A Match Made in Heaven
For years I’ve wanted to make a cross-back apron, but I’m actually not a regular apron-wearer, so I hadn’t gotten around to it. Then we got the Maven Patterns Maria Apron pattern and soon after that the wonderful Charley Harper Organic Eastern Meadowlark Canvas in Forest. I knew as soon as I saw the canvas that it was perfect for the pattern, and now I’m a convert to aprons, Charley Harper, and Maven Patterns!
An American Artist
Let’s start with the fabric. Charley Harper was an American artist who created stylized designs, often of birds, that were widely used for National Park Service posters, book illustrations, and interpretive natural history materials. His designs have a bold simplicity and often a touch of whimsy, and they adapt really well to fabric.
Birch Fabrics is a company that sells 100% cotton organic fabrics (“made with love, not pesticides”) including a number of Charley Harper designs. We carry their canvas in two of his prints, the Eastern Meadowlark, featuring the bird on its nest in forest green with touches of goldenrod, and Clair de Loon, a beautiful blue design of a loon with babies on its back, reflected in a moonlit lake. The canvas is a good weight, crisp but not stiff. Perfect!
No Apron Strings Attached
This is the second Maven pattern I’ve made, and it shares many of the same features I liked in the first – simple, clear directions, big pockets, and minimal fussiness. Other things I like about this apron pattern? It is ample with good coverage, it has no ties, and I think the cut is flattering. If you don’t have much of a waist, no one will know! It also came in handy last week when I spilled some coffee on my jeans. I just popped it over my outfit and voila!
You can make this apron in two hours, start to finish. The only part that was even a tiny bit tricky was attaching the straps in the front. (I ended up with a small pucker on one side that I have to go back and smooth.) I faced the apron in a quilting cotton, which I recommend to reduce bulkiness where the straps attach.
The scrap of Andover French Bees in Black & Gold I used made a nice contrast. The pattern directions recommend fusing the interfacing to the facing before cutting — did everyone know this brilliant trick except me? So much neater and easier! I plan to make it a regular practice.
MVA (Most Valuable Apron)
Since I made this apron, I kind of want to wear it all the time. It’s great for wearing at work, you can keep your scissors and pen in your pocket, and it is good-looking and comfortable. It’s great to wear in the garden or for foraging. I suppose you could wear it for cooking too!
P.S. Big Shout out to the ZACC (Zootown Community Arts Center) for letting me model in their ‘Pain-Your-Own-Pottery’ studio! Everyone there is so helpful and supportive, they provide great resources to the Missoula community, AND – with their help – I’ve discovered another fun activity for which the Maria Apron is perfect!