Sunday, July 6, 2008

Pictorial Review 3783 - Ladies' Work Apron

Probably after 1907 but before the first World War.

I've made this up in the round necked sleeveless version and it has become an essential part of my winter at-home wardrobe.

I've been trying to post pictures of my apron for months.  The problem was that I was either wearing it or it was so dirty I couldn't bring myself to photograph it.  Well, I am rather chagrined to report that these photos show the apron freshly washed.  I do quite a lot of cooking and usually wear this apron, so this is as clean as it gets.

When I made it up I forgot that the shoulder and side seams were 1" rather than 3/8", so this came out huge.  The actual bust measurement is about 52"  Unless I'm wearing a heavy sweater, the apron tends to slide off one shoulder or the other.  Sometimes I'll pin a big pleat in the center front neckline to take up the extra - a very charming look, I assure you.  I shortened it about 5 inches, to come to just above ankle length.  When I go out to pick a few fresh herbs from my garden, this apron has been known to spook passing dogs.

As is usual for these early patterns, the construction instructions are minimal. There were no directions on finishing the neck and arm holes.  I used bias binding I made from the apron fabric, which is a heavy cotton chambray.  I cut the pockets on the bias so that I don't have to spend time matching the stripes.  I actually like the way this looks.

I put enormous buttons down the back so that I wouldn't have to fuss too much with fastening them.  In general practice, when I'm cooking I tend to button only the top and bottom buttons.  When I'm doing general housework with a lot of stooping or kneeling, I do up all the buttons.

Note that the pattern envelope states that "Any desired style of trimming may be adopted."   That's interesting for a work apron.  I wonder what percentage of women making this apron added any trimming, and what it was.

1 comment:

Diane Shiffer said...

I love it Andrea.. including the smudgey areas:) It reminds me of my own favorite apron- I call it my mobius apron because the straps cross in back to make it sort of like a mobius strip, if you know what I mean.