Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Norse Hangarok (apron dress)

photo courtesy of James & Ronda
I've made a few of these now, and this is by far my best one. These are easy to make and so comfortable to wear, I don't think I'll ever wear a tight bodice again! (okay... lies... I'll totally wear a bodice again if it does the right things to my shape) Anyway, this particular version of a hangarok comes from Duchess Kara's own pattern, and I highly recommend it!

Sadly this whole blog idea came to fruition after this dress was constructed, so I only have photos of it finished. The pattern link above is very detailed and wonderful, however, so I'll skip to the embroidery part of my process.

Like most of my newer Norse creations, I used the Vandyke stitch on all the seams. To secure the seam allowances on either side of the Vandyke, I used stem stitch. I'm really loving this stitch and the nice line it creates. Before this garment I would've used running stitch which has more opportunity for error, in my opinion.

back view
On the back of the dress I did something a little bit different. As I worked my way closer to the waist, I brought the stem stitch closer to the Vandyke, and then let it flare out again as I got farther away. It's hard to tell unless viewed very closely, and creates a slimming optical illusion. I wasn't sure if such a small thing would make a difference, but the compliments I'm getting when I wear this apron are proof!

close up of a strap
The straps are long, thin loops made from the same linen as the dress. They're folded in on each other like bias tape, pressed, and closed with a closely worked herringbone stitch. These are attached to the back of the dress, and small loops are done the same way on the front.

inside view of strap attachment
I fold the ends of the straps and the loops in front under the fold of the top of the dress, then do whatever finishing stitch through all the layers. It's very strong when finished.

inside view of front loop
On this particular dress I finished the top with three lines of stem stitch, two close together and one farther apart. I really love the way it looks now that it's all finished, but soon I will learn how to weave my own trim for this part!

stem stitch along the top
I need to start keeping track of how many hours I spend on each project. This one was only 30 minutes to cut and sew together! The major time was spent on the embroidery, of course. I must say, in the end it's worth it!

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