at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

My Apron Obsession

I'm not really sure how this happened, though I imagine Pinterest is at least partly to blame, but somewhere along the way I have become obsessed with aprons. I don't normally wear an apron when I'm in the kitchen. I got one as a wedding gift, and it was the only one I had. I wore it when I remembered, which wasn't nearly often enough. More often than not, I'd jump right into the kitchen after work without changing my clothes or halfway through a weekend day, and I'd end up with flour, water and who knows what all over my shirt. I had seen some cutesy aprons and made a mental note that that might be cool to have. Then, I started picking up sewing again. Basic sewing -- I don't really know what I'm doing and I'm still terribly impatient and not good with patterns -- but sewing nonetheless. It also just so happens that a friend introduced me to this awesome book on how to make homemade bread -- and it's AMAZING -- so I've been baking quite frequently. All these things combined, and I suddenly decided that I NEEDED to make myself a cute, fun, flirty apron. Of course, immediately following that, it dawned on me that my mom's birthday was coming up and she's big into baking cookies (which are the best cookies in the world, in case you were wondering) -- so, she definitely NEEDED a cute, fun apron as a birthday present!

After far too much time looking at fun examples and some tutorials gleaned from Pinterest, I decided to head to the fabric store. I went to JoAnn fabrics and found some super cute flower and bird fabric right away and immediately found a couple of coordinating patterns to go with it. It was just the colors I wanted for my mom and would tie in perfectly with her kitchen colors. Picking out my own fabric, on the other hand, took the better part of an hour! You know how fabric stores can be... after I was sure I had looked at every possible combination, I settled with the first fabrics I considered (of course). 

I actually sketched out some ideas of what I wanted for both of our aprons -- similar, but slightly different. I only had two fabrics for mine, and I had picked out three for my mom's. I originally thought about adding pockets, but ended up decided against it. It was more work, and let's be honest: when would I ever use a pocket to hold something in the kitchen?? (If you would have used a pocket, sorry, Mom!).  I like some of the more "retro" looking styles, so that's what inspired these.

Apron design sketches -- before I started sewing. This helped determine the pieces I needed to cut out of each fabric.

I made my mom's first and tried it on to guesstimate the right size and proportions. Without a pattern, I just estimated the sizes and cut out the shapes I wanted from each fabric: a bodice piece, a skirt, the waistband and a neck piece. I made the waist bands tie, so they are adjustable. I ended up sewing at a fixed length for the neck loop to make it easier to put on. I had to adjust my mom's because it was way too long. I found that most of the pieces really did not need to be as large as I anticipated. For mine, I kept bringing in the edges of the bodice and re-trying it on until I liked the way it fit!  I also ended up buying some ruffles that I could easily sew along the edges. For my mom's I thought this helped add a visual pause between the bodice/waistband and the skirt. For mine, I just wanted to add some flair!

Mom's apron -- stretched out on the floor. I just LOVE the bodice fabric.

Mom's apron - hanging up

Mom's apron -- it actually matches this wall at our house; but unbeknownst to me,
it also matches the paint colors my just picked out for her house--yellow and green! I chose the
colors based off of her Fiestaware :)
And here's my apron - I made Tom take a photo of me trying it on!
My apron - it's gotten a few uses already!

I'm loving my apron. It's so fun to wear and I almost feel bad getting it dirty! I've decided to keep my apron hanging up in my pantry so that it's easy to grab and perhaps I'll get more use out of it!

After I finished the first two aprons, I had one more thought: my niece's birthday was coming up and she also loves to bake! At 11 years old (aahh....they grow so fast!! Sorry, had to say it.), she's growing up and has decided she's in love with Paris. I went back to JoAnn's and lo and behold: cute, Paris / postcard fabric! I had to get it. I made hers a little more simplistic, hoping it will fit for a while. I also ended up buying ribbon to use for the neck and waistbands. To add some extra flair with something other than a ruffle, I added a bright purple flower pin that can be removed when the apron needs to be washed.  The benefit of this apron is that there's just one long ribbon for the neck and waist tie, which pulls through casing on each side -- so the entire thing is size adjustable. The fabric ribbon was perfect and simple. I'd do one like this again!

The benefit of this apron is that there's just one long ribbon for the neck and waist tie, which pulls through casing on each side -- so the entire thing is size adjustable.  It's also long enough to tie in the front, if you like that look. The fabric ribbon was perfect and simple. I'd do one like this again!

So, there we go. I've doubled my apron supplies at home and made two gifts within a few weeks! I'm hoping the more I make, the easier they will get, and I can add a couple more to my collection! The real test will be to see how they hold up in the wash. The next apron project will be a gardening apron. I just heard of the concept and love the idea of having more or less a "gathering skirt" where I can plop my harvest as I pick! Stay tuned...

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!