‘A is for Apron’: My Quest For Apron Patterns

by jennifer

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A few of you asked where I got the pattern for my last apron, which reminded that I have a story to tell about the book that inspired it.

I bought a copy of “A is For Apron: 25 Fresh & Flirty Designs” by Nathalie Mornu (Lark Books 2008, $17.95) with a birthday gift certificate. Given my apron addiction, it’s no surprise that I was pretty much destined to buy this book. And, if you must know, it was the smock pattern on page 76 that hooked me. I can’t explain why, but I’ve been wanting a handmade smock for a while now.

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Anyway, I got the book home and picked out a half-dozen aprons to try. Then I lost momentum. You have to enlarge the pattern templates at the back of the book 400 percent, which means you either have to have access to a giant printer or print out a tiled version on regular printer and piece it together. Since it was too late to run to a copy center, I asked my husband to help me enlarge the patterns at home. When I saw how big the pile of paper he handed me was, I decided to put the project on ice for a bit. I didn’t want to sit around taping paper together, I wanted to make aprons – like yesterday.

So I moved on to other things, often stealing glances at the smock and other enticing apron photos in the book only to be turned off by the stack of paper that I needed to tape together before I could get started. Then, about a month later, I decided that I would probably never find the time to tape the paper together and finally went to an office supply store to use the mongo-huge printer that costs about $4.50 per giant print. I was stressing over the financial investment I was making in these aprons before even buying fabric when the dude at the counter told me I was going to have to rip the pages I wanted to copy out of the book to feed them into the mongo printer. I’m sure I gasped at the suggestion. I would never tear a page out of one of my craft books. That dude was crazy to even suggest it.

I’m pretty sure I was sweating by this time, trying to calculate the cost of my project and decide whether it was all worth the possible collateral damage to my book if I took the counter guy’s Dr. Reckless approach to crafting. There was no way I was going to rip those pages out, so I asked him if I could simply photo copy the patterns I wanted to enlarge and feed those original-sized copies into the mongo printer.

“Good idea,” he said.

I wonder how many people have actually ripped pages out of books because of him.

In the end, I ended up spending more than double the book’s cover price to make the pattern copies. The good news is that it could have been much worse. I could have ripped my book to shreds in the process, but I thankfully found a book-preserving solution.

twirl-apron.jpg So far I’ve only made one apron from the book, and it wasn’t one of the designs that grabbed me right away. But there, sharing the page with another apron pattern I copied was the two-pieced template for the “Twirl, Girl!” apron designed by Samantha Kramer on page 101. When I was looking to whip up a quick apron to wear to Renegade in Chicago, I decided this apron would be quick and fun. I veered slightly from the pattern and picked out five different bright prints from my stash and settled on black trim to tie it all together and match my CraftSanity T-shirt. I’m very pleased with the result and LOVE the design even though it doesn’t have pockets. Abby has already requested a “Twirl, Girl” in her size which can be interpreted as high praise.

Here’s another apron from the book that I’d like to make:

cute-apron.jpg I really wish this book came with a pouch of patterns in the back so night-owl crafters like me can start a project at any hour without having to fuss around trying to enlarge patterns. I understand that publishers are looking to keep prices low, but I know I would have been willing to pay more to have full-size patterns included.

The pattern issue is my only compliant. I really like this book and the fact that the author implies that it’s cool to sport aprons around town. And, most importantly, the instructions are clear and the illustrations are helpful. Beginners will find the introductory pages beneficial, too. Basic apron-making techniques are explained on the book’s introductory pages, make completing an apron realistic for rookies. If you like making and wearing aprons, you’ll dig this book.

apronology.jpgAnd speaking of aprons… all of us enthusiasts have something to look forward to. Check out “Apronology,” a new publication that is coming out next year.

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