Saturday, October 22, 2011

15th Century Apron

For a while now, I've given some thought to doing a new apron.  I have already tried my hand at smocked aprons (first doing it the wrong way, then doing it right but with a colored thread), and though I don't think that I've really gotten the hang of that method, it isn't actually appropriate for the 15th century.  Looking around, including over at Larsdatter.com, at a narrow span of years between 1420 and 1440, I've seen very little variation in apron types for women.  There is one primary type- a plain, long, wide apron with a waist tie- as well as a rarer type that uses a triangular piece on top that secures at the center chest in some fashion.  This later version seems to be pretty task-specific, so in terms of an apron for any use, the simpler apron is the better option.

It's kind of a bummer, really, that an appropriate apron isn't anything fancy, but it does present an opportunity to really take a look at craftsmanship applied to simple construction.

Most of the samples indicate that a wider apron was preferred, wrapping at least to the very sides of the hips.  One example is from the Tacuinum Sanitatis Butter illumination (pictured).  The apron's tie doesn't really look like a separate band.  It looks more like the top corners of the apron that have been elongated (through cutting or stretching them that way) to tie around the waist.


This doesn't really give me much to work with in terms of technical difficulty, unfortunately.  I'm wondering if I can also work in a bit of drawn work, like this, to achieve something slightly more special.  I've never attempted drawn work, but this seems fairly beginner level.

Not sure I have the linen on hand at the moment, but aprons were almost always white linen, so that shouldn't be difficult to obtain.  Plus I've got some modern sewing projects I need to do before the end of next month (for the baby).  And my website redesign, which I had to put on hold until we get a bit more settled in. 

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