Monday, November 30, 2020

A 1924 Apron and Cap and Historical Sew Monthly February 2020 Re-Use

It's been a dream of mine to create aprons from many decades.  For no reason.  I don't wear aprons but I remember my grandmother who was born in 1897 always, always, wearing an apron.  Nothing fancy but she cooked on a wood stove and had 13 children and I imagine an apron came in very handy.  When I found this 1924 Apron and Cap from Repeated Originals on Etsy I immediately purchased the downloadable pattern.

Then I printed it, cut it for assembly, found a twin size sheet that had been on the guest room beds in a previous home, and immediately moved on to another project.  That happens sometimes, doesn't it?

And here I am many years later with a project that is perfect for this apron and cap.  I locate all my stashed items and it's time to sew this little beauty.  The February 2020 Historical Sew Monthly Challenge (we can do any of the 12 Challenges in any order) is called Re-Use:  Use thrifted materials or old garments or bedlinen to make a new garment.  Mend, re-shape or re-trim, an existing garment to prolong its life.  My 1924 apron and cap will be perfect for this Challenge and my project!

The downloadable pattern is easy to assemble.  Every piece is shown on a scaled diagram and the pieces line up easily and perfectly.

In a few minutes the pieces are assembled and cut.

The sheet is cut for front, back, pockets, and the crown and band for the cap.

Quite a few years ago I purchased some items from an historical costumer in a facebook destash group.  If you have read any of my other blog posts you have read that I'm a huge fan of these groups for buying, selling, and trading unused items.  When I received my package with my purchase the costumer had included two beautiful embellishments.  They were mirror images and I had set them aside for the cap for this project.  I was going to remove the pearls but just didn't have the heart.  I'm so glad I didn't and I'll tell you about that later.  I had bias tape for the edges and while not very elegant or colorful, it was in my stash and would work well.

Other notions included thread and snaps for the cap.  I had two unique and matching mother of pearl buttons in my stash and with the pearls on the embellishment I thought that would blend well and pretty up this otherwise plain apron and cap.

I started with the cap.  I always start with the headwear and am not quite sure why.  Maybe if it doesn't work I won't waste my time on anything else?  I don't know!  But starting with the cap I marked all the snap placements.  16 around the crown to attach the band, and 2 for the back of the band.

I was very tempted to simply gather the crown and sew the parts together.  But I thought about the purpose of this cap and realized how easy it would be to simply unsnap and wash and starch and iron both pieces.  So I stayed true to the 1924 instructions and continued with the snaps.

I hemmed the crown with a narrow hand-sewn hem, machine stitched the sides and lower edges of the band, turned the band right side out, and pressed everything.  Then I basted the top edge of the band.  Ready for the snaps.

The cotton fabric is light and I decided that sewing snaps through just one layer of the band would not be sturdy enough.  But sewing through both layers meant the thread would be visible on the outside of the band.  Inspiration hit and I remembered having a few leftover freshwater pearls from a previous project.  These would be beautiful to cover the thread on the outside of the band and add a perfect touch with the pearls on the band embellishment and the pearl buttons.

I tried my idea and loved it!

Now to settle in sewing snaps.

As I was sewing snaps I started to realize that the crown diameter seemed small compared to the band height.  I tested the fit on my headform and cut 1-1/2" off the band.

I like this better!

With the band height adjusted I again basted the top edge of the band and then sewed the bias binding along the top edge.  The fabric was just sandwiched between the bias tape with the shorter edge to the outside.  Then I sewed by machine with a zipper foot for a clean edge on the outside of the band knowing that since that was the shorter side I would definitely catch the longer inside edge of the tape.  I finished sewing my snaps and pearls to the band.

The cap is complete!  Outside of crown and back of band where snaps will meet.

And inside of crown and front of band.

When snapped together, even gathers are created in the crown.

Finished cap underside.

Finished cap front, back, and side.  A pretty cap for working in the kitchen, don't you agree?

Now for the apron.  This pattern is a sewing tutorial all by itself.  The Finishing page explains how to sew a French seam, how to sew snaps, how to finish the edges with bias fabric or bias tape in several methods, and even directions for hand sewn buttonholes.  A very inexperienced seamstress could be successful with this pattern.

First step is French seams to attach the front and back at the shoulders.

Using the same method for binding the upper edge of the cap band I added bias tape to all edges of the apron and the pockets.  The pockets are sewn to the apron where they seemed natural for me.  Lastly  I sewed two buttonholes on the back sides of the apron and added the pearl buttons to the front.

The 1924 apron and cap are ready to wear!

Time to wear this fun apron and cap in the kitchen.

Then I created a video which is Part 2 of my Historical Halloween.  These are the links if you are in the mood for short and fun videos.  I'll also put the link here for creating the Rainbow costume.

