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Monday, October 5, 2009

Plaid Apron Contest

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon Amy Karol's Tie One On site and decided to make an apron for this month's challenge. The theme was plaid and I had some plaid in my stash just itching (ooh bad wool joke) to be used. The problem was deciding which plaid!  

I wanted the apron to look like a pleated private school skirt, but I couldn't decide on the color.  So I made a new "plaid" from the plaid fabrics in my stash.  Of course I forgot to take a picture of all the fabrics before I started so the little scrap of green is all I had at the end.  That the comforter in the background is also plaid is not lost on me either :) 

First I took some old muslin and created the shape I wanted the skirt to be, including figuring out the size of the pleats.  I didn't hem the muslin since I wanted to use it as the back of the "quilt" I would make out of the plaids so I would match the lengths up later.  (hehe you can see my trusty steamer in this pic which is VERY helpful when creating pleats)

Then I basically treated the new plaid like a quilt top and pieced it together using the darker green as the main background color.   I debated using the orange as the main color, but I thought the green looked more traditional.  I used the orange as accent later though hehe.

Once the fabric was put together I was ready to match it up to the muslin.  I had taken in to account the size of the pleats and the size of the new plaid stripes so they would line up in a neat sort of pattern.

When I finally pinned the fabric up to the muslin I was happy with how it all came together.  It didn't look EXACTLY like a traditional plaid, but was a fun combo of colors and patterns so it was alright with me!

I sewed the muslin and fabric together like a quilt without batting and hemmed under the bottom edge.  Then I added a band of the green fabric where the apron (yes this is still going to be an apron I swear!) ties were going.  Now it was really coming together.

I don't have any pictures of the next step where I pieced the top together which is a shame.  It was a lot of pinning the white "shirt" fabric up to the dress form and figuring out the shape I wanted.  I think I was lost in the process and forgot to take pictures which is something I need to improve on.  More step by step pictures. 

In the meantime I had the movie Hairspray on in the background (the Travolta/Pfeiffer version not the Ricki Lake/Sonny Bono) to give me some plaid inspiration.  I decided that instead of having to tie the apron at the neck I would make a necktie sort of thing which would hold everything up.  This shirt that Tracy Turnblad wears in the movie is what I was inspired by, but this picture shows a better back view even though it's a different Tracy.  I added some accents around the neck, some buttons down the front, and a stripe of the orange plaid through the belt/tie strings and the apron was complete.

For some reason the pictures make the chest area look huge, but trust me it's not that big in real life!  Here's a picture of the back which shows the neat necktie thing I was talking about. (you'll have to excuse my dress form's naked bum hehe)

I'm glad I found the tie one on site, because making this apron was a lot of fun.  I'm sure wearing it will be just as great!  I haven't been sewing as much as I would like lately and this project definitely helped feed my hunger.

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