Portland… on an apron

Confession:  I hate doing laundry.  It involves trying to gather clothes for a full load (to justify the money I have to spend), dragging the laundry bag downstairs (I’ll admit, I use the elevator… but I used to have to haul it up a hill, and I think that was like negative conditioning to want to avoid having to do laundry).  Then there’s having to wait for the machine to be done (paying attention to the timer and not being able to really get involved in anything while I wait), and then haul it all upstairs… then I have to fold and sort and put it away.  Sigh….

So, why am I sharing this?  Because I realized that I also am messy when I cook (I was always a fan of Big Messy Art…) and my clothes keep getting flour, sugar, and frosting on them.  Not to mention, I like to wipe my hands on my pants, or skirt, or whatever I may be wearing.   Which means more laundry trips.

So, I decided it was time to find myself an apron!  Having limited funds, it made sense to sew something.  And I’ve been somewhat inspired by a blog I’ve started visiting : New Dress A Day, and wanted to try my hand at some styling of my own.

I’m bad at following patterns, or planning my sewing work ahead of time – so I can’t really share, well, what I did in order to make this lovely, unique apron.  But here’s my attempt:

What I used: I have a lot of random t-shirts floating around, and so I took two of them to re-purpose.

Step 1: Cut it apart!

Portland, East

Portland East:

I began by cutting the front of one shirt from the back of the shirt.  I decided that this lovely shirt that I got when I worked at the Boys and Girls club here in Maine would be a good piece for the apron.   I decided early on that I wanted the arms to be the straps.  I’m a bi-coastal girl, having grown up outside of Portland Oregon, and now living in Portland Maine, so this shirt is a piece from Portland-East… how symbolic?

Portland West

Portland West: My West-Coast Portland gets represented by a T-shirt that I got when I volunteered with the Portland Rose Festival.  This shirt got the back and sleeves cut off, but I left the neck-hole in place, and then I cut it out to make a larger space.  Ultimately I cut right down the middle of the word “Festival” (which was the back of the shirt) so I could tie it around my neck.

Step 2: Sewing

I got to work piecing this together.  I kept the red shirt as the base, and then attached the “Portland” from the white shirt to give it a little more length.  Then I made bands from the sleeves of the white shirt (attaching the front and the back of the sleeve to make it longer) and attached these to the sides of the red shirt.  Hemming the bottom of the shirts, and all the rough edges, I could have been done – but I realized that there was still a big issue – this apron didn’t give me enough space to deal with my habit of wiping my hands at my sides.  So… panels!  Taking the unused side of each of the shirts I added these to the bands, making it so my apron really wraps around.

Step 3: Admire

My model expertly playing the role of mannequin

Special thanks to my anonymous model!  This is the finished product – yes, it isn’t likely to be winning any fashion awards, but I’ve always had a unique sense of style.  Realizing the side panels seem a bit of overkill on my model – but I have a somewhat larger build, so they’ll be excellent for me 🙂  One side is red (pictures here) the other is white.

Nothing fancy, and I wonder if I should have turned the front “Portland” panel into a pocket (I may end up re-re-working it to do that – although I do wonder, what would I use pockets on my apron for?).

Goals for my next sewing project:  Take more notes, maybe even create something resembling a pattern… so I’m not just sharing (with more glee than is probably called for) my own pride in a project – feels a bit like show and tell 🙂

Now – to put the apron to use, I’ve got some cooking to do!


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