Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vintage Apron Sewcial

The Vintage Apron Sewcial has started

Until the end of Oct you can check here for what is happening with the Aprons.

Suzanne's finished apron

Nancy's completed project

Karen's finished apron

Stephanie has finished her apron!

She looks ready for Christmas

So...I'm done with mine, #247. I deliberated about the bust when the apron is tied in the back the sides are not so bad and the extra room does mean I can put it over bulky jumpers during winter. I may add them later if I feel I want to but want to try it abit first without them.
It doesn't flare out nearly so much as it did before adding the back ties-they seem to have pulled in the fullness nicely. But if I had a larger cup size I think I'd definitely need darts.
The ties were tricky, I got one complete tie out of scraps and pieced two bits of left overs from the scraps remaining for the second tie. They are also narrower finishing to just over an inch thick.
I am happier with the positioning of the front darts than before too.
I decided not to embellish the apron at all, the fabric has a lot going on as it is with pine cones and pine needles- very Christmassy.
The side and bottom hemlines I turned under twice and stitched in the traditional fashion.

I like the slight curve to the front of the apron-abit tricky to pin and press seam in place, but worked out in the end.
So, this has been fun...I have learned lots and enjoyed working vintage style.

Thanks Ann and Fonnell-this is by far the most stylish apron I have.

Joanne makes an apron from a sheath dress pattern

I had so much fun making this apron! At first I decided to just make a sloper, but after marking out the pattern and paper fitting it I thought...Why not use this top to make the top of an apron? Well, here it is. My grandma wore aprons like this one, and I remember opening a gift that came in the mail of a little apron just like hers!

Sewing with Lutterloh is fun. I'm so glad to have found your blog.

Joanne missed the deadline for the Vintage Sewcial but she read Ann's posting on using your pattern books to make most anything you want and she made this great apron. We are so lucky she shared it with us. Thanks!

Mary Ann has finished her apron too!

See her notes and photos below

Well, I’ve finished my apron and am sending 4 pictures in a separate e-mail. I did the center apron on page 93.

I was looking through my late mother’s very old stash of laces hoping to find a red to match the little red strawberries on my fabric. I found red fringe instead. It was very sturdy so I decided to use it for the straps, and it works great. I also trimmed the bottom edge with it.

In the pattern picture of the apron it appeared to me that the straps were attached in front to the points on each side of the yoke. When I attached mine that way I ended up with some other strange points sticking out to the sides that I did not like. See the second picture.

So I ended up putting a dart where each of these two extra points was, and it not only solved the problem, but it also made the apron a bit shapelier, which I think is all the more vintage looking. (Remember in the old movies where the girls had such pointy bosom's?) I also added tie strings--which I made from bias tape--in the back.

This has been great fun, and I’ve learned SO much. Thank you for letting me participate!


We're so glad you enjoyed the project Mary Ann! Thanks for sending your finished photos.

Naticia has finished her apron. Congratulations!
I tried to do a horizontal bust dart as it seemed that the design really needed one to hang better on my figure. But I ended up ripping it out as it made the apron too fitted for my preference. I think this was a good first Lutterloh project but what I really need to do is a fitted dress that I can use as a sloper. Are modern Lutterloh designs more helpful with pattern pieces such as straps which these vintage patterns lacked?


The older Lutterloh books are very different

Some are just a box of little cards with a picture on front and a pattern on back (top right corner)

Others are 4 cards on one sheet with a book of fashion plates (front)

Some are hardbound books (1950's left corner)

Now see what a page from the 2000's looks like next to the old books.

That pattern card in the back is much smaller than the newer page.

Please remember this blog posting is for all of us to share and learn from the process. Ann and I are not teachers and will be happily enjoying along with you. Please treat our comments as such. One of the group..



  1. In case anyone is looking for a little inspiration you might want to check out these vintage apron sites:

  2. So which pattern will everyone start with? I like several of the aprons, but I think I'll start with the one with ruffles. That neckline is so intriguing.

