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!