Sunday, July 13, 2008

My One-Person Sewing Camp

I am in the process of making a vintage apron, Simplicity #3544. I believe this is a rerelease of a vintage pattern, due to heavy interest in vintage aprons (more on that in a sec). The one I'm making is the one on the far right with the scalloped hem, except I'm using two contrasting fabrics, shown in the photo. How did I get into this?
Well, after hassling my son to choose a summer camp (which he didn't) I realized that I was the one who wanted to go to summer camp. A trip to Kennolyn Camp (a camp I wanted to go to as a kid but never did) was not a realistic option for me, however. I scaled down my options to a workshop or class, and searched for a sewing class at Stitch Lounge, a groovy urban sewing place, but none of them tickled my fancy or were at the right time. So...I decided to indulge my urge to sew on my own. Heck, I know how to put in a zipper and sew a buttonhole! While reading Stitch Lounge's blog, I clicked on some other sites with beautiful fabrics and unusual patterns, like Sew Mama Sew and Sew Liberated, and from there it was a short jump to The Apronista, where seamstresses post photos of their own home-made aprons, vintage or not, from commercial patterns or their own patterns. And for the real experts, there's Tie One On, a blog with a monthly apron-creation theme (check out the Havana Nights gallery). For your dose of over-the-top apron silliness, visit Confessions of an Apron Queen (scroll down to see a pattern cover with a dead ringer for Burt Reynolds wearing apron chaps that can be tied around one's pant legs). I felt I was journeying through an alternate universe devoted to cute, nostalgic, sex-pot, outrageous, and eccentric aprons. I wanted in.
After looking at the gorgeous aprons all these (I assume) ladies had created, I was instantly dissatisfied with the grubby, denim Williams-Sonoma one that I had given to my husband and ended up wearing myself. The others I have aren't even worth describing, except for another man-sized one given to us by my husband's sister and made from a Hawaiian rice sack. I do wear that one to bake, sometimes. I began to crave a beautiful apron that would express my domestic-goddess role in the household. I needed a feminine, sexy apron worthy of my hours spent cooking and generally making the kitchen my temple.
But which one to choose? Not willing to wait for mail order, I cruised down to Beverly's, the closest sewing place to me (not terribly creative, but the ingredients for creativity are there) and bought Simplicity #3544 (which I had discovered on the Simplicity website). Also at Beverly's I found the fabric, Trailing Cherry, by Amy Butler Midwest Modern, which went really well with a tiny pink gingham on sale. (I fell in love with Amy Butler's Midwest Modern, and am now scheming about what else I can make with her fabrics, which are inspired by nature in her native Ohio, with an Asian and Edwardian and Mod influence all at the same time.) The pattern is not all that difficult although using two different fabrics caused me to do a bit more thinking about which pieces should be each different fabric. I am a slow sewer but so far so good. I'll post a photo of the completed apron when it's done. For a preview, I did find a photo of an apron someone else had made with my same pattern on Apronista. She used a 50s Mel's Diner fabric. Hers looks great!
To fulfill my summer camp longing, I also signed up for a half-day workshop on writing haiku with Gary Gach. Unfortunately I was the only one who signed up, so they cancelled the class. Seems like the one-person summer camp is this summer's motif. I was reading haiku in preparation for the class--although not writing much. Guess I'll have to create my own inspiration to write more.


The Apron Queen said...

Aww shucks. Thanks for mentioning little ol' me. Come by anytime! :)

For your daily dose of vintage goodness & a bit of silliness, stop by Confessions of an Apron Queen

rpnorton said...

I can't wait to see the finished apron!