Maria Apron by Maven Patterns
Posted on Monday the 8th April 2019 by Sew Sarah Smith
I’ve liked the look of this, the Maria Apron by Maven Patterns for the longest time and it finally made its way into my sewing plans this year; I love its utilitarian style lines and, quite frankly, I needed to make it as much for its practicality as for the love of its Japonesque artisan vibe; for too long, I’ve dashed out of the door to run errands or collect the kids, only to notice too late that I’m covered in threads and bits of snipped fabric! I decided, for the sake of decency, to wear a ‘sewing uniform’ that I could remove before leaving the sewing room, which might also stop me shedding bits of stray thread all over the house too!
The Maria Apron ticks all the boxes for me, with its lovely cross back and deep curved pockets; handy for stashing my ‘phone which I also have a tendency to leave in the most of random of places and then spend an inordinate amount of time searching for! It comes in two views, one of which fully wraps to the back.
I wanted to keep it as pared back as possible, in keeping with its utilitarian vibe and opted for this fab Robert Kauffman Fabric in Indigo, it's a 62/38% cotton/linen blend; it’s great actually; I could see it working beautifully for a variety of dressmaking projects; the white threads in the weave have a subtle ‘slub’ look and the fabric has a whole has almost got, what I can only describe as a very slight sheen. It pairs really nicely with Gutterman Thread 387.
I did play around with the idea of using a contrast fabric for the under straps and facing, as well as using a contrast fabric to bind the curved hems which would certainly have made the insides funky. But in the end, I decided I wanted a ‘less is more’ look and so did the insides in the same, self, fabric.
The pattern itself comes in four sizes : Small, Medium, Large and Extra-Large. My current chest measurement definitely puts me in the Large size but I knew that would potentially leave me with issues elsewhere – such as the neckline and straps gaping, as I’m relatively narrow shouldered and petite apart from my chest! So I traced out a Medium and did a 1” full bust adjustment (i.e. creating an extra 2” if space just where I need it!)
The pattern has no bust darts … I simply traced out my FBA lines, after marking my apex point on the pattern sheet, as you would normally. I knew this would create an unwanted bust dart I would then later remove. However, before doing so, I also went ahead and removed some width from the Centre Front – between the straps – as my Upper Chest Measurement is quite a bit smaller than my Full Bust Measurement and usually results in excess fabric there. I need to remove about an inch so I pinched out a half inch from my pattern piece, starting at the neckline seam to the bust apex. To rotate this out, I cut through one line of my neckline dart to my bust apex and cut a second line through the bust dart I had just created, leaving a pivot point between the two cut lines. This enabled me to then rotate out the dart drawn in at the neckline, which I closed together and taped down. This results in the bust dart widening. No problem, I then removed the unwanted bust dart completely by simply filling in the dart and removing the extra length the bust dart created down the side seam from the hem, so that the side seam length matched up with the side seam length of the back piece.
I made sure that whatever alterations I made to the Apron front, were also mirrored in the front facing pattern piece!
The pattern sews together really nicely and is well drafted. I love how the under straps neatly lie to the underneath of the top strap – you really can use a contrast fabric there if you want to without fear that it will show.
As I mentioned, I did bandy around the idea of binding the curved hem when I was thinking of perhaps using a contrast fabric. But in the end, I simply double folded and stitched down. I did baste the hem in place first, as recommended in the instructions, with a long stitch length, which enabled me to ease them into place.
My only gripe with the resultant apron is that I ran out of matching thread fairly on and an emergency dash to my local haberdashers was not a success as they didn’t carry the colour I wanted (Gutterman 387) and so I had to pick up the nearest I could find. It’s not early close enough for my liking really but I shall feign nonchalance and try to move on!
I can recommend both the pattern and the fabric and I can definitely recommend wearing a ‘Sewing Uniform’ – stray threads be gone!
Thank you Minerva for sending me the fabric to play with!