One of a Kind Birthday Apron!

Updated: Aug 15, 2019

What do you give the woman who has everything? A really cool one of a kind gift that was especially made for her. Where do you find something like that? When you know how to sew you make it!

You wont find this in a store anywhere. It is a true original!

When it came time for my sweetheart’s Mom to celebrate her 70th birthday, I really wanted to do something fun and unique that could be a special collaboration from both of us.

First we decided to work around a “wine” theme, since like his mom, wine is something that just gets better with time. Then we started brainstorming all the unique personalized details we wanted to include on the custom “wine bottle” label. At first we were thinking about a custom fabric card of some kind, but then I came up with the idea to have the label embroidered. I took my design sketch and wording to a local embroidery vendor who gave me specifics about fonts and dimensions. I realized afterwards that our wine bottle idea would have to be scaled up to something bigger than a card. That’s when I then decided to our gift would become a custom Party apron.

Initially I searched for fabric with a wine or grape vineyard print of some kind but, when I couldn’t find that, Harry picked out a beach and sea print that he said his Mom would love. From there I picked out some coordinating fabrics to create our bottle and label idea.

Once we had fabrics and the embroidery was done it was time to create a guideline sketch. Creating the sketch helped to ensure my dimensions for each detail were scaled up proportionately. Then step by step the apron began to come together.

Step one- I cut out a foundation of the entire bottle silhouette from black felt. The felt foundation helps to keep the entire “applique” stable and scaled correctly. It also helps to give the fabric bottle fullness and texture once it is applied to the finished apron.

Step two- I cut out the colored body of the bottle from the selected fabric and placed it on the felt foundation, securing with stitches. I choose a block printed cotton that had a swirl pattern that kind of reminded me of the ocean and helping to tie the bottle into the beach theme of the printed fabric of the apron.

Step three- I cut out the wine bottle label from the embroidered fabric. The benefit of cutting the piece out after the fabric has been embroidered is being able to place the pattern piece over the embroidery so that the wording is exactly where you want it to be on the finished piece. In this case I wanted the wording to be centered so that I could then apply an applique of one of the ships from the apron fabric directly on the “wine bottle label”, again tying the applique bottle and background apron together.

Step four- I applied the embroidered label to the fabric bottle and you can really start to see the fabric bottle come to life. I also added some gold trim to the top and bottom edges of the label to make it look more like the gold printed labels you see on real wine bottles.

Step five-I drafted and constructed the background party apron. This was a typical bib apron that I elevated by adding a fun and flirty short gathered skirt. It reminds me of a sweet and swingy party dress. Once I had the apron mostly done I centered and appliqued the fabric bottle to the front. The final touch was adding gold shantung to mimic the “golden foil” on the neck of the wine bottle and stitching that down and then adding some neck band embellishments to make it a truly special “birthday bottle of wine”.

Somehow throughout the whole creative process Harry and I managed to keep it a secret from his mom exactly what we were making for her big birthday surprise. I think we succeeded largely because it was so unique we weren’t exactly sure of how to describe it. But all the hard work and planning finally paid off when she finally opened it and was truly surprised and dare I say impressed.

Moments like this just make me love sewing all the more. There really is not another better use of my time and creativity!

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