The Havana Apron
The theme for this month’s Tie One On apron is Havana Nights. Now I have a confession – I did buy (on ebay and for only $5) a copy of the documentary Amy was watching when she came up with this theme … but I have not watched it.
So, for the first month of “how will I do this?” I was a bit stumped and kept hoping that when I watched the film, I would be inspired. In the end, I accepted I was not going to get around to watching the film any time soon, and instead puzzled over what I knew about Havana.
Apart from the bookish knowledge gained from a course I did at uni entitled “Problems in American Foreign Policy”, my only other experience of Havana comes from a documentary I saw a few years ago about a sugar cane train that has been collecting the cane from the fields and taking it to the mill for – I can’t quite remember – 80 years? It was intriguing and sweet! And sad.
This is a country that has been plodding along for the the last 50 years with almost no help from anyone – everything is so old and dilapidated and yet, there’s a beauty to it. There is something so appealing about cars almost as old as my grandfather trundling down shabbily beautiful streets filled with colonial architecture the colours of sugared almonds.
So – my Havana Apron. I wanted it to reflect the vintage look of the country, but with plenty of colour and life. I wanted the vibrant green of the sugar cane fields with the reds and pinks and oranges of bougainvillia. Voila! A very pretty green floral from Look and Learn by American Jane by Sandy Klopp for Moda.
And it had to be super functional. These Havana women have to work hard – so a good cover-all style with big, sturdy pockets. I used the Simplicity Retro Costume Collection pattern 8720 – again! – this time, View C.
I made a few alterations. I chose a gorgeous vivid pink, harlequin print for the sashing and cut it twice the width. This meant I was able to fold it in half, right sides together, sew down the raw edges and turn it out which made the sashing much sturdier and gave it a much nicer smoothness and finish.
Instead of sewing the sashing to the apron body, I attached it with two buttons – and added a bit of extra fabric to the wrong side for extra durability.
The pockets were cut from a contrasting orange and ecru fabric with little sprigs of brightly coloured flowers. I lined them to give them greater body, added a deep border of the vivid pink, and trimmed it with orange rickrack. I then attached them to the body of the apron with my machine’s applique stitch.
Initially, I thought Little A would wear it for the obligatory photo – but it was too big. So Julian tried it on – but he looked a bit funny – fitted black t-shirt, jeans and floral apron – mmmm….?
So, it was off to Carolann’s where we happily played photoshoot around her back garden, verandah – and finally, to capture a wee bit of the shabbiness of Havana – we went down to the old powerhouse on the river. What a great project – thanks Amy!
… and what a great friend!