There’s no new outfit for today, but instead I will be showing you how I hacked together two sewing patterns to create this apron that I made for my friend Sara from In A Nutshell (and please check out yesterday’s post to see our photos together!)
Although this isn’t a full tutorial, I will be sharing tips on how I combined the patterns (hence “Frankenpattern”)- in case you ever want to tackle something similar!
I started off with this beautiful, quirky, retro oven fabric from Windham Fabrics, which I picked up at Fabric Place basement.
I’m sorry the fabric is so wrinkly in these pictures – I had just washed the fabric and didn’t iron it yet!
Well anyway, I bought 4 yards with the intent of making Sara a gloriously full skirt. After a bit of hemming and hawing, I decided against it. Even though I was sneaky and grabbed her measurements off her blog (that’s not creepy, right?), I was still worried that a skirt was risky due to potential fit issues.
New plan…apron! That girl bakes all the time, and the fabric has ovens – a perfect match!
I found this ADORABLE pattern from Butterick, B6189:
I instantly fell in love with the vintage-inspired design details, and knew Sara would too. The back of the apron was super cute too, but posed a bit of a problem:
I read a review of this pattern, and one person complained that it was hard to get the back to fit her body. Due to the horizontal strap going across, I would have to know how broad Sara’s back is in order to ensure a good fit. I knew she was petite, but I had never met her in person before so the whole thing was starting to get me worried once again!
New plan (#2) – change the top to something less fitted.
I searched for a free pattern with a halter neckline (figured that would be best), and found this tutorial from Sew4Home.
I didn’t want to lose that cool triangle detail from the original pattern, so I had to get a bit creative. First, I took the new top pattern (the printer paper you see below), and shortened it to match the top of the neckline from the Butterick. This would also help account for the fact that Sara is a bit shorter than average.
I folded back that top section I marked off, and then got to work on making a pattern piece for the triangle. I followed the same angles as the original pattern, but adjusted the width to fit my new bodice. See the finished piece below:
I cut out the main bodice in the oven fabric, then the triangle part in yellow. The triangle was cut twice, and I added fusible interfacing to one of them for stability and to make it more opaque (you could kind of see through the cheap yellow quilting cotton I had). I sewed them both together, turned it right-side out, then added the buttons to the fused side. Next, I lined up the top edges with the oven fabric, and basted them together.
I followed steps from both sets of instructions – Butterick and Sew4Home – to complete the top. When I sewed the darts marked on the pattern, they seemed oddly low and pointy. I ripped them out, then did them again with a taller, narrower dart (see below). This worked perfectly!
I then sewed the neck straps and basted them to the bodice at an angle before sewing on the lining. Again, if you need help with these steps, just consult the pattern instructions!
When prepping the skirt, I wanted to make sure that the fabric on the pocket would line up and match. To do this, I laid down the pattern piece over my skirt panel, noting where the corners touched on my fabric pattern.
Next, I placed the piece on the exact same spot on my fabric, and cut it out.
The original pattern had an unlined pocket, so I simply cut a second piece in yellow to act as the lining:
I sewed the two together, then turned it right-side out. I folded down the top edge to reveal the contrasting yellow fabric, and added my button. I had to carefully maneuver through the opening I left for turning while sewing the button to keep the exposed stitches beneath concealed. (Does this make sense? I wish I took a photo of this step. I was avoiding having the thread pop through to the inside of the pocket, where your hand/tools would go). Next, I carefully stitched it to my skirt panel around 3 sides.
You can see here how the oven print continues seamlessly over the pocket:
To easily make the gathers in the skirt, I did a zig-zag stitch over a piece of crochet thread, being careful not to catch any of it with my stitches. To gather, all I had to do was pull the crochet thread. This was SO much easier than the basting stitch method, and I’m so glad I gave it a try!
For the rest of the pattern, I continued to follow the Butterick directions with one exception. The waist ties were meant to be unlined, but I spent so much time lining everything else that I didn’t want the back of the fabric exposed on these! I had extra blue lining fabric from the bodice that I used, and it worked quite nicely. I would have preferred yellow for this, but I didn’t have enough! 🙂
Phew! What should have taken an afternoon took a day (plus an hour or so the next day…), but it was worth it. I ADORE how this came out!
And I only used two yards of that oven fabric, leaving me with two yards to make myself a dress or a skirt! Bonus!!
I’ll leave you with 2 photos of the apron inside out, in case you were curious about my seam finishing:
Looking back, I kind of wish I lined the skirt too…oh well!
Thanks for stopping by!