    For that pattern, it seems that there is only one pattern piece, right? I will simply make my own straps and ruffles.


  3. That's right Karen, just the one pattern piece is provided with the pattern. The vintage patterns assumed a high level of sewing expertise so there are sometimes fewer pieces and symbols on those.

    The ruffled apron is probably my favorite too but the one with the rounded bib would give more opportunities for details. I'm still undecided I guess.

  4. I can't decide! I love 247, and the ruffled one, and the one with the contrast trim-oh that's lovely too! I don't even mind the one with the striped dress underneath but on me the waist section would need to be much longer to give enough coverage of what goes in the top! And being abit lazy I like the idea of drafting only one piece too.
    So.... perhaps I'll do 247-it ha a nice line to the skirt.
    I'm thinking I could approach making it like a pinafore, button or sew in the straps and add ties at the top of the side back seam? Do you think I could wiggle into it ok if I sew the straps down and then fasten the apron at centre back with ties?
    Its been so many years since I wore a pinafore, I can't remember how they fasten- but I'm sure I saw buttons on a little girls school uniform pinafore this winter.
    Advice most welcome here!

  5. Hi Stephanie,

    In looking at the back, tiny little picture, it looks like two ties on 247. one on the waist and one that cross the back and is fixed. BUT.....If you used little loops or a button hole on the edge of the back you could use one long strand for each side, go though the loop and tie at the back that way you could get in and out easily. Anyone else have a good idea?

  6. Hi Stephanie,

    My aunt remembers my grandmother wearing this style nearly every day when she was growing up in the 1930s. She tells me the straps were indeed fixed and you put the apron on over your head like another garment. As long as you leave it open to tie or button at the center back those crossed straps open up plenty wide. If you like, as an alternative, you could even button it at the shoulder like a child's jumper. This would give you an opportunity for some nice embellishment if you wanted to fancy it up a bit.

  7. I'm drawn to page 93. I love the lines of the apron with the angles. I think it is very flattering.

  8. I'm pretty sure I'm going with #247. I love the darts and the back straps. I have to find the perfect fabric to make it look vintage, too! That's one style apron I don't have and very similar to one of my grandmother's aprons my mom has.

    Does #248 just button onto the dress she is wearing? That's a really interesting concept!

  9. So for those of us doing #247, in looking at the pattern diagram, I'm thinking the only dots that get the hip measurement are the 3 at the bottom; is that correct? The last one at the end of the curve at the back looks like it hits right at the waist, so I'm thinking that still gets the bust measurement, correct? And I take it we draft/draw our own straps since I don't see any there.

  10. Thanks for the advice, I had thought about a buttonhole and doing two long strips, feeding them through the buttonhole at centre back and then tying. I will give it more thought...
    and some to the fabric too. Something vintage girly is the order of the day for me!
    This is going to be so much fun-I've been wanting an apron with decent coverage to stop being covered from head to foot with threads each day when I thanks so much Ann and Fonnell!

  11. Hi everyone!!
    I'm getting kind of a late start because, honestly, I've had a really hard time deciding which one to do. I really like the apron on page 93 that's on the far left side. But, since this is my fist Lutterloh project ever I'm going to go with 247 as it seems a little more straight forward.

    I have a question regarding the dashed line on the pattern for 247. Should I make a separate pattern piece or is the dashed line just there to show the side seam? Also, I read somewhere that if you have a larger than B cup size you need to use your high bust measurement from the armpit dot up and your bust measurement from the armpit down until the waist. Would this be correct? If so, I'm guessing the dots to use for my bust measurement would be dots marked 31 and 26. I would use my high bust for dots 40 and above and my hip for dots 25.5 and 32.5.

    Am I over thinking this? With a pattern this simple should I just do my bust and hip measurements?

  12. Oh you have time, one step at a time.

    Because you are not dealing with sleeves and coverage on the sides you may not find the bust adjustment necessary. Just do your pattern this time with the full bust measurement. Then see if it is too full around your shoulder. I suffer from this issue and can assist you.

