Maddie’s Formula: “Number of Aprons is Inversely Proportional to Time Spent in the Kitchen”

020My math skills are  a pool of knowledge I like to think of as narrow but deep.  I regularly perform simple computations for only three things:

1) Calculating yardage for various projects using 45″ fabric

2) Determining the width of a ruffle 2 1/2 times wider whatever I attach it to

3) Multiplying 10% of an item’s value by 6 to figure out its price at Macy’s 40% off sales

Recently, I drove myself into what can only be described as a frenzy of apron-sewing.  Don’t ask me why.  My husband says I’d like meal preparation in my house to be like what happens at the Jetsons’.  They walk in, select a pill, and that’s dinner.  Must be nice!

Here are a few of the aprons I made using   Simplicity 4987 and my fabric stash. One has applique embellishment and can really only be called an “inspired by.” Another has contrasting fabric for the pocket. Many thanks to the beautiful Eliza, my model.

Looking back, I believe it all started with bias tape. I’ve written before about this handy little device from Clover.  (Here’s a demonstration video from our friend Nancy, in case you’re curious.)  The chef’s apron views called for bias tape, and I always think self-bias tape looks more professional than that Wrights stuff.

Making one-inch bias tape with Clover tool
Making one-inch bias tape with Clover tool

Although it’s hard to tell from the picture, the fabric in this first apron, which I gave to my mom, has a lot of gold stamped into its design. That made the gold braid trim a natural choice. Plus, my mom likes bling.  Since this fabric is so busy, I didn’t see the need to add a contrasting bias trim or pocket.

Hemming the gold-and-black patterned apron
Hemming the gold-and-black patterned apron
Mom's apron
Mom’s finished apron

And, here’s Eliza wearing it. A nice feature of this pattern is that the apron ties are long enough to wrap around in front.

Mom's "bling" apron, modeled by Eliza
Eliza in the “bling” apron

For this next apron, View 2, which is shorter than View 6, I used a contrast fabric for the pocket.  I sent it to my friend Susan in Dallas.

Susan's apron with contrast pocket
Susan’s apron with contrast pocket
Pocket construction detail
Pocket construction detail

For my next effort, I added a ruffle on the bottom in a coordinating fabric, as well as contrasting bias tape.  I made a small pocket because I didn’t have enough fabric left for a large one.

Glroria's apron with applique and ruffle
Gloria’s apron with applique and ruffle

Here’s a close up of the applique and contrasting bias trim.

Applique placement
Applique placement

One thing about this assembly-line approach: I made the neck straps and ties in advance.  Here are a few of them being pressed into submission.

Apron ties
Apron ties

Finally, here is another interpretation of View 1, with contrast bias trim and patchwork pocket.  My neighbor Zaida wore it on Thanksgiving.

Patchwork pocket apron
Patchwork pocket apron

This last apron, View 2 again, went to my sister Lizzie in Kansas. I made the contrasting pocket and bias trim from fat quarters.

Lizzie's lemon-orange apron
Lizzie’s lemon-orange apron


Limited math skills notwithstanding, the apron frenzy got me thinking. It seemed the more aprons I made, the less I wanted to cook.   Maddie’s Formula: “Number of aprons is inversely proportional to time spent in the kitchen.”  Works for me.


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