Monday, August 8, 2011

Finished Project: vintage pattern Simplicity 6808 - Apron

So I made an apron.

Actually, it's a gift. My best friend's sister is getting married in about 2 weeks, and I decided to make her and her soon-to-be husband aprons. It was actually my best friend's idea, since her sister likes to cook and bake, and since my buddy is getting them a barbecue, the soon-to-be hubby needs a BBQ apron!

For her apron, I used Simplicity 6808, a pattern from 1966 that I found at Value Village. I was excited to try it out, as I've been wanting to make up a vintage pattern, but am sort of terrified of the fitting issues with these types of patterns. Not so much so with an apron, though.

It was a neat pattern to make up. Useful instructions, but they don't really baby you. And they gave lots of ideas for different finishing variations, which was nice.

I used quilting cotton, and I even lucked out at finding the main print in the clearance aisle. I was drawn to it because the recipients favourite colour is bright blue (in fact, it's one of her wedding colours), but it also included lime green - her kitchen colour, and purple - which will tie in with her soon-to-be's apron (and is her other wedding colour). The discount was a great bonus, especially since the original price was $20/m!

I even made my own double-fold bias tape using my new bias tape tool! Since I wanted a clean, stitch-less look, I attached it the non-lazy way: lining up the raw edges and machine stitching along the fold line of the bias tape, then flipping it around and hand stitching the back side of the bias tape. As opposed to my normal way of attaching bias tape, which includes folding the bias tape over the fabric edge, pinning the snot out of it, and then machine-stitching it on with my fingers crossed. That way...sometimes works... The non-lazy way turned out really nice, to my surprise...and mounting fear for future bias-taped projects.

I only have two complaints about this pattern. First, the front bib is a little too narrow. The bib is designed for a narrower body, and I just find that on my (only slightly! lol) wider body, the proportions look off. But it's not too bad. I'd recommend widening the bottom of the bib at least a couple inches if anyone else tries to make this and isn't as teeny tiny as the sketched women on the envelope.

Second, the pockets droop open too much. They have you attach a piece of fabric the same width of the apron skirt, and sew 2 vertical lines to make 3 pockets. I find that when you're wearing the apron, the pockets droop open, and it flairs out too much, probably because of the heavy bias tape along the opening. I solved this by attaching snaps at the top of each pocket to keep them closed and close to the body. Buttons could be a fun alternative, or even just sewing more, smaller pockets.

This was a fun pattern to make, and very easy. It's no wonder aprons are often the first project people sew!

For the soon-to-be hubby, I'm making a basic black apron (of my own design), but since he like purple and dragons, I'm going to attempt designing and appliqueing on a dragon cooking a hotdog.

Have I mentioned I've never appliqued before? I even just had to look up how to spell the word! If anyone has any useful tips and tricks (or links to tips and tricks) of appliqueing, I'd be very grateful!


  1. I actually just made my first vintage apron pattern as well and couldn't help but wonder if you had a similar feeling about the pattern and instructions. I noticed what you said about the instructions not "babying" you. I couldn't agree with you more. Whereas I find that the pattern pieces themselves (precut, holes & notches already punched for easy marking, etc) are so much simpler to use, I found that the instructions were incredibly confusing. I actually put the apron on hold for two days while I tried to determine what the next instruction even meant... and that was for an apron!

    Another pattern I made instructed me to make buttonholes on an early step, then about 5 steps later told me to finish the buttonholes... no 1-step buttonhole on their machines I learned :)

    Here's the apron pattern that I just made (I will be posting the finished version this weekend... )


  2. OK, this is much belated so you've probably already done it, but as I understand it the big thing about applique is some freakin' stabilizer. I think the stuff called "heat 'n bond" or something similar is recommended: something that sticks to the back of the applique, stabilizes it, and then irons on to the fabric to hold everything in place while you topstitch with that satin zig-zag. At least, that's what the book I have on applique recommends (unless you want to hand-stitch it, anyway). I haven't actually done it, which I assume is why all the applique I've tried has sucked balls. Good luck! ;)

  3. Sorry guys, between going away for the weekend to a family reunion, and then catching a cold and being out of commission for nearly a week, I've been bad at responding.

    @aimée The pattern I used was actually printed on the tissue, so it's not vintage enough to earn the easy-to-mark holes and everything precut. I thought the instructions were easy to follow, but then, it's a simple project. I basically only gave it a cursory glance from time to time. I'm sorry to hear you're having problems with it.

    @Tanit-Isis: Uh, haven't even started, to be honest. Between finding out that the main fabric I picked up for the apron is crap and wrinkles like a fiend (that won't iron out), and getting epically sick, I haven't even started it. And the wedding is tomorrow. *headdesk* Think they're getting an iou card.

    Thank you for the advice. I haven't considered a stabilizer, but that sounds ACRES easier than how I'd planned to deal with it! I'll keep that in mind when I get around to making the bloody thing. :D

  4. Cute apron! There are some way good tutes on how to applique & they made sense when I had a go. Can't remember which one I used but double sided stabiliser is absolutely the business. Can't wait to see how the dragon and hotdog comes out - sounds impressive!


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