|My dirty apron.The stains are from the ashy pots.|
During the war, it is said, that a few ladies who dressed like soldiers and joined the army were caught when another soldier tossed them some apples and they attempted to catch them in their nonexistent aprons.
I've been using the same 2 aprons for at least 3 years and think it's time for some new ones. I thought I'd include my sketchbook diagrams for anyone wanting to make their own.
To find the waistband length, take you waist measurement on top of the dress you will be wearing it with and add 5 inches for overlap. If you want to make an apron that ties, use at least an extra 12 inches on both sides.
For waistband stiffeners, buckram and stiff muslin were used in the 1860s. I will be using buckram for mine. If you are a beginner, buckram can normally be bought at the cutting counter, you just need to ask for it. The size should fit a teenager or an adult, the only thing that really changes is the size of the waistband. Cut two apron bibs along the fold of the fabric, cut 2 waistbands of fabric and 2 of stiffener, and cut one apron skirt, hem the skirt with a plain hem. Alternatively, you could make a apron with no bib. They were just as popular and are quicker to make if you need one in a hurry.
|Diagram from my sketchbook.|
A note for beginning sewers: If you make a pattern that you know you will use frequently, such as an apron pattern or a bodice pattern, make it easy on yourself and glue the flimsy pattern pieces to poster board. The next time you use it, you will not need to use pins or weights and it will trace very quickly. You also won't have to waste time ironing pattern pieces or repairing damaged ones. They are bulkier to keep around but it really does save a lot of time. You can use a hole bunch and a piece of ribbon to keep the pieces together so you don't lose them.
1. With right sides together sew around the sides and the top of the apron bib.
2. Turn the apron bib right side out and iron it. Gather the bottom edge (by hand or with a long machine stitch.)
3. Stitch a piece of interfacing to the wrong sides of each of the waistbands. With right sides together, sew between the stars indicated on the diagram. (8 inches from the center at the top, 16 inches from the center on the bottom. Clip the excess fabric, turn right side out and iron.
4. Insert the bib into the 8 inch open space left in the waistband. Stitch across. (There are nicer ways to do this that would be too difficult for me to explain. If you know the nicer way, do it that way.)
5. Hem the apron skirt on three sides. Gather the rough edge. Insert the gathered edge into the 16 inch gap left in the waistband and sew across the waistband.
6. Add a button (or 2 if you fluctuate frequently) to one end of the waistband and a buttonhole to the other.
****Ironing is very important when sewing. Many people, myself included, don't want to stop sewing to iron each piece but it really makes the garment look more professional and fit better.*****