Originally posted Sep 4, 2015
This simple apron looked ideal for the messy, clumsy person I am. I routinely ruin shirts by dripping and spattering all over them–usually something oily that never comes out–and I have realized the great importance of aprons. I have a couple at home that I usually forget to use while making spaghetti and frying hamburger. While camping, I get distressed trying to figure out how to prevent similar accidents from ruining my garb.
Aprons that tie at the waist are just not enough to protect my clothes. Most people wouldn’t find this to be the case since most people are a lot taller than me. The spatter zone is just below the waistline. For me, however, the waistline is often below the cooking surface, so the apron serves only to wipe my hands after washing, or perhaps to aid in picking up hot things. What I needed was something that extended higher than my waist.
I began doing searches and I found quite a few images of these types of aprons:
Das Sächsische Stammbuch’ [subtitled as:] ‘Sammlung von Bildnissen sächsischer Fürsten, mit gereimtem Text; aus der Zeit von 1500 – 1546’ is available online from the State University Library in Dresden
(Note only said: Late Middle Ages on the upper Rhine)
Zwei Wunder aus der Kindheit des hl. Nikolaus Hans Traut Nurnberg, Ende 15.Jhr BNM-Munich Inv.NR MA 2789
What I realized, after doing a little reading and observing similarities between images, is that all the women wearing these aprons are attending a woman giving birth. Yep. Midwife aprons.
Well, when you have a need…you make it work.
This is a terrible selfie…I can’t take full-body selfies. I don’t have a full-length mirror or ridiculously long arms, so the bathroom mirror will have to do. After doing some experimentation, I found that the width of fabric was not quite loose enough around my ample hips. I tried using just rectangles to add girth, but it just didn’t look right, so I added gores to the sides. Now it looks very similar to the images I found.
This was a fun experiment and is almost ready to wear this weekend…just a little hemming at the bottom and it’s ready to go!
So how did I construct this? Super EASY! I had some yardage of medium weight linen–super soft and fairly thick (some of the images look like they might have been made from a fine linen, but I used what I had lying around).
I measured from my chest–just above the Girls–down to just below my knees or mid-shin. (Keep in mind that I’m super-short, not just regular-short, and stand a whole whopping 60″ tall), and came up with 36″ as a good length. You should measure yourself to get a number to fit your physique.
I lopped off a yard of the fabric–36″ x 60″ (width of fabric, or “WOF”). I cut that piece down the fold, so I had two pieces of 36″ x 30″. These will be the front and back panels of the apron.
Recall that I said that I was having difficulty with fitting this around my hips, so I added more fabric. If you’re a particularly thin person, you may not require this next step. To gain that extra fullness, I cut another piece of fabric 36″ x 28″, and cut that in half to make two 36″ x 14″ rectangles. Each of those had to be cut in half *diagonally* to make four triangles. These will be the gores on the sides.
Assembly is pretty straight forward: sew a gore to each side of the two panels with the *bias edge* of the triangle on the straight of grain of the apron body.
This will prevent stretching of that bias edge. Here’s a great illustration, in case you aren’t familiar with some fabric terms:
Once you have all the gores sewn onto the apron body, you will sew the sides together. Put front and back panels facing right sides together and sew up from the bottom about 20″. Your measurement may vary, but it should connect together from the bottom hem to just below your hips.
Make a casing at the top of each panel and thread a lacing through the casings and tie the ends. Then you just have to finish the seams and hem the bottom and you’re done!