    The dashed line on my symbols page says "fold no seam" Hope that helps. This is the apron I plan to make also so when I get it all drawn up I'm going to cut it out, hold it up to myself and see if that fold is right at where the apron goes back around me. If it isn't and I don't have enough I will add some inches right at the fold. I do want my apron to meet at the back. If it's too much I'll remove some at that fold. I think fitting the paper tells us so much.

    Does this help?

  13. Fonnell,
    Yes! Thanks so much! I will just do it as my bust and hip size and let you know how it goes. :)

  14. Ok, I drafted pattern 247 and held it up to my body. It seems to fit pretty good but definitely needs darts. I realize that since I am re-creating this pattern in a larger size I can control where I place the darts. So I’m wondering if there is a way to transfer the dart they have on the pattern or if I should just draw it on. My challenge is that I really don’t have a fitting buddy so it would be easier to transfer the dart marking from the pattern and adjust from there. For others making this pattern, what have you done?
    Naticia :)

  15. so the darts are not in the correct place for your body? In looking at the drawing of the pattern and knowing that it is a vintage pattern I can see that this dart does not respect normal dart drafting rules of today. It goes past the bust point. We normally stay several inches away. But what this dart is doing is coming up the side of the bust and it goes pretty high as if it is doing the job of two darts. I remember seeing this on my grandmothers aprons a lot.

    So when you paper fit see if that dart is going along the side of the bust and up pretty high. If not pinch and see if you can make it go there. Make a crease in the paper and then draw the dart in neat and tidy.

    The other thing to note here, the pattern can have that dart added in the fabric. Go ahead and cut it out of your fashion fabric and then stand in front of a mirror with the apron tied on and make those easy. A dart is only there to control the extra fabric.

    Great question by the way!


  16. Did anyone else find an armhole-to-apex dart necessary on #247? I drafted and tissue fit to my dressform. There is some serious gaping at the front armhole, a dart just waiting to happen. :-) Haven't cut fabric yet.

  17. Hi Sally,
    Yes, I had the same challenge but I thought it was just me so I added a dart (bust to armpit) and that seemed to help. I have decided to eliminate the vertical dart as this works better for my figure. I have yet to cut my fabric as well.
    Naticia :)

  18. I have some questions for you about the need for a dart. Is everything too large in the apron you drafted? Or does everything fit other than the looseness from the bust to armcyse? You don't want an apron too tight and in the vintage age they wore them all day until guests arrived. If you need a dart you can pin or tape it out of the paper pattern and see if it looks workable. That way when you cut it out, don't cut out the dart skip it you made the dart go away.

    HOWEVER if there is a lot of fabric we are talking about and you need it you will need to plan for a dart. They can be done after you cut the fabric. As long as you have enough fabric to go over everything then you are good!

    Now did that answer the problem or do we need to try this again.

    Another problem that I see possible is Us wanting our armscye tight when my grandmothers aprons had giant arm holes, I remember seeing so much of her dress on her side. Do we need to cover how to make these smaller?


  19. For me it was just a matter of having fabric pooching out at one specific place where a pinched-out dart fixed it. The armholes otherwise are very low and loose enough to go over clothes. I did notice on a vintage apron Web site that aprons typically did have that "pooch" of fabric right there. I think my fit is okay otherwise. I do have to hold the tape measure as snug as I can get it to get a garment that is not too big with Lutterloh. They tend to draft more ease than I like usually.

  20. This idea of ease is a very good discussion. We all like something different and are shaped differently. If you know that any pattern group has too much ease or to little ease you can then always adjust for it. Don't you love it when you know what the issues will be before you start? It's surprises I don't like!

  21. The 2 completed aprons look fantastic. I love seeing the different interpretations.

    I have a confession... I still haven't started! I don't have a tape yet but hopefully I will by next week! I just ordered the curves and there should be a tape arriving with those. This will be my first Lutterloh attempt but I'm feeling ok as I am on holidays for another week so should have time to complete within the time frame.

