Apronalong – Choosing Fabric

So, I think I’ve chosen my fabrics for my Apronalong apron – and already I have stumbled upon the first dilemma of this sewalong. How on earth am I going to give this away? I can’t promise I shall. If I am brave and hand my apron over to a friend, I shall cling to their ankles as they walk away. You’ll love my apron, won’t you? You’ll treat it well, promise me! Don’t be a stranger…

Get a grip, Karen. Let’s talk through fabric choice.

The top fabric is a scrap of cotton. I love it so. Someone used it to wrap up a gift for me, and I kept it. There will be just enough fabric here for the apron pocket. (Incidentally, the pocket is the perfect size for holding an iphone, should you be cooking from an online recipe.)

The middle fabric is what’s called a Shameless Copy. One of my students bought this for our Pyjama Party classes. I admired it so much, I had to go back and buy some for myself. It’s £5 a metre off the new shop on Walthamstow market.

The bottom fabric is what’s leftover from my Mandy Skirt. There’s enough there for the waistband and scallop hem. I think that’s how I’m going to combine the three. You’ll find out for yourself that the myriad options can be overwhelming! I tried to make sure that all three had one colour in common, at least. But I am not a colour combo expert. If anyone out there has tips, do let us know!

Two of the fabrics came from my scrap basket, above. Do you have a scrap basket? Intermittently, I’ll ponder the wisdom of this. Shouldn’t I just throw those scraps out and be done with it? But every now and then, I’ll delve into the basket for those smaller projects, and it’s always such a joy to go through. Oh, I used this for Jasmine’s wedding! Wow, I’d forgotten all about this. Ooh, where did this come from? Scrap baskets are perfect for the Apronalong.

I would urge you to go for natural fabrics – cotton, linen or a light denim, for example. (Ooh, linen… A tomato red linen… With embroidery… Stop it, Karen!) Having worn my apron whilst cooking last night, I can promise that you will wipe your hands on your apron. If your fabric isn’t natural and doesn’t absorb those drops of water, you’ll get really annoyed, grabbing a tea towel as your onions burn. So stay away from poly cottons, or rayons – that’s my opinion, anyway.

What about you? Have you made your fabric choices yet? Feeling overwhelmed or excited? And if you have tips to share, please do leave a comment!

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17 Responses to Apronalong – Choosing Fabric

  1. that’s a delightful selection of fabrics and I’m sure it’s going to be a very special apron. Personally I prefer aprons that are somewhat more water repellent than absorbent, because I don’t want the grease splatters going through and spoiling the clothes I’m trying to protect. Hence my apron fabric of choice is actually thermal-blocked curtains! I know. You may throw your hands in the air in horror – I think in your position, I would! – but I have made several aprons using such fabric and, although it’s probably just luck that none of it has ever blended into anybody’s curtains, they look crisp enough, are comfy to wear and provide sufficient extra protection for me to feel them a worthwhile deviation from the natural fabric mantra. Having said that, I’m eyeing off some mattress ticking for this year’s aprons!

  2. Sam says:

    Love your fabric choices Karen. I haven’t chosen mine yet – although I’m now thinking denim, which hadn’t occurred to me until I read your post.

    I threw a load of scraps away recently during a clear out. Now I wish I hadn’t.

  3. Great fabric choices – might be worth making a second one to keep! Good luck! x

  4. Karine says:

    I particularly like the paisley fabric.
    I don’t threw away scraps either, but it makes me nervous to see how much it grows …
    I chose the fabric (it’s for a man) : I’m going to die an old thick cotton bedsheet into blue. I imagine a bright yellow Pacman on it…

  5. Emma says:

    *Confessional music* I have an entire scrap CUPBOARD and I don’t even sew. Perhaps I should have a giveaway. Hmmm

    Love that top fabric. It reminds me of a dress my Gran made for me when I was 8.

  6. Andrea says:

    Lovely fabric choices. I’ve got mine picked out as well, but unlike you I’m not giving away my apron – all selfish sewing over here. As for scraps, instead of a basket I have two huge bins full! I can’t imagine parting ways with them because I’m constantly using them for smaller projects… Or perhaps I’m a closet hoarder?

  7. MrsC says:

    Yummy combo :) I quilt, so no throwing away of scraps ever occurs in this house!

  8. sewbusylizzy says:

    Ohhhh I’m liking the idea of embroidery. I picked up some old embroidery transfers at the op shop for 10 cents, sounds like the perfect nighttime sewing project!

  9. I think the fabrics you have chose work well together!
    I read a tip on a quilter’s website about checking the printer’s dots on the selvedge to help with fabric matching- they isolate all the colours used on the cloth and make it even easier to match…

    And a tomato red linen apron is a genius idea!! It’s always tomato stains I’m worried about on my pretty aprons. And I cook a lot of tomatoes!

    • SachitaBean says:

      Thanks for passing on the tip, I have a devil of a time matching up fabrics for a quilt when I’m looking at all the busy prints!

  10. SachitaBean says:

    I have my fabrics, they were all bought specifically for an apron ages ago, but I’m jealous of all the big scraps! I do have a small bin of teeny bits leftover fabric from quilting and a glass vase full of yarn scraps from knitting. Guess I’ll have to sew more big things to build up a stash of larger scraps! I did put a pic of my fabrics up on my blog if you’re curious – http://sachitabean.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/back-in-the-saddle/

  11. colleen says:

    Having quilted for so long, and watching the ladies at the quilt shop throw things together, I always try to find the balance in fabrics. One large scale print, a smaller, and the third a stripe or dot or tonal fabric. That way the fabrics sort of talk to each other but they each get their due attention.

  12. LinB says:

    For mine own napron: Medium weight, medium blue denim for the body of the butcher’s style apron — because I have yards and yards of it, pre-cut in about one-yard lengths (left over from a drapery store’s manufacture, apparently). Big appliques of gingerbread people, just because I can. I think that your three fabrics are each lovely, and will work together beautifully for an English Country Garden sort of apron. Which, as you are English, seems entirely appropriate.
    [An apron, and a few others I can’t remember right now, are elisions. “Apron” was originally “naperon.” That ends the essentially useless etymology lesson for the day.]

  13. maria says:

    I haven’t chosen my fabrics yet Karen, but I know that I’ll go for quilting cotton. Most of my past aprons have been made with this type of fabric…and the colors are endless :)
    m.

  14. Kerry says:

    I have a scrap basket nearly identical to yours, it was a fortnum and mason hamper in a former life.

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