Quick 18th century apron and neckerchief

18th century apron and neckerchief

My first (and quick) 18th century apron and neckerchief. I needed something that looked nicer than a "working" apron, but didn't find quite the right fabric I wanted. The fabric was also hard to work with.

I have a possible private costuming event coming up in late April or early May, and I wanted to get as much finished as I could.

One of the things I had on my To Do list was an apron and neckerchief.  Even though my character will not be doing work, many times fancier aprons and accessories were worn.  Unfortunately, the sort of fabric I was looking for wasn’t available, so I had to get the next best thing.

The Fabric

I had hoped to find a very light, gauzy linen or even silk, but all of the linens in the store I had to shop at were very thick and heavy. My husband and I had both looked at some paintings so he could see what I was wanting to make, and after looking at fabrics, we both agreed this was my only option for now.

This fabric is still nice, but it was very difficult to work with.  It was hard to see, and it was very slippery.  It made sewing a thin hem very difficult.


I didn’t use any patterns — I merely guessed the size and shape that would work.

All of the hems were hand sewn, but I decided to use the sewing machine to sew the bias tape onto the apron.

One thing I do wish I had done on the apron was to cut the waistline in such a way where the middle of the bottom edge didn’t hang quite so low compared to the sides.


I think the apron will work okay, but I’m a little concerned about the neckerchief.  They’re worn as fillers for the neckline of bodices for daytime and outdoor wear.

I’m wondering if the fabric will be a bit scratchy for my neck, and I hope it doesn’t shift around or back out of the neckline too much.

Fortunately, if it does become a problem, I do have a sheer scarf that could work until I get something better.

For next time

Next time, I would love to get some really gauzy, light fabrics like linen.  I would love to have more time to embroider the apron and possibly the neckerchief (depending how I wear the neckerchief, especially — some have the ends hanging out, pinned down or tucked under tabs on the front of the bodice or stomacher).  I would also try to get the shape of the bottom hem of the apron a little better for my tastes.

For now, it will work for my needs.

18th century neckerchief

Pinned to the dressform for now. This will be worn under a bodice or jacket, and tucked in, with the ends crossing over slightly. I'm hoping the fabric doesn't shift around or back out too much.

18th century apron

The quick apron. I wish I could have found a light, gauzy linen or even silk, but this should work for now. It was difficult to work with this fabric, so I couldn't sew the thin hems I wanted. I also didn't have time to try any embroidery on it.

The costume gallery has also been updated to include a page for these garments.

About Cynthia Griffith

I have way too many interests and hobbies, and continually cycle through them -- paying attention to some, while others wait for when I can get around to them again. My main interests are sewing and costuming (I enjoy historical clothing, such as 18th and 19th century, as well as fantasy costumes like elves and hopefully someday even dwarves), as well as getting back to art by drawing fan art of Thorin Oakenshield and Company. My husband Christopher and I spend a lot of time together, enjoying the outdoors and shared hobbies such as juggling. This blog and website is my way to share what I'm up to with friends and family.
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7 Responses to Quick 18th century apron and neckerchief

  1. Kaycee says:

    fabulous!!!! I think the fabric works perfectly! I am going to be making a neckerchief soon…I’ve always just used an piece of fabric unhemmed!! haha! but I want to make something nice to wear 🙂 Love the apron too!

  2. I thought about leaving the neckerchief unhemmed or using my serger, but on the off chance I leave the ends outside of the neckline (tabbed bodice or something), I decided to finish it. Plus, about my luck, somehow the threads would end up unraveling enough and tickling me or hanging out and driving me nuts. 😉

    Thanks for the reply! I’m so excited about the event — a little sad I most likely won’t be able to make anything for Christopher in time, but I’m sure we’ll all still have a blast 😀

  3. Mme B says:

    I think it looks just fine! But I’m with you on the embroidered apron/kerchief in light gauzy linen part… Mmmm, whitework! It will never happen, though – at least not by my sewing!

  4. Thanks so much, both of you! 🙂 I think I feel a little better about how it turned out, and once everything is on properly it’ll probably be fine. Maybe I just spent a little too much time drooling over those beautiful whitework pieces (not to mention, I should have finished these faster, but the fabric really did annoy me that much! Ha!).

    Best wishes! 😀

  5. Amy says:

    Love it! It’s gorgeous!

  6. Mary says:

    Lovely. I couldn’t believe my eyes as you so deftly hand-stitched that sheer fabric!

  7. Thanks Amy!

    Mary: At times I moved along at a decent speed, but even that day I ended up having to re-pin some of the edges a couple times because it wasn’t behaving. Some of my stitches look a little sloppy, but I guess it adds to the handsewn look. Ha! 😉

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