  22. Hi Ladies! I've not disappeared!! I've got mine traced out and will be getting to it this weekend, looking forward to that since I cleaned out my sewing room over the long weekend!

    I'm also going to really need an apron because I learned last night I'm cooking for Thanksgiving!!!!!!

  23. Hi Ann/Fonnell,

    I just drafted the two fronts of apron 93. I noticed that the bottom seam of the top piece is an inch longer than the top seam of the front bottom piece. Is that correct? Do I ease that extra inch into the the lower seam? If not, I could have drafted it incorrectly.


  24. Ursula,
    Is this the pattern on the far right of page 93? See the little lines on the front bodice bottom. I am thinking that those are little tuck lines. If you match them together you see if you get a match to the bottom front. You could leave it as ease, but tucks do look different, more fitted than just easing.

    Good question.

  25. Fonnell,

    Is that a tuck? I thought it was the CF line? I was going to use those lines to line to my CF.

    So is there ease on princess seams? I've never sewn princess seams before.

    I will draft the back piece tomorrow and try on the pattern to get a better picture of fit.

    Thank you for your help!

  26. Ok Ursula,

    I don't think I am looking at your pattern. Please tell me again which pattern you are working on? I don't see any of the aprons with Princess lines? You have a too wide skirt to go on a bodice front correct? Did you do the skirt with your hips measurement? Page 93 has three views and patterns....which are you?

    he he

  27. Fonnell,

    I'm drafting the apron to the left. It has three pattern pieces and I guess it looks more like empire style seams than princess seams. It has a top, bottom, and back piece. I used my hip measurement only for the bottom hem. It is the apron with the button on the front.

  28. Joanne, in TennesseeOctober 22, 2009 at 8:12 AM

    Hello, I just wondered if it would be possible for those of us who weren't able to get in on time to join the apron sewcial to see the book pictures of the aprons you are working on? I'd love to be able to see what the aprons look like. Sounds like you are all having such a great time!
    Keep up the good work!

  29. Joanne,

    This is sort of touchy. Lutterloh asked us to sparsely use their patterns without the numbers and not their fashion photos if possible. We have contacted them for permission on the aprons many times and have not gotten a response so feel we can not put up the apron patterns. You will find them in the 1939 and 1940's pattern books.

    We walk a tightrope with our blog as is.


  30. Joanne in TennesseeOctober 22, 2009 at 11:06 AM

    Too bad. We could learn so much! I look forward to seeing the completed projects.

  31. Fonnell, Not only am I new to Lutterloh, but also to blogging. I couldn't figure out how to put in my comment. When I finally found a place to do so, it was as a comment to Nancy's blog. You can find it there, but from now on, I'll put my comments here. MaryAnn

  32. It's now 2 weeks since I ordered my curves and tape and I haven't received them yet. (Hopefully today or tomorrow.) Therefore I haven't been able to start my apron yet and I may not get it finihsed by 31st Oct. I will make it I may just be a few days late. I have the fabric so I guess that is a start!

  33. Joanne in TennesseeOctober 26, 2009 at 8:31 AM

    Hi Mischka,

    You can get a free gauge to put on the end of a centimeter tape at: When you subscribe to their newsletter you will get 3 patterns and the gauge. Just be sure to print it the right size! I used this to make my vest pattern. Maybe it would help you too.

  34. Hi Joanne. I'm already a subscriber and have their free patterns. I didn't get a tape to download tho'. Maybe I somehow overlooked it!

  35. I’ve finished my apron and want to add pictues to my final blog comment, but I can't figure out how to do this. Would someone please tell me how. Thanks so much.

  36. Joanne in TennesseeOctober 27, 2009 at 12:22 AM

    Hi Mischka,

    If you want to send your email address to: I would be happy to send you the download.

  37. Oh, never mind...I just found the answer to my question of a couple of hours ago.

  38. Thanks for the offer Joanne, however my tape, rules and CD just arrived. No excuses now...