A quick 18th century apron and neckerchief

Patterns Used:

–  None. I just estimated the size and shape to try for this set.

Fabrics Used:
–  Some sort of modern, sheer, white fabric from the bridal section at Joann Fabrics.

Other materials Used:
– White store-bought bias binding.
– White store-bought twill tape.

Hand sewing on all edges, and machine-stitched both sides of the apron’s bias binding.

I was trying to go for the “this apron is not worn for work” sort of look.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to learn white work or embroider it.  I also decided not to go for a fabric that already had some sort of design or pattern on it.  The one I found was sloppy looking, and just didn’t speak to us (my husband helped me look for this fabric).

My husband and I both had looked at some paintings before we went to the fabric store, so he understood the light, gauzy look I was going for.  Sadly, the linen fabrics or even linen-look fabrics were still far too thick and not what I was looking for.  I also didn’t think I would find anything in silk that would work.  This was really the only fabric that came anywhere close to what I was needing.

I mainly wanted to have two more pieces of my first outfit finished in time for a private costume event deadline.  I do hope to see how this fabric wears (I’m a little nervous the neckerchief will be scratchy on my neck), so I can choose something better for the next time.  I needed to have something to fill in my neckline, and I thought an apron would look nice layered against the petticoat to help add to the accessories and feel of the costume.

One thing I was not prepared for — this fabric was a pain to sew!  Not only was it difficult to see at times, but it was slippery, and pins kept trying to slide out.  No amount of pressing would get it to stay flat or crisp, and I couldn’t make the thinner hems I was hoping to do.  I also wish I had cut the center a little shorter so the edges would hang more evenly, but it’s just a quick apron so it’ll do for now.

I mentioned the neckerchief worrying me about scratchiness.  This will be worn tucked into the fronts of bodices and jackets, to help fill in the neckline for day and outside wear.  The ends cross over and give a nice effect (usually, anyway — we‘ll see how this fabric works out).  I don’t know if the fabric will also try backing out of the neckline, shifting around, and generally being an all-around nuisance.  I do have a sheer scarf that I could try for a temporary fix, if this one doesn’t seem to work out very well.

Photos:

18th century apron

The 18th century apron — this is not a “working” style apron. I meant it to look a little fancier, which is why I chose the fabric I did (there wasn’t anything else available that would work). I wish I had more time to embroider it and make it look nicer.

18th century neckerchief

We’ll see how this fabric works. I may have to use a temporary scarf instead — this fabric is slippery and might even be a little scratchy and uncomfortable to wear. I look forward to getting nicer, thinner linens to make future aprons and neckerchiefs etc from.

Here are blog entries that mention 18th century aprons and neckerchiefs:

Main entry for these garments.
Aprons and Neckerchiefs.

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