Just a few weeks earlier, I had found this beauty in our local ARC:
It's perfect with its curved hemline, shaped body, and scalloped neckline. But, the original is very... uhm, DESPERATE housewife. It is so tiny that when I wear it, it only covers the middle third of my chest. I knew I wanted to make this for Jennifer, but it was going to take some work. I want to show you today how I used this apron as a template to make this apron:
The first thing you need to do when using an existing piece as a template is consider the construction. The person who originally made the apron hand hemmed each and every scallop. I quickly ruled this out. Since I was using a lightweight fabric, I decided to face the entire neck piece. I also knew I wanted to use the same fabric for bias binding around the neck, and that I wanted to do a simple pocket rather than the ornate one the first one had. Lastly, I knew I wanted to add at least 3/4 of an inch to each seam for sizing.
Next, I grabbed some paper (I use shipping paper), and spread it out on a flat, even surface:
Pick one of your largest pattern pieces to start with. These are usually the easiest to work with. I started by drawing out the sides of the skirt:
Using a ruler or grid tool, measure out your desired distance from the existing skirt hem. I measured out 3/4 of an inch. I didn't add a seam allowance at this time, because I was afraid that I would lose the shape of the skirt if I was trying to draw an inch and a half out from my pattern piece, so I did this in 2 steps. On the curves I made dots at different spots around the curve, and then freehand connected them together.
For sake of ease once each part of the pattern is drawn out, I label them with what they are, and how many I need to cut, just like a commercial pattern.
The neck piece was definitely a challenge for me. I had never worked with scallops before. I could tell that the original pattern called for the piece to be cut on the fold by how well the scallops matched up, so I did the same:
Just mark some spots along the curve and connect those dots!
You can tell the scallops are very uneven If yours look ridiculous like these, you can even them out freehand.
Once all of your pattern pieces are done, you can cut them out and use them just like you would a regular pattern. The great thing about making your own pattern, is you make it work for you! There are a lot fewer rules with what has to be done.
Thanks again to Jen for having me here today! I have really enjoyed getting to know her. I would love to get to know you sometime too, you can find me here.