Sunday, February 8, 2009

Domestic Goddess

For years now, I have been without an apron for two reasons: I don't like the way they make them these days, and I didn't have a place to hang an apron in the kitchen. So I developed the habit of changing into already-grease-stained t-shirts in order to avoid ruining new items of clothing. Kristen in particular was annoyed by my insistence that she change her shirt before helping cook. I looked on the internet and saw some cute aprons for sale for somewhere in the vicinity of $40. I hesitated, and thought about maybe making one of my own. But even a pattern costs almost $10 these days.

Then while I was in Maine, I wandered around Reny's, and came across a blue apron of just the right sort, although cheaply made--selling for somewhere in the vicinity of $5. Well. I bought it with 2 thoughts in mind: I could use it, and I could use it to create a pattern for a better one.

I thought I would buy some fabric, but then I remembered two pieces of fabric I once bought with the intention of making a Tibetan coat from a Folkways pattern. But I never used it, and I returned the pattern to Deborah. So I dragged the fabric out and washed it and thought about the mechanics of this whole thing. One of the problems of making an apron is that you basically have one piece of fabric, and you need some way to finish all the edges. The cheap one I bought has polyester bias tape bound all around the edges. But bias tape is expensive and a bit tricky to work with. So I came up with the idea of just making it double--two layers stitched together, making a sturdier apron and neatly solving the problem of what to do with the edges.

Finally today, I decided this was my chance to either get this to work or fail trying. It turns out that stitching things up and turning them inside out has some inherent difficulties. If you stitch all the edges, you can't turn it! So I did the bib and the skirt separately. The bib was a little tricky, but I ended up leaving the two neck pieces open and also the bottom, so that I could turn the neck part inside out.

Then I tucked one neck piece into the other and top-stitched it. And I made 2 pockets, and two nice long ties, and then I positioned the pockets and the ties and stitched around the edges of the skirt. And then I ironed a hem into the top of the skirt and tucked the bib into the waist and top-stitched the waist.

And voila!

Oh and I figured out that I could hang it on a nail in the laundry room and it would be right at hand, far more convenient than going to the bedroom to change my shirt every time I cook, and way more convenient than having the dry cleaner try to remove grease spots from my sweaters!

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