Thursday, 22 September 2016

My Very Formal Tablier taché

This is a crazy thought of mine to prepare my pastries, cakes and petit fours in this apron. I would be so upset if it ends up being stained ... my very very formal apron. 

But on the other hand, I admire the white outfits of the professional chefs with the little embroidered name tags on the left side chest pocket. And before I dive into sewing that outfit (and before I deserve to wear one of these), I thought it would be a wonderful idea to make an apron so formal and interesting, so I could serve my goodies with style. French-desert art requires certain style, that would fit the charm of the old France. The French managed to preserve the tradition for so many years, and the world bows before them when it comes to that. My Tablier taché, in a modest way, is my escape from the fast-food-gluten-free world today, in which everyone is either about quickly cook a meal for 10 min from the freezer and skip the desert, because it is not healthy, or let's eat raw, gluten free food, because this is the only way to escape the unhealthy way of living this busy life. My love and knowledge about chocolate keeps my light on and as much as I love making deserts, I love even more presenting them with a twist, inspired by French chocolatiers and chef patisseurs. 

The Apron ... because this is all about it - a project I challenged myself into without knowing what I am going up against. It started with an innocent suggestion that all of us at work make an apron and dress up in them for Halloween. Why not making my life difficult - lets sew a suit looking like one. It would have been great, if it was a suit, but when the apron had to be a piece, that ties on the back and buttons on the back of the neck, well... making the jacket and shirt part of the suit becomes a real challenge. 

The fabric choice was easy - black and white is a real classic choice, when it comes to formal dressing.  

I looked into Vintage Vogue patterns and my choice for an apron was right there, under number V8643. 

Scalloped front bib and the yoke on the back look so feminine and retro so I chose style E and used the top part only, adjusting it to fit my requirements for the neck line - it needed to be higher, so I can make the bow-tie right at the place it was supposed to be. 

Then I started working on the lapel. I wanted it to be very big - the gentlemen from the 60s were very passionate about their look. I designed the lapel from suiting fabric, which was my top layer, then the shirt as a bottom layer, which covers almost the whole bib part. I wanted to make it look real. So when the lapel opens, there is a shirt underneath. It wasn't easy, but after a few sleepless nights, it worked well. 

There was something, I haven't considered at all when it all started - I had to line the undershirt in white, since the shirt fabric is quite sheer and I did not want to see the black lining. So, I had to cut and piece the lining too. The skirt I made in full circle - to have better accent on the waist line. All the pieces worked well together. I have to admit, I wasn't happy with the midriff part of the pattern. I did not like the Vogue idea of attaching it, so I had to change it a bit and this involved quite a bit of hand- sewing. 

The last part of this adventure was a real pleasure. To make the bow-tie was like a walk in the park, after all this hard work. It is not a real tied around the neck bow-tie. You can use it for any outfit, since it is attached with a safety pin. I hope you enjoy my how-to-make-it in pictures:

1. Prepare the pattern for the bow-tie: Make a free drawing of the bow-tie shape on a piece of paper. It takes few attempts until you reach the desired shape in width. The length is one standard sheet size A4 (210 cm x 297cm). I wanted mine to be really wide.
2. Transfer the pattern onto the wrong side of the fabric (pic. 1). Sew along the lines, leaving the bottom line in the middle of the pattern un sewn.
3. Clip the notches along the lines, exc. the straight lines in the middle. Clip the corners on both sides of the butterfly wings (pic. 2).
4. Turn right side out, press. Hand stitch the opening with slip stitch (pic. 3).
5. Cut a rectangular piece (double) of fabric with the required width for the front. Sew the sides together, turn right side out. Fold the bow, and wrap the sewn piece around to form the papillon (pic.4).
6. Hand stitch the piece on the back. 
7. Fit a safety pin on the back of the bow tie (pic. 6). You are ready to pin your bow tie to any of your outfits.

Off I go to bake some deserts now.

Have a sweet life everyone!