For the last 3 years, I have been doing volunteer conservation / preservation cleaning at Rippon Lea, a historical property here in Australia. I have learn't to keep a property clean, that it's a strenuous job and also repetitive. However I find it personally very satisfying. So during this time, I have come to learn and appreciate what the original maids / servants would have had to go through.
Being a maid is a thankless job. One would get up early, stoke the fire, and depending on your rank you would have certain chores assigned to you. And always making sure you are in the background, not to be seen, just serve.
By James Gillray, 1810
Maids had to clean hazardous ball gowns tinted with arsenic.
Maid from the popular TV series, Downton Abbey
So it was decided recently I and the other volunteer thought we would dress up as maids while cleaned. To make a Victorian style apron, I chose the Butterick B6229 Pattern. So here's little review.
Butterick B6229 Making History Pattern
Made in USA, 2015
Patterns enclosed: Apron and Dress
Experience needed: Basic sewing knowledge.
Fabric: Lightweight or heavy cotton.
Overall I found this pattern easy to understand and instructions are quite informative. There are plenty of illustrations to follow. A glossary is included as well. The only time I had a little hesitation was when I came to Steps 15 to 18. This was to connect the waist band to the bib. I overcame these steps and was pleased with the result.
I machined and hand sewed this pattern. I felt there was too much fabric for my sewing machine to cope with, when sewing the waistband, so I hand sewed this section. I did alter the back of the apron to fit my needs. I connected the two shoulder ties to the waistband, by cutting the tie and using buttons to connect to the waistband. Overall I felt this Butterick Pattern really gave the historical look. Wearing the apron gives one that Downton Abbey feel. I would recommend this pattern.