Monday, March 28, 2016

Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #3 - Protection

March – Protection – make something to protect yourself (from weather or injury) or your clothes (from soiling etc.) - The Dreamstress

In a previous Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge I made an apron from a vintage 1940s pattern and wanted to start a little collection of aprons through the decades.  That was in 2014 and so this Challenge is the perfect time to begin the collection with a wonderful find from a 1934 sewing magazine.  Of course the 1930s are a time of stretching the budget through repurposing and reusing and recycling and the apron sewing pattern follows that trend exactly.  This sweet little apron is made from an old bordered tablecloth.  eNeedlecrafts has made this pattern available in a pdf download but the pattern is now part of the public domain.


It's incredibly easy to find bordered tablecloths in antique shops and flea markets.  The pattern calls for a 42 inch square tablecloth, or even a 36 inch square for a shorter person.  I find a cute yellow plaid linen 46 inch square tablecloth and decide that at $5.00 it is quite perfect.

With my instructions printed from my etsy purchase and digital download (who could have imagined any of that in 1934!) I begin my tablecloth apron.

I'm using a fabric marker that disappears with time or when water is sprayed on it and I measure and draw my pattern on the tablecloth.  The tablecloth has seen a lot of wonderful meals and has some holes in it, so I try to set my pattern for best use of the good areas.

The main portion of the apron, the ties, and the pocket are cut.  I pin everything on the dressform and choose a piece of leftover material that will give me the best pattern for the neck back piece.

After I've cut my back neck piece I'm ready to hem all the edges.  The small pile of material in the lower right corner is all that is wasted from the original tablecloth.

It's spring and I just can't resist adding some daisy trim from my stash which adds just the exact amount of pretty for this recycled tablecloth.

Who will notice that hole when it is covered with a pretty daisy?

The tablecloth has a new life as a perfect spring apron!

The lady of the house with her new apron 82 years ago in 1934.

Historical Sew Monthly

The Challenge:  #3 Protection
Material:  Linen border print tablecloth
Pattern:  eNeedlecrafts on
Year:  1934
Notions:  Thread and daisy trim
How historically accurate is it?  Pattern from a vintage sewing magazine
Hours to complete:  3
First worn:  Today
Total cost:  $5.00 for tablecloth and $3.99 for pattern

Happy Spring,


  1. That is so cute! The daisy trim is just right.

    1. Thank you, Juliana! I just love the yellow with the daisies and I never wear yellow in 'real life'. :)

  2. That apron is so lovely! And I love the daisy trim. Makes me want to make one, too.

    1. Thank you so much, Miss Tonia! It's so easy, fun, and I felt like I gave that poor little tablecloth a new life!

  3. I love your apron and your house!