Hot! The “I like a little 70’s in my kitchen!” Apron & Dress | Casey Sew


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The Facts

Fabric: Vintage floral cotton – small remnant from inherited stash – $0, Check quilting cotton – 1.5m, $15, black textured poly – 2m,$50.
Patterns: Apron- self drafted, Dress – Burda Style
Notions: invisible zipper, $2.50, scrap bias binding $0
Time to complete: 10hrs including drafting time
First worn: March 2011
Wear again? yes! – though probably not at the same time!
Total Cost: ~ $67.50

So I now have a folder on my hardrive entitled ‘Apron Ideas’… didn’t see that one coming! You see, I don’t have a vintage apron pattern in my stash and I wasn’t in love with any of the free ones available online. I even asked my Grandma to call up all her friends to see if they had one I could borrow.. I thought this was a genius idea and that I would soon have stacks of patterns to choose from. I was wrong! they came up with zilch! Apparently they all just drafted their own. Well who am I to argue with that I thought, and set about collecting images of aprons that I could use as my inspiration. And collect I did. 50 images in total. It was quite the task to narrow down the selection. So this was my inspiration.. I forgot to note what year it was.. but I’m guessing 50’s maybe? I loved the ruffle neck and hem.. but I decided to make the hem ruffles go all the way up the side, and I had to have a sash waist.. with a bow. I’m such a girl!


Making the pattern turned out to be pretty easy. I used the sash pattern from my ‘stashbusting’ dress, but made two joins towards the back instead of one join in the middle. The rest is just rectangles and rectangles with rounded edges. My neck ruffle didn’t turn out quite as my inspiration. It’s a bit flat. I need to lengthen the pattern piece so that I can make it ‘rufflier’. It was total luck that I had a scrap of yellow bias binding the right length for the neck that just happened to be a perfect match for my vintage floral. But that is where the thrifting ended on this project I’m afraid. Why is it that when you need to go out and purchase something specific (like a contrast fabric for the floral, and black fabric for the dress.) does it always end up costing so much more?! Some sort of murphy’s law I’m sure. Not to mention I’d never realised how much fabric can get eaten up in ruffles and sashes.

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But.. that said. I love my apron! in all it’s yellowy/orange glory. I really feel like I need a 70’s kitchen to go with it.  (note.. I picked out my bangle a couple of years ago because it reminded me of a 70’s kitchen.)

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The burda style dress in theory was going to be a snap. I mean, how long could it take?. it only has 3 bodice pieces and a rectangular skirt. Well it took me a while. Mainly because I decided to make a muslin of the bodice to check that it would fit. It didn’t. darn. So I had to alter the pattern. I traced one size for the bust dart and the shoulder seam (I have a short torso) and then traced the next size up for the armhole and side seam. The neck opening was also far to big for me. (my cup does not runneth over) So I made a 2cm dart on either side of the neck, taped them closed, then slashed the existing dart to transfer the excess from the neck, to the waist dart. problem solved! The bodice now fits perfectly. I wasn’t super happy about the long darts ending right on bust point. I tried to shorten them, but it wasn’t working out for me, so I left them long and thankfully the the textured fabric hides the dart seam pretty well so it doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. The fabric I used was expensive – $25/m. But isn’t it pretty?! It’s very heavy, maybe it was meant to be upholstery.. but in any case has made for the perfect winter dress. The added bonus when it came to handstitching the hem (which I never do by the way!) was that the fabric had some sort of double weave, so you could be as clumsy with the stitches as you liked and they never showed through! yay.

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A big thank-you to my Mum.. who spent most of her visit today babysitting, simultaneously stitching the hem with me, and also photographing the end result. I love you Mum!

And another big thank-you to Sarah – who let me fill in for her this week!


casey sew


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  1. Wow is all I can say about both. I love the apron colors and style. The dress is amazing. You look great in both. Good job filling in for Sarah. Blessings.

  2. For a 50s style, the apron sure has a 70s vibe. Well drafted! Dress looks fab too. Fabric is beautiful.

  3. What a wonderful apron, I love your fabric and color choices and bravo on the drafting! The dress fits like a glove, very flattering! Love the textured fabric too.

  4. oh Casey just brilliant. I’m so glad your in the lime light this week, your creations are always great. As for the apron, lovely, I am areal 70s girl so this has to be my favourite aprin yet!

  5. Gosh forgot to say your dress looks lovely too.

  6. Gorgeous! Your apron is making me smile lots with it’s happy yellow-and-orange retroness. It reminds me of my parent’s kitchen when I was growing up – yellow and orange floral curtains, dark orange cupboard doors. 70’s awesomeness. (I kinda miss that kitchen….)

  7. WOW Casey! They are are both so beautiful! I adore the colors and style of apron (as you know, I’m a sucker for ruffles as well) :-) I especially love the fabric you used for your dress! So beautiful and it fits perfectly…That’s a great idea about shaping the bodice for the Burda pattern! Can you post some photos in the sewing circle of your alterations on the pattern piece? That would be really helpful.
    Well done! And I’m loving the photos (especially with the matching tea set)!!

