Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Why You Really Need to Make An Apron This Year*

Notice I didn't say buy an apron or even excavate one from the kitchen drawer. No. I distinctly stated, "make." Now, you can do this many ways, but probably the easiest and most straightforward way to create the cooking/baking cover-all is to sew. And do it on your sewing machine, or borrow one if you must. Or you can even take my class at Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, Ill.* Now for those of you have already have mastered the art of stitching cotton fabric without creating lumpy loops of thread underneath your work, you do not need my workshop. That said, here's another reason why you might want to consider registering (I never say should - I think it's a dirty word.). My workshop is all about the experience, the getting ready. I've asked my students to dress up in 1950s vintage. The best-dressed receives a prize and picture on the aforementioned store's web site. Use of retro-style fabrics is especially encouraged. Now, when was the last time any of you wore high heels to go to a sewing class? Personally, I can't. It must have been in a previous life when I didn't have any bunions. So you get the triple the fun. 1. Picking out the prettiest cotton print for your work of art. 2. Thinking about what you're going to wear on your Big Day. (For those of you who think a Big Day can only be a graduation or a wedding, well, I recommend you start thinking differently if only so you can enjoy life more! 3. The tremendous fun wearing what you've chosen to the store (all the employees will ooh and aah your entire ensemble, I promise), plus the pure pleasure of sewing in the company of likeminded hobbyists! Finally, you'll have everlasting pictures of this special time in your life that you can share with others for days, weeks, months and years afterwards. All that for $45 isn't too Shabby Chic.

Even if you don't sign up, I highly recommend making an apron this year. Along with losing weight and firing up your crockpot (two goals which seem contradictory, actually), this one would be a great add-on to your to-do list. Making an apron is wearable, practical art. So few other garments in a person's wardrobe is as decorative as this one. It can be embellished and personalized in so many different ways. It's kind of like all casino bets are off when it comes to creating something to wear in the kitchen. You can be a kid. Want a dollop of rick-rack? Slap it on. Lace? Try using a wing-needle and heirloom lace. Crochet? Add it on by hand afterward. A monogram just like Laverne's? Go to it. Stitching an apron is appealing because the construction is so simple. One size truly fits all. No zippers, buttons or D-rings unless you want to add them. It's hard to screw up an apron, really. You could even glue it together if you were so inspired.

The best part? You choose any fabric you like. Cotton is the most durable, and the most likely to hold up when you spill the olive oil or soy sauce. And there's so much out there. Vogue Fabrics has shelves upon shelves (unlike the other fabrics which is sorted on tables) of quilting fabrics. You can also shop online (Inauguration Garden intrigues me. Is this intended for Jan. 20?) IN the actual store, my favorite cottons right now are the bandana prints in an array of colors. Each time I look at those I think the Bedazzler. I don't know why, and I don't particularly want to put crystals on my apron. Going in another direction, you can't go wrong with the delightful prints here. I like Road Trip, to remind me of family vacations gone awry. Or what about Playground Playmate (it sounds like an adult game)? If you're a typeface aficionado, American Style is grand too. Of course, you can always, always raid your stash for your apronry adventure. In fact, I'd recommend starting there, and add something blue, then something new, just like something you brides might do. Leave links to your preferred prints in the links. Thanks!


Lindsay T said...

I made an apron as a wedding gift for a young colleague in 2008. It wasn't that long ago. Can that count?

PhantomMinuet said...

I may have to try making myself an apron for the spring. I have a sewing machine and a trunk full of fabric that I haven't even looked at in 5 years.

the_lazymilliner said...

That counts because uh, 2008 is almost 2009, Lindsay. And PhantomMinuet, show me the apron is you do get already to making it.