Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Sunday Apron


There always seems to be little time, after meal preparation, clean-up, and other things, for my new leisure activity: sketching my latest sewing project. 

 Today I noticed it takes a long time just to get myself up and presentable for the day.  It reminds me of my teen years when I couldn't seem to get my hair the way I wanted it or my clothes were not fitting right, and I had to make so many changes before I felt okay.  I never could throw any old thing on and start my day with confidence, which is one reason I have been sewing these simple cotton dresses. 

A dress takes less time to put on since the blouse and skirt are already coordinated and no decisions have to be made about that. It is really the perfect garment if it is made loose enough to wear without tugging at it here and there, and this is just the pattern (shown at the end).

  Anyway, here is something on my always-wanted to-do list and I must say I enjoyed making the apron more than anything so far. My mother-in-law had a white filet-crochet apron she only wore on Sunday, and she did not have to change clothes when she got home from church.

The special fancy apron was worn to protect the dress she wore to church, so she could get on with lunch and not have to hurriedly change back into her daily work clothes.  I needed such an apron and have got this pattern out and looked at it so often that the number and brand is worn off the envelope.  

I used a retro pattern I must have bought twenty years ago, Simplicity 8720, and there does not appear to be a date on it, so it might still be available at the fabric store.  

The pattern is one piece with bias trim around all the edges, and it is made for embroidery/cross-stitch.  As I wanted to finish it in a few hours, I embellished it with scrap fabric roses. There are so many tutorials for these online, so I didn't take-by-step photos. For those who want to make it without the embroidery, colorful trim could be sewn instead, or use colored thread with a fancy stitch on your sewing machine.

 These roses are made by folding and rolling a long piece of fabric.  I stitched one on the pocket and one on the shoulder area to give it some color.  

The edges of the single layer of fabric on this apron are trimmed with bias tape. You simply enclose the cut edges of the fabric between the bias binding, and you top stitch the shorter edge because it will catch the underside bias tape properly.

If you have no bias tape, you could add a little seam allowance when cutting the pattern, and fold and press a small seam, then stitch.  The bias trim, though is very nice. You can also make your own bias trim.

  Bias binding used to have instructions in the package but maybe it is such common knowledge these days it isn't necessary. You can find what you need to know about it in any sewing book or sewing site. 

I used Sew Essentials muslin and am very happy with the results. I haven't had good results with Roc Lon muslin, as it tends to be less soft and flexible.




I like the fresh way this fabric looks and feels when it has been seen and is pressed with a hot iron.  My curtains are also made of this fabric.  This has already been pre-shrunk so this is the way it will always look after washing and ironing.


The apron was made to go with this dress, as I used the same fabric for the roses. This is now what I hope to be doing: make aprons to go with the house dresses I have been sewing.

I really wanted a photo of a girl with the pose, below, but couldn't quite manage it.  This is the first time I have drawn the sketch ahead of time and tried to imitate the pose but the photos were too bad so I did not use them for the sketch.

This is the first sketch, which I began a week ago....


...and here it is with more detail.  I can't draw straight lines so it's all a little wavy

Here it is with some things erased and a bit of color added...


...and here you see it developed with more color. The picture in the background is supposed to be the scene outside the kitchen window.

I was not quite sure what to do next, so I quit....


...and put it in a frame.  I am really not too  happy with the painting but once it gets put in a frame, my family won't let me toss it out. It is as though it became part of the family archives.  Maybe when I get caught up to all the things I have to do this year, I can take that art course.

Now i will go back and pose for this painting and see if I can get a good photo.

I had plans to make a really cute teapot mat and tea cozy with the leftover bits of fabric, but that will have to wait for a tea time post.

I hope you all have a blessed Lord's Day. Thank you to everyone who leave such nice comments.

New Look pattern from Simplicity








28 comments:

Adrienne said...

Your painting (contrary to what you think) is absolutely charming and really quite good. It's okay that you're not satisfied. I had an art teacher once who told us that once we became satisfied with our work, we were essentially done being an artist. Wise woman.

Have you thought of doing an artists journal of sorts?

This is a good resource:

http://artistsjournalworkshop.blogspot.com/

Lydia said...

Adrienne
A very good site, thank you. Now to get time to really look at it, I just recently found out about pens you can get that won't smear when you put water color over the lines. I am considering not drawing the dark lines, but that is going to take some time to study.

Tricia said...

Your picture is just lovely! I'm curious, when you sew do you use a serger? Your dresses are always so nicely done--how I wish things like that were able to be found in stores!

Lydia said...

No I do not have. Serger. I never wanted to take the time to learn to thread it and use it. I have a basic Singer from Walmart.

Linda said...

Beautiful! I love the old things from aprons to radios...those were the days.

Amy Techentin said...

I would also love a house tour-I love the picture of you in the kitchen and seeing a bit of your home decor. Lovely job on the apron also!

Kimberly said...

I really like your painting! I would totally hang it up in my kitchen and would be happy to purchase one if you'd ever recreate another 1! Kimdonnan@gmail.com

Alex said...

