Though it looks fine on a photograph, it was terribly faded and worn and even torn in places. It was a beloved dress for several years. I have a hard time just throwing things like this away.
This Elizabeth Lee Designs pattern for a nursing dress is one of my favorites. Studying the design I knew it could easily become an apron. So I cut it into one. I beg Rebecca not to look any further (she made this one for me).
I cut around the back facing, and down the front nursing panel, then over to the ties, and down the side seam of the skirt. Using my mother's serger I overlocked all the edges. Since I wanted some work aprons, and I wanted them now, I used the white thread that was in the serger already and the basic stitch. That is why the cutting and serging only took fifteen minutes! If I someone wanted to do this and be fancy, they could have folded under all the edges neatly and used a regular straight stitch on a sewing machine, with matching thread. Or they could have serged it with a pretty colored thread. Or they could have bound the edges with bias tape. The amount of work put into it would depend on how far gone the original dress was!
Above you can see how I cut around the neck facing. This dress pattern has no buttons or zippers, but the pink example shown before did have a zipper. I removed it and sewed a seam up the back facing to achieve the same result. I serged around this facing, catching the raw cut edge with the finished facing edge.
And here is my fancy one. I had done a lot of hand-work on this collar, and I left it on for a fun apron!
It is nice to wear my old favorite dresses again, and to get a little more life out of them. I had so much fun doing this, that I started to look in my closet for other dresses that, though not worn out, maybe weren't my favorites or I didn't like the color...
It is hard to decide which one I will part with for my mother-- maybe I'll go and look in her closet next!