Miss Jenny Apron Sewing Pattern

Last year was the first Christmas as an adult that I was determined to make as many presents for the people I love as possible.  I realize that was more than 10 months ago, stay with me, I promise this quickly comes to a project I just finished yesterday!  One of the presents I made (for my super cool Little Sister) was a super cute and stylish apron.  I chose three different beautiful fabrics that seemed so much like her (she is much more stylish than me!)  Having never made an apron before, I scoured the internet for ideas and patterns, and ended up buying one on Etsy, the Miss Jenny Apron pattern.  It was great, as soon as I made my purchase she emailed me a PDF of the pattern, all I had to do was print it out, tape the pieces together and get to work.  No waiting! Excellent!  Now, when planning this post, I fully intended to link to her pattern here, so you could go and buy your own, but I just discovered her shop has totally changed, not even sure it is the same shop owner any longer, no aprons, no patterns, just a few bibs (bibs that are clearly not as cool as mine!)  Hmmm...

     The apron I made for Little Sister turned out so beautifully that I was determined as soon as Christmas was over, I would definitely be making one for myself.  While in Aptos with family for Christmas (yes, yes, I know, I am still talking about 10 months ago...) I went to the super amazing Hart's fabric!  The most fabulous fabric store I have ever been to in real life!  An independently owned fabric store in Santa Cruz, with the most beautiful collection of traditional and contemporary designer fabrics.  I can not go in there without walking out with an armload of beautiful prints I could not resist.  Best of all, as I live far, far away from Santa Cruz/Aptos (and all of the great people and things they have), Hart's has a fabulous website where all of their fabric can be ordered and arrives right at your door only a few days later!  Well, on that particular trip with my super supportive (and fabric enabling) Mama, I found just the three fabrics I wanted to use for my very own apron!

     Now, I did not have the pattern with me, and having only made it one time, there was no way to be super sure of the fabric quantities I would need, but I was pretty convinced I only needed a quarter yard to do the waistband and ties.  My mom asked me many, many times if I was sure and tried to convince me I should get more, just in case, but I was stubborn (and wrong) and she was right.

Lesson learned - Mom always knows more about fabric yardage!  She is, remember, the one who taught me how to sew, and has much more experience than I do.  Sorry, Mom!

     So, to quickly flash forward... Winter break ended, I went back to work, life got busy like always, I never made myself the apron, and the three patterns of beautiful, bright blue fabric sat on my shelf, for, oh, about 9 months!

     Now (see, told you I'd get here!), I am so fortunate, to be home doing Fun Little Things full time.  I can't believe it but it has been four months already that I have been trying to make this work.  I have done a lot of building up my inventory, experimenting with local farmer's markets and the craft fair scene, researching and learning about pricing, marketing, taxes, insurance, seller's permits and all sorts of other business-y things I knew nothing about before starting this.  My rule was, any time Kyle was at work, no Facebook, no Pinterest, and every day would include either walking or yoga, some house cleaning, some sewing or embroidery, and a few hours spent researching business stuff online.  Good rule, right?

     Starting the markets and having one desperate week to have my inventory up to the level I wanted was the first thing that threw a wrench in this schedule.  Now that it is built up, that is the next thing getting in the way, because I do not feel like I need to make more bibs, onesies, diaper bags, blankets or bunting at this point, unless a special order comes in.  So... what I am supposed to do during my "required" sewing or embroidering time every day.  Oh, you mean, all those projects I have been planning for myself?  I can do those?  Hmmm...

    The two main projects I have been planning for myself are this apron, and the quilt.  Yes, the quilt.  No, I have never made a quilt before.  Yes, I want to make a full sized quilt, not a little lap one.  When we got married (two years ago!) I made all of the napkins for our wedding, with 8 different brightly colored and patterned fabrics (all also purchased at Hart's).  Now, I have 108 beautiful napkins!  They are very nice, and very pretty, but there are entirely more of them than any one little family needs.  I want to turn them into a quilt a lot like this beautiful quilt from Purl Bee.

     This is as far as I have gotten.

Napkins laid out in the order and pattern I want on the guest
bed.  Guests have, in fact, come to stay, and the napkins were
all put away again...
     Now, as much as I really do want to make this quilt, and learn all of the details of quilting, that is a big, and pretty intimidating, project.
So apron it was this week!  Woo! A fast and fun project that ends with something unnecessary and beautiful just for me!  
     About a month ago I did decide to work on this apron.  Got all of the fabric out, washed, dried and ironed it.  Found the pattern and thoroughly read through the somewhat confusing directions again.  Pinned my pattern and started cutting.  This is where the "Mom is always right" part comes in.  1/4 yard of the waistband material was clearly not enough.  Ugh... ok, no problem, get online and buy some more... hmm... Hart's fabric no longer carries this fabric... seasonal and limited release, you say?  Ok, what about my other online fabric buying addiction.  Not there either?  Ugh!
     Clearly, this now requires much time and thought into what new fabric would look good with the other two patterns I have picked out.  Luckily there are so many fabrics I love, I quickly make a decision, make the order and wait four days for it to come.  While waiting, I decide I should make Halloween Onesie Patterns, and then a few days later Day of the Dead Onesie Patterns, and some Day of the Dead Bibs, and while I'm at it, about 20 more bibs with fabric I had been hoarding collecting.  And once again, the apron was forgotten.  
     Then, I will admit, I spent two weeks not sticking to my workday schedule for no particular reason.  Way too much time on Facebook, way too much time Pinterest.  No more of that!  
     Yesterday, it finally happened!  I made the beautiful apron! 
Interesting that in every picture of myself
that has appeared on my blog I am
wearing yoga clothes, but look how
The empire waist and box pleats
really accentuate my belly!
I love it! 
     I was feeling guilty about making a tutorial on this apron, and sharing pictures, and steps and my improvements on her pattern because of the fact that it was for sale, and copyrighted, and stated specifically it was for personal use.  But now that her shop has changed dramatically, and she no longer has the pattern for sale, I feel ok about it!  
     I think the apron as is, is beautiful (and for those without unusually large bellies, the ties are long enough to wrap around and tie in the front in a very cute way!), but now that I have made it a whole two times, there are definitely changes I want to make to the pattern. The directions made certain steps much more confusing than they needed to be.  I would do the darts and the entire shape of the apron top differently.    Maybe make the skirt part a little longer, I have long arms and want to be able to wipe my hands on the apron more easily.  I also tend to make a really big mess when I cook (especially with flour while making bread) so a slightly longer apron would save my yoga pants from their usual flour covered fate a bit better.  I also now think I want to try to make a pattern for this the way I want it to be, and sell the aprons and sell the pattern! How fun would that be?  Look for this in the (hopefully) near future, friends.  
     I intended to make this post a tutorial, but I see now that it is much more the story of me finally making the apron, and that this post is already long!  Plus, I am going to change the pattern, make it my own, and hopefully be able to offer it to you to make your own.  Pattern and full, photographed, step by step tutorial coming soon!  
Oh, and I can't believe I almost forgot, as it is one of my favorite holidays of the year,
Happy Halloween!!!
     Eat lots of candy, stay safe, stay warm and have fun!  

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