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"Many ladies interest themselves in procuring good situations for young girls going out to service, and these know how important it is that the girls should be properly outfitted with all things necessary to keep them neat and tidy. This outfit is often a matter of some difficulty in a large and poor family, and a few gifts of useful garments are an immense boon. Strong aprons are easy things to make, and a present of four of these would be gratefully received by any young servant. The pattern given is suitable for a young woman of 16 or 17, and the cost of making is as follows:-
"Cut a piece of material 37 inches long and the whole width of the stuff [36 inches wide]. This is for the skirt. Cut a strip widthways of the stuff, 30 inches long by 4Ĺ inches wide, for the waist-band. Two strips must next be cut lengthways of the stuff for the straps, each strip being 20 inches lone and 4 Ĺ inches wide. From the remainder of the stuff cut the bib, Fig.1, placing the straight line at the bottom to a straight line widthways; and the pocket, Fig.2.
"Make a two inch hem at the bottom of the skirt. Fold the waistband in half lengthways, turn under the rough edges and seam the ends and also the lower edges for a distance of 4 inches from each side. Insert the skirt into the remainder of the waist-band, pleating the fullness nicely. Hem the neck, sides and bottom of the bib and seam the bib to the skirt. Fold each shoulder strap in half lengthways. Measure 1 inch downwards from one narrow end of each at the cut side and cut the top of the strap in a slanting direction to the top of the folded edge. Turn in the rough edges of the straps and seam the straight side and the bottom. Insert the shoulders of the bib at the slanting ends. Hem the pocket all round and seam to the apron at the right hand side. Make two button-holes in the waistband at the right hand side, the second being one inch from the first. Make a button-hole at the end of each strap. Sew two buttons to the end of the waistband to correspond with the first two button-holes, and one button 4 inches form each end for attaching the straps."
The skirt may be cut as wide as necessary to fit over the dress skirt. If intended as a work apron for a household servant, then it is advisable to keep it fairly skimpy. The bib is finished separately and sewn to the front of the waistband by overlapping it a little behind the waistband and machining through all the layers. The fit can be adjusted by the length of the shoulder straps and waistband and the positions of the buttons and button-holes - remember to customise these to the wearer. If the shoulder straps are made long enough, they can be crossed over to fasten more securely.
Though this pattern comes from 1909, this is a useful work, nursing or kitchen apron for most of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras.
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