Friday, September 28, 2018

FO: Rifle Sun Girls Apron for Shannon

It's my sister's birthday today! I managed to get her gift to her about a week ago, so I actually have pictures and a post ready to go on the day of - woo hoo!
This gift started several months ago when my Rifle Paper Company released a special edition apron made in their newest fabrics on their website. For $100 each. For an apron! I mean I appreciate the workmanship as much as the next person, but come on, right? Shannon messaged me to see if I would make her an apron if she bought the fabric. I said no problem, so she started narrowing down which print she liked best. At the time I had no idea how much fabric it would take to make an apron, so I looked up a pattern and told her she needed 2.5 yards. When you add that up on Rifle's canvas fabrics (the kind they used for the aprons they sell), that gets very expensive very quickly. Shannon didn't love the available prints on the canvas anyway, so after a brief moment where she asked me if rayon would be good for an apron (to which I emphatically said No), she settled on the Amalfi Sun Girls quilting cotton in the blue colorway. Knowing she didn't need this eminently, I offered to pick up the fabric at 40% off during the 4th of July sale at The Sewing Studio. And basically since she had already waited that long, what's another few months to get your dream apron as a birthday gift? lol Long story, but that is the progression of this project that only took me one night to make. But it's fancy, so read on!
Shannon just wanted a classic apron shape, and after searching all the available patterns (which only seemed to have vintage or frilly or otherwise complicated aprons) I eventually decided to just copy an apron I already had. My mom gave me a great apron for my birthday - it's covered in baked goods and it's yellow - and since it was a simple shape, I could just lay it on the fabric and trace :)
Here's where things get fancy - the quilting cotton, while lovely, was just not weighty enough for a nice and effective apron. I made my mom an apron years ago with just quilting cotton, and sure it keeps stains away, but your clothes still get wet when you wear it - I've worn it many times at her house and I've always hated that I still get wet. So to avoid that disappointment on this version, I decided to add a lining fabric. I think that Rifle would have chosen a "natural" or "linen" looking fabric to accent (like their canvas is printed on), but with this light color I really didn't want to add anything to distract. I have several yards of this great lightweight white denim I got at a thrift store in my stash, so I decided to use that to add a bit of heft. Adding the lining also simplified my "pattern making" because I was able to just lay the apron on the denim and trace its exact size. I didn't need to add seam allowances to the denim since I wanted to roll the main fabric over like a binding :) This fabric worked perfectly and now the finished apron feels substantial. To sew it together, I pinned the denim to the wrong side of the cotton and pinned it all over like you would a quilt before quilting it on a machine, then I just went around each edge, pressing the edge in twice to get that bound look and top stitched all over.
I made 3 long tie pieces, all of which are also lined with the denim for heft. Confession: this was the worst part of this project. I sewed them as tubes and then turned them right-side out, which seriously took longer than the entire rest of the project did put together. The straps are 1" wide, and I had to actually use a pair of pliers to turn them. After complaining about how long it took to my mom, she said, "Why didn't you just fold the edges under and top stitch them?" To which I had a total pause-and-blink-silently moment because I had never even thought of this and it would've been SOOOO much easier. Ah, well.
The 3rd strap piece was for the neck - interestingly on the original apron, this tie is the same length as the waist ties, which is why mine is so long; I think I would shorten just the neck one in the future. The neck is one of my favorite parts of this apron - it has a long tie on one side and a tiny tie on the other with 2 D rings that you use to adjust the length. As you can see in the photo, I wound up with a decent amount of excess once it was adjusted, but I like that you could easily slide the tie and make it longer or shorter if need be. I also copied the pocket on the original - this is just a rectangle that is sewn to the denim lining and then turned right-side out and top stitched. Oh so useful though.
And the crowning jewel - the original apron had a facing at the neck, so I decided to cut my facing from the selvage, meaning that Shannon's apron is now "officially" fancy because it says it's from Rifle Paper Company :)
Here some detail shots - first is the backside of the D ring closure (this pleases me because I think it makes the apron look more store bought). Next you can see a close up of the binding inside - I top stitched at the edge of the binding as well as at the edge of the apron itself, so everything has 2 passes and it more stable. Bottom right is a close up of the strap. I copied the original apron and I think this is a great little detail. The strap was sewn to the edge of the unfolded cotton fabric, then it was turned under with the binding before stitching down. Not only does this neaten up any fraying edges, it also makes it (you guessed it) much more secure. I want this thing to last lots of washes, so being secure was a big concern of mine :) The bottom left photo is just to show the lining of the pocket. I also top stitched 2 lines of stitching to the pocket edge before sewing it on the apron (also with 2 lines of stitching) just so it looks consistent and lays very flat.
And to top off the apron, I had to get a card to match! My husband works just around the corner from the flagship Rifle Paper Co store, so I sent him b on his way home to pick the perfect card :) Yes, I am THAT cool, lol.
I sent the apron to Shannon last week to make sure she would get it in time and she opened it early (she already knew what it was, so it's no big deal) so she took pictures with the fancy dishware she sells :) Her mixing bowl is probably Juliska here. She loves it, and my other family members have requested a few for themselves after seeing hers. I guess I know what people will be getting for Christmas this year!

Fabric: 1.25 yards Amalfi Sun Girls in Sky Blue Quilting Cotton by Rifle Paper Company, 1 yard white denim (thrifted)
Pattern: Copied from a store bought apron
Notions: 2 D rings, thread
Time: 3 hours

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for joining in the conversation!