A FISH STORY
HOW TO PUT A MAN IN AN APRON
My first sewing project in my Home Economics class was a simple apron. Aprons are a great choice for beginners. You should end up with something useful and wearable. And for the seasoned seamstress, you can whip up a half dozen simple aprons in a few hours time. They really do make great gifts and you can personalize them or decorate them in unique ways thus personalizing it for the intended user.
However, putting a man in an apron can become a bit tricky. Rule number one; don’t tell him you’re making an apron for him. Basically, he thinks of aprons as something effeminate. He’ll be having visions of lace and frills. OK if it’s on HER. On HIM….ewwww. Not a fun visual for him.
Al Roker poked fun at Mark Zuckerberg for wearing an apron a couple of years ago. Odd, cuz I’ve seen Al Roker in an apron and a few other off-the-wall get-ups. Did I miss something????
I had in mind a shop or utility apron and/or a barbecue apron. Whatever kind of apron, keep it simple. Pockets and loops are good. And if it’s a shop-type apron, leather and denim are good fabric choices. If you’re making a shop or utility apron, several pockets of different sizes for tools and pencils will probably be appreciated. A couple of loops (to hold a small hammer or similar tools) should come in handy as well.
Many moons ago, I made a shop apron for my dad. For my dad’s birthday (in December) my mom gave him a radial arm saw. So, for Father’s Day, I made him the shop apron. It was a brown, striped denim material and I stuck lots of pockets on it, (pen/pencil pockets and three other pockets of different sizes and some loops).
Recently, for my brother’s birthday (June), I made him an apron. He already had a barbecue apron which was a simple apron with the drawstring looping at the neck and tying in the back. Further, I decided I wanted a theme apron. Now, my brother is a sports fan, with a favored team, and I could have used that, however he already has gobs of team memorabilia. He owns a small fishing/recreational boat. However, he was given a few gifts during the holidays with boating themes. So, I decided I would theme the apron on one of his favorite hobbies; fishing.
Then I fished (yes, pun intended) around on the ‘net looking for ideas. I had to educate myself a bit on fishing. I don’t fish. I came up with lots of fun stuff to include with the apron. I found these oven mitts supplied by The Trout Spot. This company quickly filled my order and I had the oven mitts within 48 hours of placing the order! I was very impressed as I did not specify overnight shipping or any special handling.
I also found this; a chef’s hat with whatever you wish embroidered onto the hat. I was very pleased with the purchase and the service. Even tho’ turn-around time is stated as two weeks, I received the chef’s hat within eight days of placing the order. Shopmemento Yep, that’s what I had embroidered on the chef’s hat. (see below)
For the apron, I chose this fabric and this pattern. Yep, it’s a very busy print to the point of being loud. But, this isn’t a fashion statement. It’s a barbecue apron and meant to be fun. Ummm, sorta like golf pants. In the spirit of it all, I chose McCall’s 3427, published in 1972. This particular pattern has gotten a few negative reviews. Well, not actually negative, but the write-ups poked fun at the pattern and the fashions back in the day. Paraphrasing; one person’s junk is another’s treasure. I thought it would work well for what I wanted to do. McCall’s 3427 is soooo simple that the only time I needed my best friend, Jack, was to remove my basting stitches! (snicker-snicker)
I figured the chaps style would be appealing for a guy and sort of fun as well. Plus, it affords a more masculine presentation. The pattern is super simple. The chaps are cut in one piece. There is one pocket, one drawstring and four ties. I decided to make it reversible. No big deal. Simply cut two chap pieces and two pocket pieces. One side is going to have the seam side show at the waist, but since the drawstring wraps around at the back and is tied in front, it really isn’t noticeable, especially if the material is dark or has a tight print. The material I used has both. Another benefit to making the apron reversible is that it gives the finished apron a bit more body as the material I used is a lightweight cotton. Because I intended the apron as a barbecue apron, I didn’t want to use a denim as I figured that this might be uncomfortably warm in summer months. If you live in a cooler clime, denim is a good choice for this particular apron.
As the apron is finished on the edges with bias fold tape, this made making it reversible ultra simple. I simply sewed on the pockets to both the chaps pieces, then placed the wrong sides together and sewed the edges together. I trimmed the seams to about ¼” (6.35mm), then finished it with the bias fold tape. The pattern called for ¼” (6.35mm) bias fold tape, but I used ½” (13mm) bias fold tape. I also used the bias fold tape to make the ties at the knees as opposed to cutting ties from the material. I did it this way because I thought it looked better. I did use the material to make the drawstring tie at the waist. From the bias fold tape I made a loop on the edge of the apron at about the level of the top edge of the pocket. At about hip level, I sewed on four shank buttons; at about each hip on both sides of the apron to hang the oven mitts, or can opener, etc. The buttons stayed in theme too! Found those on the ‘net as well. This was fun to make and very simple.
The apron drew a smile from my brother. He obligingly modeled the apron and allowed me to use the photos for this blog. His favorite pieces of this gift?? The fish oven mitts!! He said he doesn’t want to use them and mess them up. OK, what did you expect from a guy who loves to fish!!??!!