Fancy-work Victorian aprons were fit companions to the work-basket, and much artistic taste was expended on this garment to make it a bit of loveliness to the eye and a dressy contribution to the toilette. All kinds of dainty fabrics were used for its construction, and there was no limit to the beautiful effects achieved with ribbons, embroidery, lace, etc.
Sample of Authentic Victorian Apron c 1850
Here are some pictures of an apron made c1850. It shows how much time went into the detail and arrangement of the embroidery. This apron is of black moire or water silk, the waistband pointed at the front and embroidered with a flower and leaf meander, piped, the skirt ruched into the point and embroidered with a central coral pink and straw coloured silk flower spray, surrounded by further sprays caught by twisted ribbons, two rows of flowers either side of the apron surrounding the pockets, the pockets of brown cotton, 20 in or 50 cm waistband, 28 in or 70 cm long.
If you are interested in purchasing items such as this, be sure to visit Meg's website. She has so many wonderful things to see and purchase. (Please note: I do not make any money referring you to her site. She is a wonderful person who allows me to share her fantastic photos with you. Visit her site, you will be glad you did!)
Victorian Instructions for Making Your Own Vintage Apron
Figure No. 1. - Linen is the material used for this Victorian apron, the simple finish being a deep hem, with the threads drawn and caught in network fashion. Above this are Greenaway designs done in many colored crewels, while the belt is confined at the back by longs ties of ecru ribbon. Pongee or Surah silk was often chosen instead of linen, but the ease with which the latter may be embroidered went far to commend it to the amateur worker not as yet certain of her success on finer stuffs.
One outline design used in embellishing this Victorian apron is illustrated as Figure No. 2.
Figure No. 2. - Whether the little Romeo is here urging an invitation to the dance or suggesting a cool and shady retreat, nobody can say, save the little maid who listens so intently. Such designs would be particularly appropriate for hangings, for linen covers for a baby's couch, for aprons, or for the mantel drapery in a young girl's especial retreat.
This Victorian Apron design is done in crewels, and to the taste of the worker is left the choice of colors. The design is given in the full size, so that it can be easily understood and the effect brought before the mind's eye with very little trouble. Very quaint effects are obtained by choosing tints the reverse of realistic for this kind of work. Very often the entire design is done in one color, and it is really wonderful how much originality of effect may be brought out by such uniformity. Any preferred com-mingling of tints is, however, in order.
Download "Little Romeo" to make your own Victorian apron or art project. (Download is .pdf)
You will need Adobe Reader (the latest version is recommended) installed on your computer in order to open and read this ebook. You can get Adobe Reader here (a new window will open so you can download without leaving this page).If you want to open the file in your browser window, you can just click on the link. However if you want to download the file to view later, then right click on the link and choose "Save Target As" or "Save File As." Then select where you want to save the file on your hard drive.
Once you have saved the file, locate where you saved it, and double click to open.
In order to print, open the downloaded file, and select the "Print" option from the ebook menu.
If you should have any trouble with the download, contact me.
The remaining patterns will be available soon.
Apron Appropriate to Wear While Embroidering
Here is an apron that is appropriate, and was higly suggested, for wearing while embroidering or creating any other fancy work. The book providing these instructions was written in 1901.
We show here a model for a convenient work apron. The apron should be long enough to nearly, if not quite, cover the skirt, and the hem should be turned up on the right side to a depth of twelve inches and caught down at regular intervals from the ends, to form pockets for threads, small embroidery hoops, piercer, stilletto, and the smaller articles one uses most frequently in embroidering. The apron can be made as ornamental as one chooses or as plain, but it is better to make it of linen, as dust will not adhere to it so readily.
As can be seen by the above Victorian apron illustration, ladies of that era not only liked to remain tidy at all times, they were resouceful as well. The apron, as described, can almost be a sewing basket and apron in 1!
Be sure to check back often for new illustrations and instructions of Victorian aprons.