One old pair of jeans, one ugly neck tie, and one shoelace

Not having a press of my own, makes it quite difficult to maintain my title as a Lady of Letterpress. I'm trying to save up for a smallish press, but life in the meantime gets expensive and exhausting; and it looks like saving the couple thousand I'll need for a press and all the start-up materials might take quite a while. So instead, I've been trying to occupy myself with letterpress-related projects that I can make at home.

Most recently, I've been making printer's aprons using one old pair of jeans, one ugly neck tie, and one shoelace. I have a habit of saving my old jeans for salvage after they've developed holes in unseemly places (no pun intended!). And now these battered has-beens have a new purpose!

I used the legs for the body of the apron: cut them off the abdomen, then sliced each leg open (along one of the seams) and sewed both legs together to make a four-paneled rectangle. For the torso area of the apron, I grabbed each of the upper two outer corners of this new jean-rectangle and folded them back a few degrees, then sewed them in place.

The neck tie I used for... the neck tie! Albeit a different breed of neck tie. This repurposed tie now wraps around the neck like a halter-top strap and attaches at adjustable lengths via a vintage button at the collar. The tail of the tie that was left after this was completed I used to add a touch of fashion. It is now an empire-waist-height belt sewn into the apron.

The shoelace was cut in half and sewed in on either side of the apron back as the waist/hip tie. I also took other pieces of the jeans to add printerly pockets to the front of the apron. I stole the butt pockets from what was left of the original pair of jeans and sewed them at staggered heights to the front of the apron to hold things such as tweezers, a composing stick, pieces of type, etc. Then I took one of the belt loops and attached it horizontally above the lower of the two now-front pockets. This can be helpful for securing a line gauge in the pocket or holding a quoin key.

I must say, I am quite happy with the final results. So far I have made two: one for myself, one for someone else. I plan to make more and sell them on my Etsy shop, should anyone actually want one for themselves.


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