Monday, August 7, 2017

Simplicity 4683 - Men's, Boys' and Women's Apron

Mid 1940s.

This unprinted pattern dates to before 1946, as this is apparently when Simplicity started printing their patterns.

A nice, straightforward apron for the Gentleman and his Missus, who has also made Buddy a spiffy apron for his first Industrial Arts class.  Why the illustrator chose to show the Gentleman wearing a shop apron but gearing up for kitchen duty is a bit of mystery.  And that tiny little cookbook he's holding seems to be awfully entertaining.

Your fifteen cents really bought you a good, thoughtful design.  Note that the Men's and Boys apron is darted at the sides.  This will make the apron set close through the hips, which will probably make it safer by making it less likely to snag, and should also make it more efficient at keeping the wearer clean.

The handling of the shoulder straps and ties is clever.  The straps will adjust to almost any size or shape and don't require any hardware to fasten:

Note that the topstitching around the pockets and the edges make this a very sturdy garment.

No fabric recommendations are given, but the aprons in the illustration surely look like chambray.  Denim would also have been popular, and frequently came in the 35" width called out in the yardage requirements.

Here is the men's apron made up in denim:
Here are the side darts from the inside:

And here they are from the outside:

The instructions call for a small patch of fabric to be sewn in as a backing for the button holes on the sides.  You can see that I've sewn down the patch and stitched a rectangle to outline the buttonhole.  The button holes were worked by hand.

And in the event this apron ever wanders away, I've "branded" it.

In the future, I'd probably use a good-quality twill tape for the straps, rather than making them myself, since folding those narrow strips of denim resulted in a certain amount of questionable language as I repeatedly steamed my fingers.

This denim is wonderful to work with.  Made under the SAFEDenim brand, it's made entirely in the United States by farmers who are trying to produce a sustainable product.  Cotton is demanding of the soil and can require enormous amounts of pesticides, so producing this denim requires a lot of commitment from the farmers.  I don't know where you can buy yard goods, but if you're willing to commit to a 30 yard bolt, you can buy it from the web site.

You can get a free pattern for a very similar apron from the James Thompson web site, makers of my preferred pillow ticking.  (This apron would also look great made up in ticking.)

I'm delighted to report that Simplicity has re-issued this pattern as Simplicity 8151.  Get yours now before it goes out of print again!

Originally posted on June 8, 2011.  Additional material added to show the men's apron made up. Additional information provided on the re-print.


Little Black Car said...

4623 would be 1943.

Napa Valley Wine Country Knitter said...

I have an later copy of this pattern, as the boy apron is now a little girl apron.
I have made up the woman's apron and wear it at work, very useful.

Unknown said...

Hi Napa! Do you happen to have any softcopies of the pattern for the woman's apron? said...

I don’t have copies, but here’s a great page on Pinterest that should lead you to some apron patterns:

Good luck!

vesta said...

Simplicity has this pattern back in print!! number 8151. said...

Well that's kinda cool!

Unknown said...

Her apron seems so nipped in on the top as to be less useful...

icicle said...

I've made this up from the reprint in both the ladies style -- for my tween daughter -- and the men's style for me. I love my version as the crossed straps eliminate any pull on my neck, a pet peeve of mine,, and fits nicely. My daughter likes her version as well -- very girly but also effective at keeping her clean when baking or cooking. I used quilting cottons but I'd like to try this in a denim too. said...

Erika Honestly, I've declared the men's version to be "unisex" and have given it to both my nephew and my niece. The gathers at the top of the women's version are just too silly.
Icicle The crossed straps are a great design feature - I too hate that sensation of one's apron tugging on one's shoulders. I've made this up in medium weight denim multiple times. Use a heavy duty needle and go slowly.

lorrwill said...

Perfect timing Andrea! I need an apron and I really like the way this "men's" version is constructed.

In complete agreement about the decorative, rather than functional styling of the "women's" version. I could say more on clothing gender bias topic, but historical and current, but I think we would be in agreement.