  8. Wow Casey, you and your creations are amazing! The dress and fabric are incredible – definitely worth the time and expense! I’ve had some trouble with the sizing/fit of burda patterns too. So glad you were featured this week!

  9. Thanks Sue. I certainly felt the pressure of the ‘inner circle’ this week. lol.

  10. Thanks Jen, There’s certainly no escaping a 70’s vibe with that orange and brown floral is there! I totally loved your combo of floral with the bias tape and lace.

  11. Thanks Adey! just itching to see yours tomorrow. Who knew aprons could be so fun to look at!

  12. Thanks Charlotte! I feel like I’m having 15min of fame! heehee. Yay 70’s! – seems like there aren’t to many of us 70’s lovers! lol. I’ve been loving your creations too!

  13. Thanks Kat. It makes me smile too! We all rip out 70’s kitchens now.. but you gotta admit they’re kinda cute. I think I like them because they were the last time we had real kitsch in the kitchen. I have a friend who has just installed a bright orange 2pac kitchen with white stone top. It’s just fab!

  14. Thanks Debi.. gotta love them ruffles. more the merrier I say (you should have seen my wedding dress!) I’ve just posted some photos in the sewing circle to explain my pattern alterations on the bodice. Hope you find it helpful.. it’s super easy, but my explaination may not be! Cute tea set hey!.. it came with my inherited fabric stash.

  15. Thanks Amanda! So glad you approve of my fabric splurge! I usually spend little more than $2.50 for a zipper (such is my stash of fabric!) so I was having heart palpitations at the checkout.. and then again when I realised that the bodice didn’t fit. So happy that I actually made a muslin before chopping into it. I’ve posted some pics in the sewing circle about how I altered the pattern.

  16. Casey your dress and apron are beautiful. I LOVE the fabric you chose for the dress it was worth every cent, and you have done an amazing job with the fit. The apron is fantastic – you are so very clever!!

  17. Awesome. Both garments look perfect on you. Thank you so much for explaining what you did to the dress bodice. I’ll have to check out the photos.

  18. I love your whole look the dress and the apron!!! And I LOVE LOVE your orange coffee pot and cup in that photo it’s so fab! You totally need a 70’s kitchen.

  19. Your self-drafted apron looks gorgeous (I love 1970s colors too!) And clearly your muslin was worth it because your dress looks fabulous.

  20. margueritedesigns

    Love the bow and the fabric – know what you mean about the 70’s kitchen bangle – my mum used to have a tangerine coloured kitchen (complete with round glass and chrome table and chairs with purple seat covers!) Your apron fabric reminds me of her roller blind!

  21. This apron is so cute (extra points for the bangle and tea set)! I love the color combination with the ruffles and how you mixed different styles of fabrics together. And the fit of your dress is perfect! All the changes you made were spot on.

  22. judy roberson

    You did an amazing job..both apron and dress.I love the 70’s kitchen look..Makes me want to redo in orange..ha
    You did a great job resizing the burda pattern.. So glad to see you in the fill in.. Your work is fantastic. and tell your Mum..thankyou for photographing and babysitting for you.We apprecaite it.

  23. Thanks Debbie.. I’m feeling pretty chuffed about this one! Oh and I’m not that clever! My zipper did not have quite the success of your local colour one. lol.

  24. Thanks Lee. Hope you find the alteration info useful.

  25. Aw shucks Lisette! Thanks! I’m glad you like.

  26. Thanks Jessie! It wasn’t until I’d made this apron that I realised just how much 70’s kitchen stuff I have! entirely subconscious collecting. lol.

  27. Floral roller blind.. I love it! My Grandma had teapot wallpaper! Glad you like!

  28. Thanks Amanda! I love the check and the floral together too. (I’ve been researching for next weeks challenge.. it appears I started clashing prints quite early on.. lol!!)

  29. Thanks Judy! I’m glad you like the 70’s vibe. My poor Mum’s been roped in again this week.. looking for old photos of me. She lives quite far away, so she’s scanning and emailing for me. she’s such a gem!

  30. EEEP! Casey – this is lovely! I am constantly impressed with the items you make – you have a ton of sewing talent! Thank you so much for filling in this week – you are such a talented seamstress and so creative!

  31. You did such a great job on both the dress and apron. Just wonderful. I love your bracelet in orange and your teapot and teacup. This is just perfect, I love the overall feeling you have evoked in your photos, the perfect lady!

  32. Thanks Sarah! I was super excited to fill in! You’re pretty talented and creative yourself.

  33. Thanks Cathe! Glad you like it. Was a bit worried I couldn’t pull off a photo shoot anything like the other ladies! So glad these pics came out ok!

  34. WOW this is my favourite, I love the flowers and gingham such a great combo. LOVE IT!

  35. WOWZER! That Burda dress is SO nice! And what a gorgeous apron! Nice work Casey! You’re such a darling! The photos are SUPERB! Better than my grey indoor shots this week! I hate it when the weather turns bad during the hour I have for the photos!

  36. Your black dress turned out so well, and I love the sash on the apron!