Answer me this: does anyone actually like wedding showers??? Just Mothers and Grandmothers right? They kind of remind me of a 5 year old’s birthday party, but instead everyone is between 20-80 years older. Not to say that I hate Bridal Showers, obviously seeing people I love is always great, but… I feel that they are just another money grab… with less food… and more awkward conversation with strangers…. For these reasons, I personally opted not to have a bridal shower. However, opting-out of being invited to other people’s bridal showers is harder to do.
Getting to the point, about 3 weeks ago while back in Canada I attended a bridal shower for one of my high school friends. I was actually looking forward to this one, since like me, she also lives abroad, so we barely get to see each other. Like many bridal showers, it’s overarching theme was a feminine “cooking” theme, where we had to offer up our favourite recipes and such. For once, such a predictable and gender-specific theme actually made me happy – finally, I have an excuse to make an apron!
Since I’m “lightly-employed” here in Berlin, I don’t have very much spending money, so homemade gifts are always my go-to. This apron definitely did not disappoint, I’m actually really pleased at how it turned it out. The pattern I used came from this apron post from Sewing In No Mans Land, which is a really cool sewing blog. The post is really great, complete with free printable pattern pieces for the top half of the apron. The design is based off of the Anthropologie Tea & Crumpets Apron.
I found the tutorial fairly easy to follow, so there is no point in my re-inventing the wheel, just go check it out. However, I do just want to highlight some changes that I made.
Firstly, I had no clue how to make ruffles. I’m a self-taught sewer, so I asked my mentor (YouTube), and found this tutorial from About.com really helpful.
Secondly, I used pretty crappy fabric, I’ll admit. The white fabric was some sort of cheapy synthetic polyester stuff that frayed like crazy on the ends, which created a huge mess! Usually I don’t bother cleaning up the insides of my garments; open seams, loose ends and all, nobody ever sees the inside so I don’t bother wasting my time. However, strands from this fabric were fraying out everywhere, so something had to be done. Using the extra inside edge from my teal pipping fabric, I folded it over top-wise, incasing the fraying white fabric ends, and stitched a tight zig-zag overtop. This ensured that the white fabric could no longer fray and shed everywhere. In the picture below, the yellow arrow indicates how the teal fabric was folded over to incase the raw edge.
I faced the same problem with the fraying white fabric on the bottom hem, so I incased my ruffle edge within the bottom hem. This incasement-folded-hem used up a fair amount of fabric, so make sure to give yourself a couple of extra inches in seam allowance along the bottom on your apron skirt.
In the original tutorial, no exact size was given for the bottom half of the apron. I randomly chose mine to be 49cm width x 46cm length, NOT including seam allowances. The white ruffle pieces I added at the bottom was about 4inches wide x 2-3 times the length of the bottom hem (~100-150cm length). I folded it in half, and created the ruffle along the top edge.
For the pocket, I used a square that was 5×5 inches, seams allowances NOT included. Just like with the skirt part, I allowed extra room on the length to allow me to cleanly incase the raw ruffle edges. I also added a pipping edge to the pocket, that was approximately 17 inches long.
For the middle straps, I cut out 3 waistband pieces (in the tutorial she only recommends 2), using one as the centre waistband, and the other 2 as waist-straps. Looking at the following picture, you’ll see that I added a tapering hem to each, which I think looks cleaner and makes it easier to tie up.
And there you have it! An awesome apron! Like I said, I’m very happy with how this turned out, plus I really enjoyed making it. Now I’ve got aprons on the brain, I think I’m going to bust out a few more of these. I’ve got some great designs in my head, so stayed tuned for more aprons!