I decided to participate in this summer’s Tie One On [link removed], an apron-making participatory fun thing. I had borrowed A Is For Apron from our local public library (and I still have it), and picked out a pattern. The theme was gingham, which I actually don’t like that much (so why did I choose to participate now? I don’t know), so I wanted to downplay that as much as possible, hence my choice:
One of the complaints about this book is that the aprons aren’t backed. After starting to assemble this baby, I understood why that was a complaint.
It wasn’t until after I’d already sewed on both sets of pockets, sewn both pieces together and then turned the whole thing right-side out that I realized… I meant for the cupcake pockets to go on the front side, with the cupcake print (a Robert Kaufman print that I also have an avocado-green ice cream cone version of). Oops. Way too late at that point.
The pin-tuck aspect of the waistband was much easier than I feared. Instructions on how to do pintucks are ridiculously complicated, but the act of doing it is quite simple. Now that I know, I can easily do it again. The pattern creator chose to use pin-tucks as a way of conveying formality, and I liked how they dressed up the gingham.
It was, however, painful difficult to get the now double-sided waistband attached to the double-sided skirt panel without it looking like absolute and total crap. I ended up using a lot of fusible web to temporarily hold it in place and then using a wide zig-zag stitch to put it in place.
The thin straps required the purchase of a spaghetti-strap turner, but once we figured out how to use it, it was well worth the $5. Also, I forgot to purchase the buttons for the ends of the straps, which I thought was a really cute addition.
As you can see from the picture above, compared to the pattern, the front of my apron has an extra stripe on it. That is because I had a very small amount of the cupcake print, but it was the best fabric I had to use with the gingham. The bees fabric I found matched the cupcake print well, so it all worked out. I had enough gingham to put the bottom stripe on the back, and the waist ties were already going to be gingham on both sides, so I needed another (fourth) fabric for the main body of the back.
All in all, I’m happy with how it turned out. I still have the book for another week or two, so I might try to make something else up. We’ll see. I have strong reservations about this book. The patterns are really cute, and I love all the additional pictures of vintage aprons and ideas. But, the write-up of the patterns is beyond complicated and sometimes overly difficult and hard to understand (not for a beginner sewer, that’s for sure, or for someone who is prone to follow directions exactly, since some improvisation will end up being required). The pattern pieces don’t always match up, and while the idea of including them all in the book in a small version (requiring you to enlarge on a copier 400%) is genius, it is also kind of a pain. I still might end up buying the book, since it’s under $20, but I’m not recommending it overwhelmingly.