Kelly was wondering about a how-to on the pretty vintage ric-rac gingham apron shown in Miss Abigail's valentine set. She admired the vintage flair and thought it might be simple enough to make with a little direction. I didn't sew this apron, so I don't have a pattern to share. I thought I could at least take a few close up pictures and explain how I think one could re-create it.
This apron was actually a gift from one of the older ladies in the Stanley Homemaker's Club, of which Abigail and I are members. The Homemaker's Club was officially formed in 1942 as part of the old County Extension club program. We are no longer formally affiliated, but rather meet twice a month for tea and conversation. I love our "show & tell" meetings especially. Abigail was born into the club when most of the ladies were already grandmas and they spoil her flagrantly! Peggy is in her 80's now and this was once her apron, reportedly hand-made by a member of her family. It is probably between 45 to 60 years old. Gingham was especially popular in the 1950's as a domestic fabric. Aprons were often made with gingham and embellished with cross-stitch embroidery and ric-rac.
The half-apron is sewn on a machine, but the bottom hem and the ric-rac are sewn by hand. It is 35-inches wide and 20-inches long, with a deep 3-inch hem. Three rows of medium black ric-rac are offset with two rows of baby black ric-rac. You can see a tutorial of the technique used to apply the ric-rac in this tutorial I wrote about ric-rac pillowcases.
The body of the apron is not gathered to a waistband, but rather has four (.75-inch deep) pleats which narrows the waist to 20 inches. A simple rectangular facing (2.75 x 20-inches) finishes the back and creates a waistband for the apron. The pleats are about 3-inches tall. More ric-rack is applied to the waistband.
The ties measure 2.5 x 27 inches (narrowly hemmed) with the end turned up and tacked into a point. They are attached underneath the facing.
Finally, a pocket, measuring 5.5-inches wide by 5-inches deep is sewn on the right hand side of the apron. It is attached 3-inches down from the bottom of the waistband and 6.25-inches in from the right side hem. Because of the pleats, I'm sure the pocket was attached before the pleats were sewn.
I agree with Kelly - the apron is darling, and could be re-created with just a little experience with sewing. I'm so pleased that Abigail has this in her hope chest, both to remember Peggy and to dress up a little when she feels like it.
P.S. Please remember that the measurements are finished measurements. One would need to add allowances for seams and hems.
BTW - How do you think ric-rac should be spelled? Rick-rack?