Monday, July 21, 2014

Checked Apron

I knew when I saw the Dreamstress' Challenge #14: Plaid and Paisley, exactly which way I wanted to go--plaid.  Paisley didn't really enter the world of fashion fabric until post-18th century, and I'm trying to replace and improve my 18th century wardrobe.  Even plaid is a limiting requirement--though plenty of check and plaid fabrics existed, they were less commonly used than other fabrics for gowns, petticoats, jackets.  (Though they were used, even in gowns--see this fabulous collection at Isis' Wardrobe.)
Where checks were exceedingly common?  Women's aprons.  Checked aprons show up in images from early to late 18th century, across countries, in both waistband- and pinner-style aprons.
 Plucking the Turkey by Henry Walton, 1776 (English) (Sidenote: Were there political connotations to this, image, oft referenced for its fashion?  Read more...)

Plate showing clothing common to Holland

"Une Pinte, ma Fille!" Also Dutch.  Print dates to 1803

And finally, a French peasant satirized with giant shoes and crucifix, plus a checked pinner apron.  1770

So, a checked apron was an easy choice!
Fabric: 1 yard checked linen from Wm Booth, Draper.
Pattern: None, really.  It's a large rectangle, gathered to fit a tape waistband.  So...

Pretty simple, right?

Year: 18th century.  This style shows up in images from early to late 18th century.
Notions: Plain old thread and tape for waistband
How historically accurate is it?  100% handsewn, made from a linen check woven specifically from historical examples?  Pretty accurate.  I knock myself a few points for using cotton instead of linen tape, but I had a roll on hand.
Hours to complete: Maybe 3-4.
First worn: Will be worn at our next event in August.  Will probably be covered in smudges and food stains at the end of the weekend.

Total Cost:  The fabric was $16.50 for the one yard--a bit of a splurge for me.  I already had all notions on hand.

Finished photos:

It looks kinda skimpy and flat on my dress form, but I know from experience that it will cover a full petticoat very nicely.  Because you know what my messy self needs?  A big ol' apron.


Detail of gathered to waistband.  I left the tape waistband extra-long deliberately, so I could cross it over in the back and tie it in the front as this is a) seen in many prints and b) an easy way to tie your own apron in a hurry.


Detail of corner hem.  

I'm excited--my current apron is quite literally falling apart from years of hard use, and I'm happy to replace it!

2 comments:

sweetpeasandsoybeans.com said...

Wish I read this/saw your apron before I cut my material out. I cut my apron a whole lot smaller. But I haven't put the tape on yet, so thanks for writing this. I like the idea of the long tie. By the way, since I saw the end result last weekend, I feel like I should say...the end result looks great! :)

Rowenna said...

Thanks! To be fair--I like huge aprons. I can usually still find a clean spot on it somewhere by the end of the weekend that way :)