Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pattern Review: McCall's M5551 Apron

Confession:  I'm an apron girl.  I do a lot of canning and food preservation, and that inevitably leads to splashes and stains, so having a nice stack of aprons is an investment in preserving expensive clothes.  But on top of that, I just like the retro-prettiness of having an apron while I cook.

For a while, I have been planning on making a full-coverage apron, much like farm women have worn for decades.  This weekend, I finally got around to making McCall's pattern M5551, and I think it was a success.

The pattern includes four apron styles:  a gathered apron with a bib front, a gathered apron with no bib, a butcher's apron, and the one I made:  a front-and-back sheath style apron.  The apron I made is lined with the same fabric from the front (although I guess you could mix and match), which means you need about 5 yards of fabric, plus a bit for the pocket.

I made a couple of alterations to the pattern.  I didn't create a button hole in back where the slits join, because I didn't make a deep enough slit to need buttoning; I just needed to get my head through.  I did put a decorative button at the base of the slit, to cover a bit of pucker I had there.  (I used to be really good at these kinds of openings, but I guess I'm out of practice.)  I also didn't do side ties, but instead created a self-belt that was sewn to the back and which wraps around the front.

The apron turned out pretty heavy, which Mr. FC&G pointed out will be nice in the winter.  I think future versions will not be lined, because that will save on fabric and make them lighter.  I also will position my self-belt up a little higher, or perhaps experiment with side fastenings that are not ties.  The pocket is cute but is not necessary if you don't want to spend on the fabric.

All in all, I recommend this pattern.  I plan to get some denim the next time there is a sale and make Mr. FC&G a butcher's apron, since he spends so much time in the kitchen.  Expecting him to wear my flowered aprons is probably a bit much.

The Analysis

Fast:  This entire apron probably took me four hours to make, and I am not the fastest seamstress on the planet.

Cheap:  Oops.  I fell in love with a fabric that was not on sale, and I didn't even wait for a coupon.  Five yards of it ran up significantly.  Next time, only sale fabrics, and no self-lining.

Good:  Wouldn't a nice new apron brighten your day?  It did mine!
Pin It!


  1. ...but you needed to model it! It looks wonderful! (By the way, I ran right out and bought a fleece remnant after seeing your posts on fleece wipes and hand warmers. I've already made a bunch of wipes and now I'm making hand warmers for myself and my adult daughters. Love the idea of both--and so easy to make. Even though I'm having to hand sew the hand warmers, they are still a quick project.)

  2. Glad you are enjoying the projects, Elaine! I guess I should model these things, but I am shy. It took forever just to get the photo that I use on the sidebar of the blog. :-)