. 7 (2012), Trish Blair posted her “I Love You” Apron and mentioned that her heart apron was a bit floppy and it seems in the photos to get in her way a bit (mine did too at first).  I sewed in a 1 inch dart in on each side of the heart horizontal to my bust.  The darts are just enough to fold the heart in away from my arms without losing its shaping.

The heart apron’s ties were a really great coincidence.  Two long strips and two squares of lavender cotton were all that I had leftover from lining my 1957 “Betty’s style” vintage sundress made this past summer.  Another F.Y.I about me is I HATE doing ties, but each time I sew them, somehow I suck it up to sew them correctly…well, those two 45” long ties were worth making for this project.

To continue the unique features of my apron I have the ties attached at the top of the heart, so I tie it on in an X shape across my back.  This is actually a very comfortable way to wear an apron.  It beats having ties that pull at the back of your neck, catching my hair in the knot.  I merely sewed a small loop on the inside top corner of the waistband (wrong side) so I can run the ties through, thus pulling the waist back when I tie the apron back.
I really liked the cute simplicity of my basic heart apron, but I also must have pockets. I feel lost without them! My solution was to make a sort of slash pocket, with the purple cotton of the pocket showing through just enough to hint at what is there but not being distracting.

My creative juices ran freely to make the slash pockets.  I have not yet tried welt pockets.  didn’t exactly know how I was going to do pockets here, but it worked just fine once I started sewing.

First I measured out with chalk where I wanted the pockets on each side, then sewed a long, skinny rectangular hole around the line.  I clipped the middle free, then folded the edges inside and sewed them down.  Next, I sewed ivory hem tape along the edges for strength and stability, and sewed another line of hem tape inside to create a perfect square.  You can see what I was doing in the picture below.

This might not have been the best way or most professional, but I am pleased at a very stable, dressy, and clean finished seam.

Finally, I took one of my two leftover lavender squares and sewed it along the back, with the top of the square just above the top of the slash opening.  I just can’t get over how cool this looks;  I called up my husband, then my mom to brag about it.  It’s cool when I surprise myself!

Now, I have a question for all of you.  If you can look at my top main picture, tell me if you think I should put a pocket on each side, or just leave my heart apron with one slash pocket (I love to have my vintage hankies sticking out!).  It took me an hour and a half to do the one pocket, and I wouldn’t mind doing another one, but I hate to overdo something that can’t be undone.  Do you think I should put a decorative button with a loop to keep the pocket closed?  Let me know.

Anyway, I will leave off with a picture of me wearing my knit dress and my apron to present my homemade, from scratch, double layered carrot cake, made for Epiphany company.

THE FACTS:

FABRIC: a stretch cotton print skirt with poly lining (bought for $3); soft cotton broadcloth for straps and inside of pockets (leftovers from a past dress)

NOTIONS: bought ivory hem tape; already had the bias tape and thread

PATTERN: none; hand designed by me; didn’t even use a template for the heart…I just eyed the shape

TIME TO COMPLETE: maybe 4 or 5 hours

FIRST WORN: ? not sure, but I have worn it plenty since I finished it on January 14, 2013