I was the fortunate recipient of my old co-worker’s decluttering spree a while back, during which she got rid of her sewing table and a bunch of fabric. When the little apron my two-year-old had been wearing to help with baking projects tore, I decided to make her one, and everything I needed was on hand!
This project took about two hours start to finish, and I did it properly, pinning and ironing and changing out the thread in the machine from navy to yellow. My machine is my grandmother’s old Singer, and it still has most of its parts and pieces and – crucially – the instruction manual, which is in actual English, complete with a table of contents, step-by-step instructions, and useful diagrams. I was inordinately proud of myself for being able to change out the bobbin.
A digression: what with all the gardening, composting, bread-baking, knitting, and sewing, I feel that I’m building up some slightly more useful life skills, by which I mean skills that don’t involve Master’s degrees or the Internet. There is a conversation I’ve had with a lot of people recently, which I’ll call When It All Goes to Shit (or, as Cory Doctorow more poetically puts it, When The Lights Go Out). It’s the somewhat more grown-up version of the train of thought I used to board as a kid when I couldn’t fall asleep: What Would You Save First in a Fire? (after people and pets, of course).
But back in November, as I was putting up a display at the library about emergency preparedness, I started asking friends and family if they were prepared in any way for any of the disasters that might occur. Did they have a first aid kit, for example? Did they have all their important documents in one place? Did they have a supply of nonperishable food and bottled water? Did they have a plan for meeting up with family members if they were split up at the time of the disaster? “No,” said one friend right away. “We’re doing to die in our house.” At least she knew her plan.
The point of this digression is that, even as I build up some more useful, home-ec-type skills, I’m still pretty dependent on electricity (sewing machine, Kitchen Aid mixer) and my oven. I suppose, theoretically, I could knead bread dough by hand and bake it over a fire, or something, but it’s not like I can grow my own wheat (yet!). In short, I’m reliant on modern conveniences and gadgets and I’m not anywhere near Amish.
End digression, and back to the apron: I didn’t have a pattern, I just used the apron I already had and cut around it, except I made it much longer, planning to sew up the bottom with a basting stitch so I could let it out when the kid gets taller. In addition to the main piece, the front of the apron, I sewed a front pocket, a neck loop, and two side ribbons to tie in back.
I could have made the pocket deeper instead of wider, but I did line it up carefully so the fabric pattern matches. All in all, I’m pretty pleased with this spur-of-the-moment project. Perhaps my T-shirt quilt is next…