Thursday, April 7, 2011

Putting On The Ritz Aprons!

these are the two aprons that i made for the Abbotsford Sewing and Crafts Show. the challenge was sponsored by the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals, and the theme was, as the title of this post indicates, Putting on the Ritz.

i started planning my first apron pretty early on, because i knew it was going to be incredibly time consuming to make. i was inspired by my friend Louise and the amazing things she creates out of silk, and a recent birthday gift that i made with purple silk (that i haven't posted - i should do that soon!), and decided that i wanted to make the apron out of silk dupioni.

silk apron

and black lace ruffles. lots and lots of black lace ruffles! and covered buttons, because i love them, and handmade fuchsia lame piping, which i didn't love making as much, but i loved the end result.

silk apron skirt

i started on the ruffles first, and using my fabulous ruffle foot, made a whole lot of black lace trim. i did the math afterwards, and i think i used about 50 YARDS of lace. yes, that's 5-0 yards! each row took about 300", and there are 6 rows, so that's 1800"... it was a lot of ruffling!

ruffling black lace

i sewed the ruffles on in rows to the underskirt fabric, which was a polyester crepe that matched the silk perfectly. i didn't want to mark the rows visibly on the good side of the fabric, because this apron isn't exactly wash and wear, so i marked them on the backside and basted along them so that i'd have guides on the front side.

silk apron skirt detail

after i'd sewed the ruffles on, i assembled the underskirt, making it into a bubble skirt with all of the seams enclosed.

the overskirt is black dupioni silk, a loooong rectangle with curved ends. i made bias piping out of fuchsia lame fabric and sewed it along the sides and bottom of the silk. as i was making it, i was wondering whatever possessed me to do it, but it's really that extra touch of glitz. after the skirt was assembled, i went back and hand stitched little gathers along the skirt to show off the underskirt, and sewed small covered buttons on each spot.

the waistband is fuchsia dupioni, with extra long ties at the back. i love long ties on aprons.

silk apron skirt back

the bib of the apron is black dupioni, trimmed with the lame piping. the neck strap is sewn on, with larger fuchsia dupioni covered buttons.

silk apron bib

so that was my amazing, super time consuming but totally worth it apron.

the second apron wasn't nearly as cool!

i had this idea about draping and bias, but totally ran out of time to really experiment until it worked the way i envisioned it.

i was a bit concerned that my definition of putting on the ritz would be a little too gothic lolita for the judges, so i wanted to go with something a little more traditional. sequins!!

since one of the judging criteria was use of colour, i also wanted to get away from black, and use a colour other than pink, so i decided to go with purple. funnily enough, a lot of people thought the silk apron was black and purple anyway!

purple sequins front

i bought a purple sequined mesh fabric, and a sueded satin in the same tone. i started out sewing them together as a square, and then cut off one corner for the bodice/bib of the apron. i cut 5" off the remainder of the square, leaving me with the opposite corner of the square for the skirt. in hindsight, i shouldn't have bothered cutting those 5" off, it would have added a bit more fullness in the skirt if i'd left them on.

purple sequins bodice
(this photo is probably the most accurate colour-wise)

i sewed a waistband inbetween, and threaded a piece of purple ribbon through the waistband to gather it a bit. since the outer fabric is a mesh, i couldn't use white or black elastic that would be visible.

purple sequins side view

before i sewed everything together, i reinforced the grommet points with an extra layer of the backing fabric adhered with wonder under. as with the elastic, interfacing would have been visible.

i'm not happy with the grommets on the bib, they turned out a bit warped because i'm just not strong enough to set them with one or two hammer strikes. luckily, that's not very visible! and the ones on the waistband, that are more visible, worked much better.

purple sequins side bodice

instead of making waist ties and a neck strap, i made two long straps out of the satin. they go through the grommets on the bib and are held in place with knots, then crisscross across the back to go through the waistband grommets.

purple sequins back

i'm really happy with the colour of the grommets though! i tried a few different things, and the purple staZon ink matched the colour the best. the alcohol inks looked really cool, but weren't the right shade of purple.

purple sequins grommets

so those were my two entries. and now that they're done, i can move onto the next apron on my list - but first i need to recover from the show itself!


felicity said...

Both of these aprons are fantastic, especially the first one. LOVE all the lacy ruffles (!!) and the purple lamé may have been a pain to make but it really is a great touch.

I really like how creatively you worked out the neck and waist straps on the second sequiny apron. It looks really interestingly beautiful.

Cynthia F said...

Yours were and are by far the most original and cool ones that were entered- I'm so happy you won!! It was awesome to see you at the show too, I hope to see you again soon! :))

Anna van Schurman said...

You say Gothic Lolita, I say swanky (US) wild west barmaid. Still, love it. Great execution.

What Comes Next? said...

I agree with Felicity - your's both stole the show! I am still in complete awe of that silk one.

AlwaysInspired said...

So gorgeous! I can just imagine how perfectly wonderful one would feel wearing either of these aprons.

Digital Misfit said...

They are both gorgeous! The first one is just every kind of fabulous, and the second one would look great worn with a pair of jeans as an apron top!

amy dame said...

i'm so late replying, but THANK YOU everyone! i was really impressed with some of the other apron entries, actually. i thought considering how little info was given, there were some pretty awesome ones. but of course, i liked mine the best too. ;)

cynthia, it was wonderful to see you! hopefully next time i won't be as wiped!

anna, i totally see swanky barmaid too! it was actually while making goldrush dancing girl costumes that i first discovered the fabulousness of a ruffle foot! (and that was on an industrial machine - if people think a ruffler on a domestic machine is scary, you should've seen the first one i ever used!)

i'm really happy with the ties on the purple one too - that part worked out exactly the way i envisioned it. i want to try it again, and change a few things, because if the fabric would only do what i want, it would be fabulous!

dm, it would make a good apron top, i hadn't thought about that... i should dig out the apron top patterns that i drafted a few years back and make myself some!

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