Historical Halloween Part 1:

Historical Halloween Part 2:

I hope you enjoyed this little project!  Thank you for being here!


Historical Sew Monthly

The Challenge:  February - Re-Use
How this fits the Challenge:  Made from bedlinen
Material:  Cotton
Pattern:  Repeated Originals
Year:  1924
Notions:  Bias tape, thread, snaps, buttons
How historically accurate is it?  Created from an historical pattern with period appropriate techniques as outlined in the pattern.
Hours to complete:  5 hours
First worn:  This past week to create a video
Total cost:  Bias tape $4.50, snaps, $1.50, thread.  Under $7.00 total.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Historical Halloween 2020 and Historical Sew Monthly October 2020

My sister was born in the wee hours of the first of November.  As any good sibling would do, I told her the witches brought her on Halloween.  Poor Jackie!  We do prepare our younger brothers and sisters for the real world, don't we?  ;)  Had I known then that in 2020 we would be in a worldwide pandemic with social events very limited and Halloween a much quieter affair I might have been nicer to her.  But what if the witches did bring her??!!

While scrolling through Instagram one day I happened upon this post:

What fun!  I wonder what they wore for Halloween 100 years ago?

My Google search led me to an Etsy seller with whom I'm very familiar and have purchased many patterns from, Mrs Depew Vintage.  There was a reproduction of a 1925 booklet published by the Dennison Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of crepe paper.

Into the cart it went and I was able to view pages immediately in the pdf download.

So interesting to see the copyright date for this booklet.  1925!

The costumes are incredible and the directions easy to follow for both adult and child sizes.

The back of the booklet caught my attention and I immediately knew this was the costume I wanted to recreate.  A rainbow!  Exactly what I need in this seventh month of pandemic Safer At Home.

Pastel colors would be so beautiful to work with!

Crepe paper is also readily available through my online grocery order and very affordable at 97 cents for 81 feet.  There are no instructions for this costume so I compare the illustration measurements to my 5'6" height and calculate the height and width of all pieces, calculate the number of feet I will need to complete the costume, and place my crepe order along with groceries needed for the week.

Crepe paper can be sewn with needle and thread and with some tulle and organza, some tissue for backing for machine sewing, some ribbon and a recycled metal headband and some millinery wire, I have everything I need to create a rainbow costume.

The skirt length is 37" for me and I calculated the overlap for each crepe paper strip to get the skirt coverage I wanted, cut the number of strips for each color, and sewed them to a strip of grosgrain ribbon.

The panniers took a bit more thought as to their size and how they would be supported, and my millinery experience came in handy here.  I cut recycled pink tulle to the shape I had calculated and laid it on tissue.  After some practice techniques, I folded each strip of crepe paper in half lengthwise and machine stitched two slightly overlapping layers of each color onto the tulle/tissue ending with the final center fill of lavender.

Millinery wire is sewn between the white and purple rings and extended beyond the pannier to become a support that will hook over a ribbon belt and lay against the hip.  Two additional lengths of millinery wire are attached near the center of the pannier for additional support.

Panniers hooked to a ribbon belt:

The shape of the blouse is just a nice cylinder and with some more calculating I cut and sewed strips of crepe paper to organza and added some organza ribbon with floral edging.

The bodice straps have a foundation of satin ribbon with 2 strips of crepe paper sewn and folded and embellished with the same organza floral ribbon.

Now to create that fabulous hat!  Again I used a scrap piece of tissue with my dimensions and color plan drawn on the tissue.  Another piece of tulle will hold everything together after the sewing. 

Removing the tissue:

Adding a metal headband encased in some organza ribbon:

The front is embellished in the center and over the bottom edge with the organza floral ribbon.

Humidity naturally makes the crepe paper ruffle and we have just had Hurricane Zeta blow through.  I may stretch the edges of each strip just a bit more before I wear this costume but these few days are showing some fun natural texture happening.

I added some streamers and freeform flowers to the panniers to mimic the illustration and now the costume is complete!

Here is a YouTube video I created for the Historical Halloween 2020.

There is another 1925 costume I made several years ago and haven't had a chance to wear.  It would be fun to photograph both of these costumes together and create an Art Deco video.  I will add that video here when it is finished.

Happy Halloween!

Historical Sew Monthly

The Challenge:  October - Get Crafty
Material:  Crepe Paper
Pattern:  Inspired by Dennison Manufacturing Co. booklet available through Mrs. Depew Vintage on Etsy
Year:  1925
Notions:  Millinery wire, ribbon, thread, organza, tulle, tissue paper
How historically accurate is it?  The crepe paper manufactured at that time was similar to our heavy crepe paper.  I used readily available streamer crepe paper.
Hours to complete:  22 hours
First worn:  Will be worn for photos and video soon
Total cost:  $12