Friday, July 16, 2010

Apron pattern review, McCalls 5720

Leigh Anne requested an apron for her new apartment, so she & I went to Hancock fabric yesterday & chose a pattern (McCalls 5720), fabric and trims. I have to be honest, I have not sewn with "commercial" patterns in a while. By commercial, I mean the big companies, McCalls, Simplicity, etc. I've been designing a lot of my own creations in recent days. When I do use a pattern (for most garments honestly) I lean toward trying some of the designer patterns on the market....

What I have discovered is that the designers (Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, two of my favorites) are much more fussy about neat & tidy finishes, details, etc. Of course the pattern price reflects their hard work! But I think the extra cost is worth it.

Here are the positives about the McCalls pattern I purchased for this apron:

1) the price. McCalls patterns were on sale for 99 cents. can't beat that!

2) the pattern included three children's sizes & three adult sizes! all in one envelope

3) 3 different pattern views, all cute. The full apron which I made has a nice feminine shape to it

4) required less than a yard of 2 different fabrics (if you made it according to the pattern directions)

So, I cut out the pieces last night & began working on the apron. I was immediately frustrated. The pattern seemed to cut corners all over the place & I could tell the finished apron would be poorly finished and flimsy if I followed the pattern directions. Here are the pockets I prepared according to the pattern directions:

Sometime during the night as I lay staring into the darkness I decided to start over this morning. I found some white cotton to use as lining. First I lined the pockets:

much better. I also decided to line the entire apron, encasing all of the messy edges & giving substantial weight to the apron. I was so much happier with the end result! I think it will wash much better and last a lot longer this way, so important with an apron that will, hopefully, need to be washed often!

So here are my tips if you should decide to make this pattern:

1) buy an extra yard of lining fabric & cut from it, 2 pockets, an apron front & 2 apron sides

2) we found the piece around the neck to be much too long. I ended up shortening it by 3 inches... you will want to measure that in advance!

3) the ties are also extremely long. I left them as is, but even tied in a bow they hang very low.

4) the rick rack & buttons are purely decorative. They look cute but are totally unnecessary. If I make this again, I will be creative with my decorations.

Despite my frustrations with the pattern, I am very happy with the end result & Leigh Anne is too! I can't wait to hear what she cooks up in it!


Shawnee said...

Nice! I've made this pattern as well and it's adorable. It looks really nice with the ties wrapped around FRONT and tied. She sure likes it!


PunkiePie (Jen) said...

Good call with lining everything. I think you totally made the right decision with that one. It's totally adorable!

Selby Girl said...

Ellyn, Just found your blog and read your comment on making the apron pattern up. I also make aprons and sell at the local markets. I had the same problems you spoke of and now have my own way of making aprons that I consider much stronger and better quality! Regards Alexis from Selby Girl