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Monday, December 6, 2010

Serving Our Lord. And the rigatoni.

I was raised Methodist. While Col. Sherman T. Potter was right on with his summation of the Methodist experience being largely about singing, there's another thing that we as a denomination do with enthusiasm: namely, pot-luck dinners. My childhood is filled with memories of spaghetti suppers in the church basement. The old ladies would fire up the slow cookers at the slightest provocation and the rest of the congregation would line up, paper plates in hand, to share fellowship the way God intended: with large amounts of starch.

So when I saw this fabric...

...I knew that it was destined to become a Church Lady apron.

Yes, folks. This week's apron was not a purchase or a gift. It was actually made by yours truly. Try not to fall over from awe.
Everyone together now: Awwwwwww.
(And shut up about the lighting; I'm a seamstress, not a photographer!)
The pattern that I used was Simplicity 5961, View A.

What I like about the pattern:
  • Clever folded waistband; it's a pretty touch.
  • Generous pockets = extremely functional.
  • Bust darts, for a closer fit. 
What I dislike about the pattern:
  • Really flimsy technique for attaching the neck straps
  • The pocket placement happens *after* the skirt has been gathered and sewn. What are they, sadists?

What I did wrong:
  • I eyeballed the pocket placement. There's nothing wrong with it, per se. In fact, I'm quite happy with where the pockets lie. But a second look at the pattern envelope gave me an "ah-ha!" moment, where I realized that they probably should have been positioned right against the center panel. Oh well. That would have been difficult to do cleanly anyway.
  • I put the bias tape on the lazy way. That is, I used Step 1 rather than Step 2 as shown at this lovely instructional site. Nothing wrong with that, except that I used 1/4" double-fold. That means that each edge is really 1/8". It's dainty and delicate, but the fabric that's trapped inside has a tendency to want to pull out. I've already done a few patch jobs while completing construction, and I fear that this whole thing may disintegrate upon laundering. Sigh.
  • The print on the fabric may be a bit too busy and visually distract from the design features. Ah well.
What I did right:
  • Really tiny precise handstitching on hem tacks. 
Yay me. Now if I could just learn to work with the focus of my camera properly, I'd be in business.
  • I was willing to redesign for fit. The neck straps are actually supposed to crisscross in the back and attach to the waist ties. Not only did that seem insecure (velcro tabs? really?), but the straps just weren't long enough to properly fit a full busted person. Screw it. Neck ties work just as well.
  • Measuring my bias tape before each step involving it. The pockets were meant to be completely bordered, but there wasn't enough left in the package. I saved myself a lot of angst by checking first.
All in all, I think it turned out pretty nice. And although I'm including this in my Parade of Aprons, it's not going to stick around for long. It's a gift for my sister (who is not online, so the secret is safe). She's now a Baptist. I'm not sure how frequently they (as a group) feast in the church basement, but they're people--I'm sure they eat. ;)


  1. Good stuff. This Methodist concurs with you that one of the best ways we fellowship is with food. :)

    And on the camera thing - most have a minimum focusing distance. If you get closer than that, the lens can't focus (unless you try Macro mode). So - shoot from further, then crop.

  2. Love the intro to this post. Great imagery that immediately takes me back to my own basement potlucks.