Showing posts with label Vintage Apron. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vintage Apron. Show all posts

Friday, February 27, 2015

Tying Up Some Loose Ends

I love completing my projects! Not the actual work, mind you.  Planning something new is much more exciting that finishing it. It's the having it done that's so wonderful. No more nagging little thoughts to keep me awake at night, just that feeling of accomplishment and relief that the work is done and done as nicely as I know how.

Finished this week:

1. One fat quarter quilt! 
I was worried about this little quilt early on, but now that it's finished it looks great on our glass table. A quilt provides important protection for the glass and adds color to the room, too. A double win for us.

The quilt on our table.
Here it is in natural light.
Draped (sort of) on a chair.

My hubby is encouraging me to make a pattern for this design. Should I, though? Would anyone want to spend $5 for this? I'd have to make another one - minus the mistakes this time. I'd also want to use totally different fabrics - something fun and bright. That's a lot of work. Do I want another quilt in the same pattern? In the right fabrics it would definitely make a sweet quilt for a child. With additional blocks and a border going around and it could be a bed quilt. Right now I'm just thinking out loud on my computer screen (if that makes sense)  and wondering if a pattern is worth the effort.

2. The bottom section of one apron pattern.
If you missed it, the process for making bodice and neck section was described in last week's blog.

Except for the pockets and waist ties, the entire vintage style apron pattern is complete.  I'll make those last pieces when I'm ready to use them. I won't have time to make the apron quite yet, but it's nice to have the pattern ready when I do have a chance to sew it up.

Step 1. Sketch the pattern and take measurements. I sketched the whole pattern, but since the bodice pattern is finished,  these measurements are only for the skirt section.

A: One half the width of the bottom of the bodice section.
B: One half the width of the skirt. I like some coverage around my hips, so I measured this generously.
C: The total length of the skirt from the bodice to the bottom of the hem. 
D: The distance from the bodice to the waist.
E: The length from the waist to the bottom of the hem. 

Step 2. Draw two rectangles on tissue paper. You may have to tape two pieces of tissue paper together. 
The small, upper rectangle will hold the section from the bodice to the waist. 
The larger, lower rectangle will hold the section from the waist to the bottom of the hem. 

Here you can see the upper box clearly. The horizontal line in the middle of the photograph is the width of the pattern.
Step 3. Shape the underarm. Another plastic pot liner was perfect for doing this. I'd never have guessed that those pot liners would come in so handy!

Step 4. Draw the final pattern with a dark marker, using dashed lines to show the fold line. Be sure to add in seam allowances and the hem allowance. I added 2 1/2" for the hem because I like the nice way a wider hem lies.


What's next? Tote bags!

My granddaughter is going to California in ten days. She'll be visiting my sister-in-law and her son and his family for a couple of weeks. This will be her first trip on an airplane and her first visit to California. We have one very excited teenager! My daughter has crocheted some cute items for the children, and I'm sending a couple of totes for the hostesses. I haven't a clue what to do for my nephew except sending my love. He is such a sweetheart, but masculine gifts are so hard to make! I'll post pictures of the totes when all is done.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Detour: Starting a Vintage Apron Pattern

This has been a rather odd week in my sewing room. I've made no progress on the fat quarter quilt. It hangs on my design wall as it was. I will definitely finish it this next week. No excuses, really. Other things simply took priority. Like choosing fabrics for the few projects I managed to finish.  Why does it take me so long to pick out the fabrics for everything?

There was a small bit of progress on the name mug rugs for my daughter's office pals. Two new ones are completed. These two ladies have pets. One of them has a dog, and the other has two dogs and a cat. You can guess which has which.

One new house block has been fused too, so now there are three in that group. I don't know why, but these house blocks make me so happy. Now I have a little red schoolhouse. The red really isn't that bright! My camera does some very strange things with colors at times.

The Detour

I've been doing a lot of cooking lately and my aprons are looking pretty pathetic. Nothing to do but make a new one. I want something really simple, but with a wide vintage neck going around the back instead of a narrow strap. Time for a new pattern. Something like this, I think, with a separate upper bodice, two fabrics, and rickrack trim for a real vintage look.

My Vintage Apron Design
So far, I only have the pattern for the bodice and neck piece finished. That's the hardest part. I'm sharing the process just in case you'd like to join me in this project and make your own apron pattern. If you're interested, let me know. 

I'm starting the pattern with a cheat. Yup. Designers sometimes cheat. Sorry about that. The bodice piece with the attached back neck section can be a bit tricky. So here goes.

Step 1. The cheat. 
Getting the curve on the shoulder and the back neckline to lie smoothly is probably the most difficult part of making the pattern. I really don't have to reinvent it all from scratch if I borrow a front and a back bodice from an old dress pattern for this step. I chose a pattern with a high neck because I don't want the back strap to droop too low.

Step 2. Lay out the bodice pieces and place tissue paper on top of them. Trace the neck and shoulders of the front and back onto tissue paper. End of cheat. Return the pattern pieces to the envelope. 

Step 3. Take some measurements on yourself.
A. Inner top of shoulder down to the depth of the neck scoop. 
B. Distance from neck scoop to the bottom of the bodice section.
C. Center of the shoulder to the bottom of the bodice section. 
D. Distance across the bottom of the bodice section. That measurement will be divided in half to make the pattern.

Step 4. Measure and draw the front neckline scoop.
Draw a line straight down from the inner neck using measurement A, the distance from the inner shoulder to the scoop. Then draw a line perpendicular to that going to the center fold line. Now you need a nice, half circle to make the scoop. I found that a plastic pot liner was exactly the right size. 

Step 5. Measure and draw the rest of the front bodice section. 
I used 2 1/2" for the width of the strap. (That measurement was missing in the original sketch.)  Start at the outside edge of the strap and draw a vertical line using measurement C. Then use 1/2 of measurement D and draw a perpendicular line for the bottom width. 

(I hope this is all making sense!)

I'm 5'3", so my measurements match my height.

Step 6. Combine the front and back patterns into one piece.
Lay the front and back pattern pieces together overlapping the shoulder seams so the stitching lines of the original pattern are directly one atop the other. Tape the pieces together and follow the curve of the neckline around the bottom of the back neck piece. Since the shoulder width for my apron will be 2 1/2", I used a ruler and measured exactly 2 1/2 inches from the neckline all the way around to make small marks for curve around the back neckline. Then I connected the marks with a pen.

Step 7. Draw the cutting lines and the center fold of the pattern. I used a fatter black marker for those lines.
I allowed a 5/8" seam allowance around the bottom of the bodice and a 1/4" seam allowance at the neckline. I also added 1 1/4" inch to the back of the neck. I'll need that extra space to make the straps overlap in the back so I can add buttons.

Step 8. Cut the pattern out and check the fit. 
This is only an apron, so I didn't need to make a muslin. Instead, I found a mirror and pinned the pattern piece to my sweater. Hmm ... a very small problem. The bodice drooped at the outer bottom corner. I needed to trim it and shape it as if there were a dart there. Without trimming the armhole would gap and everything would hang just a bit funny.

Step 9. Fine tune the pattern.
The dart has been made. I angled a line 5/8" inch up from the outer corner down to meet the bottom of the bodice.

Coming Thursday: 
The pattern for the March block for the "Summer Garden" quilt. 

 Coming next weekend:
The rest of story on designing the apron pattern - if you want it. Please let me know.

Wishing you a nice warm week!