Last weekend I bought a new apron pattern. I don't normally buy patterns as I never usually make anything complex enough to require one. I have an idea in my head for an apron I want to make, but my prototypes so far haven't worked. I think maybe I need some sort of pattern drafting lessons, but until I can afford those, or until my brain magically develops better spatial skills (especially spatial skills involving fitting clothes around the female figure) I decided to take a look at what the big pattern companies had come up with. Maybe I could adapt a pattern from them. I liked this pattern, Simplicity 3752, particularly the blue one in the top left corner ('apron B'). It didn't require all that much fabric, so I was fortunate enough to be able to use leftovers to make it.
Making the apron: The instructions for it were fairly straight forward. It has a kind of corset-ish top, halter neck tie and a cute little skirt thing down the bottom, with a waistband. Apart from me accidentally sewing corset so that the wrong sides face outwards (my problem, not the pattern's), it was relatively straight forward to make. Until I got to the final steps: finishing the waistband. It was a total pain in the bum. If I had have followed their instructions, it would have been looked bulky and utterly ridiculous. The other problem I had with this pattern is that the smallest size still ended up being quite large, not so much around the waist, which was fine, but around the bust. I think you would have to be a E cup to be able to fit this properly. This large bust problem meant that when I tied it up as a halter, it kind of pushed the sides of the bodice out, making it look like I had big squid fins coming out the side of me (strange analogy I know, but I've been hanging out with my friend who is a diver).
To resolve the problem of the waistband: (I'm not sure if this will make any sense to those who haven't read the pattern, sorry!) I sewed the bodice to the waistband and the bottom edge of the waistband to the skirt, as per instructions. You are then supposed to fold the waistband in half and sew along the edge to join the bodice and skirt together directly, but in such a fashion that conceals their seams (this came out really bulky when I tried it). I'd then need to fold the waistband flat again, and top stitch the top and bottom. I thought about doing french seams, but that would have been too bulky too. In the end, I left the waistband wide instead of folding it in half, and attached another waistband lining piece to the back to conceal the seams. Worked out fine.
The problem of the "squid fins" around the bust: It looked entirely unflattering as a halter tie. I resolved this by making it cross over at the back, instead of being a halter. The ties were more than long enough to cross over and join at the point where the apron stuck out at the sides. I think it ended up looking even better as a crossover.
I'm still finishing off the last bits of the apron - neatening seams, making sure there aren't any stray bits of fabric or thread hanging out etc. - so I'll give you an update once I'm totally happy with it. I'm very happy with how it's turned out in the end though, but I'm a bit over working on it right now. Every time I look at it, I just keep thinking of all of those seams I had to rip and re-sew! This apron and I need a breather, some time apart, so we can be friends again.