Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pattern Poop: The Emmeline Apron

The Emmeline Apron from Sew Liberated (formerly Montessori by Hand) has been lurking in my pattern stash for over a year. I bought it because it was so different from the McCall's, Simplicity, and KwikSew apron patterns. The Emmeline Apron, like their website proclaims, is modern and stylish, which is what drew my attention to it in the first place, but because it is reversible and requires 3-1/4 yards of fabric, I really needed a reason to sew it up.

I finally found a reason in the form of a wedding gift. Not only does the bride enjoy baking and making a mean plate of spaghetti and meatballs, but on the night of their engagement, she thought the "present" he had promised was an apron to thank her for making a lovely meal. Instead, he went down on bended knee and produced a ring. (Oh stop your sniffling!) I'm still not sure if she ever got that apron, so I'm sending her this one:

I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. The apron is very flattering with a gathered bust and darts below the bodice band. The pattern did not have directions for pockets, so I did not bother with them. I really liked that I had to topstitch around the entire skirt. I find that reversible aprons just look better with topstitching, especially after a toss in the wash. Part of the reason the pattern calls for so much fabric is that you have to make your own bias strips for the neck ties. This was my first experience with DIY bias strips and it was surprisingly easy. The directions want you to mostly hand sew them onto the bodice. I tried so hard to avoid that, but I just could not get a proper seam and I ended up taking out the stitches to just hand sew the bottom of the neck strap to the bodice band. My first attempt looks like crap, but at least the other side turned out okay.

While I like that the straps at the waist are so long that you can tie them in front, I found that actually having a pattern piece for this was a waste of paper. The package provides two large pieces of (non-recycled) paper with the patterns on them. One piece has the bodice and the skirt. The other piece has the two bodice bands and the waist straps separated into two pieces which you then have to tape together. I really think the two bodice bands would have fit on the first piece of paper and dimensions should have been given for the waist straps to be cut out without a pattern. And here's another thing about the paper that they used for the pattern pieces: it was really stiff and heavy. This made it really difficult to fold to get the lines for the darts. On my first attempt I had to sew the darts two times in order to get the edges of the skirt top to match the edges of the bottom bodice band.

The hand sewing and the wasteful attitude toward paper were the only two problems I had with the Emmeline pattern. It's cute and it's flattering, so if you want to spend $30 or more in fabric and $12 for a reversible apron pattern, this may be a good choice for you. Oh, yeah, well I guess I also did not like how much this whole thing costs. Like I said earlier, I really needed a reason to sew this up.

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