Friday, July 20, 2012

Emmeline Apron Pattern Review

More sewing for me!

Emmeline Reversible Apron

Emmeline Reversible Apron

I had seen the adorable Emmeline Apron by Sew Liberated around blogland for a while, but it seemed pricey at around $16. After buying Growing Up Sew Liberated and loving the patterns, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge (and I also bought the Lola Apron pattern since it was being clearanced out for $5). Since it's reversible, I thought it would be a good way to use up some of the mega-yards of quilting cotton I have hoarded away. I had high hopes for this pattern. In some ways, it met expectations (the finished project), but in others, it left me wanting.

 For starters, I was hoping that it would be an instant download, but was disappointed to find that it's a paper-only pattern. I suppose some people like having actual paper, but I much prefer the instant gratification of printing, assembling, and sewing immediately. Forced to buy a paper copy, I ordered from the Sew Liberated shop and waited for a long almost-two weeks for the pattern to arrive. Of course, by then my steam had worn off, so I piddled around on making it for a while longer.

Once I got it out, the pattern was very easy to cut out and assemble, though I could have done just as well with measurements having been provided for all pieces but the apron. I'm sure if she hadn't included the ties, bodice, and accent pieces (they are all just simple rectangles/trapezoids), people would have complained about that, so no problem.  I was surprised that she doesn't provide instructions for making continuous binding as it would have been a pain to actually do all the binding piecing called for by the pattern. Of course, tutorials are readily available online to explain it, but still, it would be nice to include all the info a novice (who might not realize there's a simpler way to do it) would need. Otherwise, the pattern instructions were good and the apron went together easily. 

While waiting, I had read several reviews of the pattern and found this blog post from Pippin Sequin, which has some excellent tips. Based on these reviews, I made several alterations.

1) The Bust. I read that the bust can be a bit unflattering on larger-busted women, so I followed reviews and  altered my bodice piece to add a couple inches to the height based on my bust measurement. I wish I had done a run through without altering it for comparison's sake--oh well.I am not thrilled with how my bodice fits. I'm not sure this is due to the alteration I made or the interfacing, which makes it very stiff.

2) A loop instead of neck ties. Using the Pippin Sequin review, I created a loop instead of neck ties. I am not sure if this is what caused this or not, but I was left me a HUGE amount of extra binding (about 7.5 yards, to be exact). I was able to use it up in my very next project, but I would have been frustrated that I purchased so much fabric that I didn't need and might not be able to use easily in another project.

3) Pippin Sequin helpfully includes a formula for attaching the waist ties. I have no idea why the pattern creator did not do this rather than basically saying, "move it around till you get it to attach parallel"--crazy!

I am not sure if my interfacing was too thick of what, but I felt my bodice was extremely stiff (especially with the interfacing being on both sides of the bodice).

In all, I think this pattern has a really nice shape--it's super cute and ingenious that you can use the ties for both sides and so have completely different looks for the apron, as long as you have contrast fabric that works with both. However, there were a number of issues with the pattern that I would not have expected in one that is somewhat pricey for a simple item.


  1. Thanks for the review I have been thinking about buying this pattern. Your tips aure very helpful. Love your aprons.

  2. Hi, I'm making one of these at the moment. Thanks for your useful post. I think your stiff bodice problem is because you've added interfacing to the main bodice parts, not the bodice accent bands (the bands above and below the main bodice piece) as my reading of the instructions suggests.