I have several pinafores, most of which are well-stained with grease and tomato sauce by now, but none that cover my dress adequately for messy work, like whipping cream on Sunday mornings. So when I found Butterick 5744 pattern from the 1950s on Ebay I snapped it up.
The apron is made in the neatest way - cut out in one piece plus pockets and ties, then there are buttons on the back corners which button through the front, and the front ties in the back. Very clever and covers/protects everything except sleeves and maybe your collar. Super easy, if you're a beginner to garments.
I paired it with a vintage sheet I had which was printed to look like old fashioned ticking. Perfect for an apron since it is dark and a busy pattern, which helps disguise stains. And mine always get stained!
I chose the tailored model shown instead of the one with ruffles.
It was my first experience working with bias tape, and I loved it! But I could not get the hang of mitered corners, despite several online tutorials, so don't look at the corners too closely.
Since this project I have used bias tape several times, and even made my own. The ease with which it edges and trims and secures raw edges from fraying all at one time is just wonderful! Now I am definitely going to get one of those bias tape folder things in several sizes. It really takes the quality of a garment up a notch when you can edge it with bias tape made from the same fabric, sort of like piping. And if you make your own, you always have a novelty bias tape (which incidentally is fairly expensive to buy) and you get to use up your scraps of fabric.
The pattern said it would fit sizes 12-20. I am size 18-20 in vintage patterns, and it was a little too small for me, so I would say it actually doesn't fit higher than size 18, and if I make it again I'll cut it out with an extra 1/2 in. around the pattern to give me a bit more room. It probably would fit better if I sewed the front darts not quite as deep as instructed, too.
I learned several things while making this:
1: Read the instructions first! I ended up making several extra steps for myself because I just cut into it, thinking I knew what I was doing, without reading the instructions.
2. When working with 1/4 in. bias tape make sure you stitch close to the inside edge!
3. Have someone around who knows how to miter corners on bias tape, to show you how.
So now I have an adequate coverall apron for all the summer canning days and weekly baking days. My clothes will be happier for it!
I enjoy the elegant look of hair nicely styled and draw endless inspiration from the 1940s and '50s, where women never went out of the house without their hair set in curls and every ripple in place. I love recreating these hairstyles for myself, but some days I just don't feel like sleeping on a head full of curlers. So I found this quick and super easy way to never go without curls again.
It honestly takes a minute. Less than a minute. Even at the end of a busy day, take a few seconds to do this to your hair and you will be grateful the next morning. Whether worn down or up, hair looks so much more well dressed when there aren't straight ends sticking out, and soft curls are so much easier to manage in general.
So here's how to get friendly hair every day.
Please note, my hair comes below my shoulder blades, has some natural wave to it and I don't use conditioner, which makes my hair limp or slippery.
1 or 2 large foam rollers (possibly more if your hair is very long or thick)
spray bottle with water
1. Brush out your hair well.
2. Braid it for a few inches and secure with hairband, leaving a tail of 8-10 in.
3. Mist the unbraided part well with water. Place a curler against the hair, following the way the hair naturally curls...
...and roll it up to the base of the braid, where you secure it. I sometimes use a bobby pin as well if a strand of hair isn't laying smoothly over the roller.
If you have a lot of hair or it's shorter on the sides than in the middle, divide the unbraided part into 2 and use 2 rollers.
(If your hair is super long or thick, try dividing it into 2 braids and using 2 rollers at the end of each braid.)
I usually mist it again with water after the rollers are in.
And that's it! Sleep on it all night - I have never felt the slightest discomfort with mine, although if you aren't used to sleeping with your hair in a braid you may have some getting-used-to-it trouble.
The next day, take out the rollers and braid, and brush as thoroughly as you like.
The hair can be brushed smooth, curl in, around your fingers for that perfectly coifed 1940s style (although mine always flips around in the breeze of my movements), or twisted up, without the trouble of frizzy or protruding ends. The curl lasts all day without hairspray, at least in my hair. And anyway, even an ordinary ponytail or braid looks better with a curl at the end, right?
When I want a 1950s hairstyle or 1940s curls, I'll still set all my hair. But this is simple enough to do every day and makes morning hairstyles, whether retro or not, so much easier.