With all of the garden work going on, I haven’t spent as much time on indoor hobbies like sewing (though I have been working on some crochet while traveling). Tuesday saw some pretty heavy traffic getting home, so I pulled into the driveway much later than I normally do. This didn’t work out too badly, though…I’ve finished planting the one garden bed and we haven’t had a chance to assemble the second one yet. Most of the containers have their new season residents, so there wasn’t much to be done outside, anyway (we’re hoping to get to the second raised bed this Saturday).
So I found myself with some spare hours to spend on an indoor task. A friend’s birthday is coming up, and I knew just what I wanted to give her. Last year, I made her a field notes journal cover, complete with slots for colored pencils and pens. The year before, I included a hand-made, embroidered coaster. Before I left my job at the farm, I gave her two of the books from Dad’s extensive library – specifically geared towards naturalists. I figured, as a naturalist herself, they would be a good fit. And I knew he would want them to be used, and not waste away on the shelf.
In keeping with the flowers and nature theme I gravitate towards for her gifts, I pulled out a pattern I’ve had in my stash for a while. I’ve wanted to make the Gathering Apron, from Sew Liberated, for some time now but never quite got around to it (isn’t that always the way?). Anjela keeps egg-laying chickens and has a lovely herb garden and fruit trees at her house, and I knew that the gathering apron would be a perfect fit for her.
I pulled out some wacky green bean fabric that I bought on sale at Hancock Fabrics, about a year ago. I had originally planned to make a bag for myself, for when I go to the Farmer’s Market, but I couldn’t pass this up. The green bean fabric was just too fun not to share.
[Robert happened by my sewing table when I had the pieces all laid out, awaiting assembly, and laughed. He thought the fabric was great fun, too.]
Since I had only purchased a yard and half of the bean print and the pattern calls for 2 yards, I had to get a little creative for the straps and belt lining. I pulled out a sunny yellow-on-yellow daisy print that has also been living in my stash for a little while. It provided the perfect contrast to the green beans, and the bit that I had was plenty long to cut the straps from.
I used a little bit of lilac bias binding to define the edges of the pockets, instead of turning the edge over into a narrow hem. I feel it gives a little more stability to the pocket corners, and helps to define where the pocket is. With fabric as busy as this, it would be easy to lose where the pocket begins. Plus, it allows me to work in a little bit of purple, which is Anjela’s favorite color. And use up at least a small bit of the massive stock of random bias tape I inherited from friends’ grandmothers’ sewing rooms.
I had some trouble with the pin tucks, but not because of the pattern or instructions. I just couldn’t see the darn chalk lines on the ding-dang green bean print! For the tucks on the belt piece, I just winged it (wung it? wang it?), and ended up with four tucks instead of the planned five. With luck, these will be easier for me to do when I make this pattern again, using a less busy fabric.
And I will be making this pattern again. After all, I’m in need of a good gathering apron, myself!
The pattern is, unfortunately, discontinued. However, you can still find a few here and there on Etsy or Ebay. I think that’s the route I’m going to go to pick up one or two of the other discontinued patterns. This is the third Sew Liberated pattern I’ve made – the first two being the Esme Top (a great fit and a favorite) and the discontinued Sunday Picnic Blouse…which I couldn’t get to fit quite right. My full bust means that some types of patterns can be difficult to alter for fit and, unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to get this one to work yet. Not to worry, I’ll try it again at some point.
For now, though, I would say that the Gathering Apron pattern is another favorite.