Friday, October 23, 2009

SURPRISE Apron!

I have a very dear friend, her name is Holly. We met in college, and despite her transferring colleges and moving all over the country the past few years, she has made every effort to keep our friendship strong. I'd say with confidence that each of us knows the other one, almost too well.
I had recently bought some fabric from Hancock. With my order they sent a catalog, and in the catalog I discovered the perfect Holly fabric. I knew the moment I saw it, I had to get it and make her an apron to surprise her. So I ordered it and waited patiently (or not so patiently) for it to arrive. The night it arrived I went to work...
I had found this smock apron pattern online and adapted it a little bit, I added pockets, a ruffle, and I made it reversible.
This is my first attempted at free styling a pattern. I had some difficulty with the pattern online and the measurements, so I ended up just doing what looked right to me. I am still not sure how the online pattern connects in the back. I used some packing paper that was used by Amazon to package my sewing machine. It worked perfectly, the weight was right and it was easy to iron out the paper's wrinkles. I now wish I had more of this paper to make patterns from, I am sure I could buy it somewhere, but if I know I can get something for "free" I have a hard time paying for it.
I started by cutting out the main smock pieces, and then moved on to the pockets. I wanted each side to have a different feel, I really wanted to make it feel like 2 different aprons in one. So on one side I only had one square pocket with a little extra detailed fringe. While on the other side I placed two rounded pockets.
This is side #1, all fabric is from Timeless Treasures' "Timeless Apple Fashion Collection". This side features the "Orchard Owl" pattern, with pocket accents in the "Apple Tree" pattern, and the accent ruffle in the "Leaf Stem Stripe" pattern.
Here is a back shot of the apron, isn't it amazing? When I thought of the ruffle, I didn't know it would turn out so well. It is especially cute on. (I have made Holly promise to send pictures of her in it.)
And a close up of the pocket on side one.
Now on to side #2 - with the Apple Tree pattern taking main stage. All in all this was a pretty easy pattern, though because I was winging it, I ran into some logistical issues.
Now side #2 from the back. The problems came with the arm holes shape. In order to turn the apron right side out I couldn't sew the arm holes from the inside, but because of their shape it was difficult getting the proper seam allowance tucked under in order to make it look finished. I attempted various steps that all ended up in me ripping out seams in an effort to make this task easier, only in the end I had ended up back were I started.
A somewhat blurry shot of the square pocket.
Once the arm holes were done, I was finally on to the last step, the button and buttonhole. It should be noted that this is my first attempted at making a buttonhole since I was in eighth grade. I remember them being a little difficult, so I was a little apprehensive, but I was attempting it with my new machine, which was exciting. Above is a picture of the machine's buttonhole foot. Talk about easy! You place the button in the back of the foot and the machine automatically registers the size of the buttonhole. All I was left to do was push the foot.
I now firmly believe that had I had this sewing machine when I was in 4H I would have gotten more than an honorable mention badge (no offense to the machine I used.)
The moment I finished it, I packed it up and shipped it out to Holly. She received the package last night and called me immediately. She responded just as I knew she would, the moment I saw the material in the catalog. What a joy it is to surprise a dear friend with something you know they will cherish. And what a greater joy to have such a dear friend.
Now, with one apron under my belt, I started on one to put up on Etsy. Only a few stitches remain, so keep you eyes on our Etsy store, there will be a new edition soon.

~ Michelle

6 comments:

  1. So cute! And so Holly!! I can't wait to see her in it AND what you've come up with for the shop. :)

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  2. Oh, and the ruffle is soooooo cute!

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  3. I'm in complete agreement with Lindsay on all points and again, you just amaze me.
    Question for both you and Lindsay: Do you have "402 Center Street" labels to sew into your projects? =D
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  4. Just noticed the "post time" recorded is 11:51 am. I actually posted at 2:51 pm. You may need to adjust a time zone setting in your blog controls. =D
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  5. No labels yet, but it's on my radar. I've found a place where you can get nice ones fairly cheap.

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  6. Perfection! And that button takes the cake.

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