Since we hadn’t decided on a book yet, I figured a book first project would be an apron. I chose an apron because it is utilitarian, so it is OK if it doesn’t look perfect- C’mon, you know you’re just going to get food on it while you are cooking, and personally, I have never opened a bottle of bleach without getting at least a little spot of it on my clothes. So, if the apron doesn’t turn out right, it’s OK, because it was just going to get ruined and ugly eventually anyway. I chose a simple, reversible apron pattern at the craft store (Simplicity Sew Simple 1971 reversible apron).
I was determined to use clearance fabric- there is no reason to spend too much on fabric for your first project. It won’t turn out perfectly, so economy, economy, economy!
One fabric was black with irregular white flower drawing, and the other was mint with liner brown dots. I would have loved to avoid a linear pattern for my first project, but this fabric was the only one I could find that had the right level of on-purpose clashing with my flower fabric, and the fabric makes me think of mint chocolate chip ice cream.
One nice thing about the fabrics I got is that they were somewhat coarse, with the individual strings of the warp and weft grouped together in 3’s before being woven. The fabric is like a light canvas. This coarseness made it much easier to line up the fabric on the grain, which is probably the only thing that kept the linearly dotted fabric from coming out completely tilted.
Armed with next to no knowledge, I charged on ahead. Everything except the neck went well! It took days and days, since I had to go super slow. There is a part that is more-or-less magic, where you put the straps inside, sew an outside seam, then pull the apron right side out, and pow! Apron straps are perfectly attached. It’s amazing what strategies people have come up with to make clothes.
The neck was a disaster- I tried to follow the directions, but completely failed- when I turned the straps out of the apron, all I had was a teeny, tiny neck that was sort of misshapen. To salvage the apron, I had to rip out the seams and sew the straps on on the outside, then stitch (overstitch?) the top together.
Not perfect, but who cares? I’m just going to ruin it eventually anyway. Success!