Oh that is really LOVELY- the whole outfit, and the way the trimming matches the dress.
Your paintings have character, are light and fun.
Oh,how I wish women dressed this way as a norm, nowadays.
A charming post, which has ignited a wistful feeling to return to a more graceful time.
Many blessings!

SharonR said...

Someone should snatch you up as a children's book illustrator.

Lydia said...

When I get a scanner I will scan a series of them and make them available to print.

Lydia said...

How absolutely adorable! Love the shot of you...and your sketching with water color is such a great picuture....the painting is as charming as can BEEE!!!! Lynn in PA

Lydia said...

I would like to do a house tour some day when things settle down around here!

ladypinktulip said...

What a beautiful apron! I also noticed we share the same love for pink
in the kitchen...I have pink bowls and pink utensils. Kitchenaide made
bowls a while back that were plastic mixing bowls that nested and were
pink. I just love them! You are always inspiring what a wonderful post.
Thank you dear sister. Love Kelly Thompson

Quaker Hill Farm said...

Lovely post! There is just so comforting about an apron and so homey! Have a beautiful day!! Lynn

Lydia said...

I have been to art classes and can say always keep that loose, free, light-handed, sketchy watercolor technique you use....you can get VERY detailed with it....Lynn in PA

Lydia said...

Thanks for the nice compliments...watsrcolor is sort of sloppy sometimes and I have to chuckle that sometimes even the mistakes are considered fine art. I can see it will take a lot of trial and error.

Adrienne said...

Here's a very good source for pens. One of the best...

http://www.jetpens.com/

Dawn said...

I think having an apron to match the dress is such a charming idea. I love aprons and have many so perhaps I need to look for dresses to match the aprons I already have. :-)

You are such a creative lady. Your artwork is so soft and gentle. Did you also make the silver-edged roses?

Lydia said...

No I did not make the nylon roses. . They are made with wire and he colored nylons you get in a round see through container ...there are instructions for them online I think and maybe kits available for making them.

deborah harvey said...

straight line drawing is overrated, and overemphasized. if you want straight lines use a ruler.
i think the picture shows motion and life the way it is.

anonymous said...

Oh Lydia,
Your dress and matching apron are just beautiful. How creative and clever to make an apron to match your dress. My aprons get so worn and stained from use. You have inspired me to make more of them.
I often go right to preparing meals when arriving home from church. It would be nice to put a nice apron on to protect my clothes.


Your drawings should be in a child's storybook. They are wonderful, and yes, I would like to purchase them also. They are quite lovely.
Thank you for sharing.

Janet.

living from glory to glory said...

Dearest Lydia, What a lovely apron and the whole idea for just a Sunday Apron has my mind spinning. I have really enjoyed your artwork, I save all of them on my art board on Pinterest, so when you get famous I can say see I have them all from her earlier years!!
Hugs, Roxy

Nanny said...

I just recently started following your blog and I must say it is lovely. I enjoy your sweet gentle writing.. your artwork, its relaxing to sit and peruse each post. I too am a apron wearer have been for years. Being a homemaker for the last 33 years I have worn many aprons, and each one had a feeling that took me back to a simpler time. I love the apron you made on this post. Lovely. Look forward to reading many more of your blog writings :0) Blessings, Marge

Missuz C said...

Hi Lydia, I usually read your posts on my phone when I have a few moments here and there, for some reason I am unable to leave comments from it. But I thought to pop in and let you know I have really enjoyed reading your blog for several years now. I think your posts about sewing beautiful dresses are my favorites, and this series is just delightful and inspiring. I especially love this apron pattern, in fact, I went to ebay and purchased it. I love the rounded 'v' neckline, and that it can probably be made from one yard. Oh, do I have plans! :) I was also overjoyed to note that view "C" on the pattern is a design I've been looking for! I purchased a vintage apron made from this design at a flea market a few months ago, and I really enjoy wearing it, I love the deep pockets, and just the way it fits. I've been thinking of making a pattern from it, but now I will have an official pattern. Thanks so much for sharing. I think your drawings are lovely. I am inspired to try, although I am challenged to draw the faces, they are so delicate. Thanks for all the inspiration and encouragement you have provided over the years. Blessings!

Missuz C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ForHisGlory said...

Beautiful dress, apron, decor and sketch/painting! Thanks for sharing! -Kelly

Lydia said...

Missus C, that pattern includes a variety of styles but the envelope on mine is very torn so I only showed the one view. Really what I do for faces is use dolls as models, and that is why they look so whimsical. I have cut a muslin for a pattern, so I can make more without pinning a pattern.

Missuz C said...

I do understand tattered pattern envelopes, have started shrouding some ofmine in clear zip bags which helps. Thank you for the brilliant tip to use a doll for face model! I will ry that. I thought about copying face & hair from pattern envelope models too? And, great idea to make a muslin pattern! Thanks for taking time to reply. I'm trying this reply again from my smarter-than-me phone...here's hoping!

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